Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's in a Compliment?

I've always been able to dish a compliment.  Just can't accept one.  Though with Jilly's help/insistence, I've gotten better over the years.  Before reacting w/ a sarcastic retort, I swallow it (save it for later), and respond w/ a simple 'thank you.'  It's tough, but I'm growing up...a bit...despite ulterior efforts.

But, like I said, I can give a compliment.  In fact, I like to.  And while they may not be given in great detail or description, they are always sincere.

Case in point - I would often compliment Jilly when I thought she looked especially beautiful.  Maybe she was wearing a new shirt, pants, skirt, or dress.  Maybe it was a new haircut.  Maybe she just looked damn good.  Whatever the case, if it fell inside this compliment category, I would often look her in the eyes and say, "You look nice."

(Quick tangent: At what point do you begin to call a woman's 'shirt' a 'blouse'?  Is there an age cutoff when 'shirt' is no longer acceptable and must be replaced w/ 'blouse'?  Or, was 'blouse' only used in the 40s and 50s?  Or, does it depend on the attire being discussed?  Eg. If the top is formal, call it a 'blouse'.  Casual?  Label it a 'shirt'.  Please advise.

I tend to define 'blouse' usage like I do 'slacks.'  I find it inappropriate to for anyone to utter the word 'slacks' if you are below the age of 50.  Jill backed me on this one.

Back to my compliment eloquence..) 

Lame, right?  Sincere, yes.  But, underwhelming on its surface.

I mean, the line certainly was genuine.  I didn't gloss over it and move on to another topic.  I'd take a beat and give her the compliment.  It was real.  They were all real.

Jill's response to this line was always always always the same.  "I am nice."

And it is in these two lines - You look nice.  I am nice. - that really displays our understanding of one another.

Jilly knew my inarticulate compliment came from nowhere else but my heart.  I said it.  I meant it.  I just didn't dwell on it, for lack of a better word.  I certainly wanted her to know how I felt at that moment, but didn't want to make a whole 'thing' of it.  Maybe I needed to more often.  But, when I catch myself looking in the rear view (as I do so often these days) to see if I did enough good to and for Jilly, for this one anyway, I think I'm in the clear.

Jilly absorbed each and every compliment I lobbed her way with great affection and understanding.

Jilly knew 'You look nice' was more than just those three words.  That line encapsulated so much more - You are stunning, I'm taking a moment to be thankful for you out loud, I'm so damn lucky, I love you, and on and on and on and on...

Jilly knew that.  And I knew she knew.  I don't think I can begin to express how comforting that is, how that feels.  If I had to put a label on it, I'd probably call it love.

I don't know.  Maybe this particular J&J post is too 'inside baseball.'  Maybe I'm not communicating it clearly enough for you to empathize.

That's okay.  Jilly gets it.  She gets me.

All love,

J, J, & r


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