Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Complimenting Strangers and A Challenge for YOU!

Today, I crossed the vile threshold of the evil empire (i.e. Walmart).

I had just come from my appointment with my new counselor,  of which I showed up an entire half hour late for (kinda sorta not my fault.  I had  9:00 a.m. written down on my calendar, but I SWEAR the reminder call said 9:30. I should have called to verify, though).

But actually, I showed up an entire day early.   Truly, I did.

 I walked in yesterday morning at 9 a.m., bright eyed and ready to spill my guts to the unwittingly, poor gal who had agreed to take me on as a patient.  It wasn't until I saw the confused look on the face of the receptionist that I realized that it was Tuesday, not Wednesday.

So, since I had actually gotten dressed and put my face on, I decided to show it around town.  I dragged a constipated Maggie to several thrift stores, discount stores and hobby stores.

"Oooh, you have a shopping companion," said a little old lady at the Salvation Army in Daytona Beach, where I found some freaking adorable Children's Place skirts and Gymboree shirts for $1.50 each.

"An uncooperative one, yes," I said, as Maggie ~ as if on cue ~  dramatically crumpled and laid down on the sidewalk in front of the woman and refused to move.

So today, as I was wondering the aisles of the evil empire, picking out the Miralax for Maggie, I saw a girl who was wearing a fantastic cardigan.

It was hard to miss.  It was white, with a toile-ish, black pattern.  Oh, my.  It was my style.  I had to know where she got it.

I passed her in another aisle.

"Excuse me," I said.  She startled.  "I love your sweater, where did you get it?"

I do this a lot; I scare the crap out of people.

My most notable example was in a local Publix, but I think that this had to do more that I hadn't showered in several days and I looked like a homeless person.

I was also suffering from that chronic cough I had for six months this past summer, so I was on the cough medicine that made me extremely chatty and obnoxious.

I had taken several French showers to mask my stench, and I was wearing a baseball cat to hide the greasy hair.   But the clothes had been worn for several days, as I do often because....well....sometimes things are just comfortable after a day or two.  Or four.

And I wasn't expecting to walk by someone who smelled delightful.

She was an older woman and she was deep in concentration.  I should have noted that.  I walked past her and got a whiff.  I smelled a note of patchouli, and flowers, and something else.

I loved it.

I stopped my cart and backed that ass up.

"You smell wonderful,"  I exclaimed.

Seriously, I thought she was going to have a heart attack.  She nearly dropped her coupons and she made one of those faces that only are made when someone probably leaked a bit of urine in her Serenity pad.  I felt bad.  I should have apologized, but I didn't.

Instead, I continued.

"Are you wearing lotion?  Or is it your perfume?  I just love it!"

Her mouth moved for a moment and nothing came out.  When she finally spoke, she muttered something that sounded like "Angel," a perfume that I am quite familiar with, being a fan of the designer.

"Oh,"  I exclaimed.  "Thierry Mugler?"

She nodded.

"I love him!  I have "Alien."   I'll have to check "Angel" out.  It smells really nice!  Have a nice day!

I left her, recovering, in the middle of the frozen vegetable and pizza aisle.

I saw her several more times during that shopping trip, but she made beelines to move away from me, so I didn't have a chance to apologize for frightening her.

I like complimenting people, though.

If someone is wearing something that I think is pretty, I will tell her.  I also will  ask where she got it.   If someone I know looks particularly nice, I will tell her.  If a color looks nice on someone, I let her know.

I especially like doing this to strangers, even if it does scare them a little bit.  

You expect compliments from your husband, or your kids, or your family.   You don't expect them from a fellow shopper; therefore I think it makes it a little more special.

I challenge you to do it.

No, seriously.

Find something special or unique about someone.  

Don't be disingenuous...wait until you actually see something about someone that catches your eye.  Is someone wearing a broach, necklace or earrings that are particularly pretty?  Let them know!

It will probably make their day, and I guarantee that it will make you feel good, too.

Just don't do it when you haven't showered for days and look like you just ventured out of the dumpster behind the building, or are jazzed on any sort of stimulant that could be misconstrued as an illegal substance.  That is pretty much guaranteed to creep them out.

I speak from experience.

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