Thank you, but-

Monday, July 27, 2009


Our living room is filled with clusters of brown paper bags, some half full, some overflowing, with baby clothes and unwanted Herman junk. We're gearing up for a big garage sale this next weekend. Christopher is on leave, and we've got 4 days to organize all of our things into the most hypnotic of ways, sending strong enough vibes out to lure in strangers from the street, and pull them up into our driveway. I've gotten a head start by posting a few things on craigslist, and a local yahoo yard sales group, doing what I can to get rid of these things. This morning a woman came over to look at little girls shoes for her baby. While she was browsing, I was reading "Bear Snores On" to Eleanore. The woman didn't seem to be very interested in making small talk with me, and Eleanore was bouncing off the walls from her brown sugar and maple syrup pancakes from earlier, so I thought I'd kill the awkwardness before it had a chance to fog up the whole room. When I was finished, the woman gave me a compliment. A really great compliment, actually. She told me that I had a great story telling voice.

Wow.

Thank you.

...but no. Pffft. I couldn't just say "thank you" in return, could I? I had to say "Thank you", and then quickly bury it with a heavy disclaimer. I always have to spit out a speedy "but, but-" at any sincerely spoken rocket headed my way, stopping it before it strikes. By the time I realized how ridiculous I sounded, counteracting with something about dyslexia and how my "nice story telling voice" usually trips over words with an axe and tends to butcher children's stories like deli meat, it was too late. The woman was gone. Long gone. Would have jumped out the window if she couldn't get to the door to escape fast enough, gone. And I don't blame her. I totally wrecked her compliment, and then threw it back into her face. Why couldn't I just have said "thank you"?

Something else that has been brought to my attention recently, is the example that I'm setting (or not setting) for my children. How will they ever learn how to accept and enjoy a compliment, if I can't? Ugh.

From now on I'm going to make a conscious effort, to just say "thank you". Not "thank you, but-", because nobody wants to hear the "but". From now its going to be just... "thank you".

And that reminds me. I have an invisible stack of thank you notes piling up that need to be sent out. They're probably not going to be able to hold a stamp until their invisibility fades backwards into matter. Translation, I need to sit down and put the pen to the paper already.

A few (cute) ways to say thank you:

1) "Wise Old Owl Handmade Stamped Thank You Note Cards - set of 6", by PrettyHairClippies, $5.00.

2) "Enchanted Unicorn Greeting Card - Recycled Paper", by superfumi, $3.30.

3) "Thank You Cards, set of 3", by sickfeet, $8.00.

8 comments:

Corrie @ SugarBug Slings July 27, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

i am so guilty of having "thanks but" syndrome. i couldn't unconditionally accept a compliment even if it came wrapped in samoa girscout cookies and hundred dollar bills.

jessicajane July 27, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

someone at the commissary today asked me if my hair was natural, and i said yes..and she said, "I LOVE it." And I said thank you..and we were on about our ways..its that easy. LOL.

Kitty July 27, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

oh lord, i do that all the time!

i don't get compliments often, and i have NO grace in accepting them. someone compliments my hair, how i do something, they compliment ANYTHING, and i start blushing and stammering and forgetting how to talk.

it's ridiculous.

Christopher And Tia July 27, 2009 at 9:14 PM  

Corrie- I knew I wasn't the only one, which is why I had to post something about it. Its such a hard thing to get over.

Jessica- Phooey on you, haha, its not that easy for all of us! Pfff,t naturally gorgeous AND can take compliments, bah.

Christopher And Tia July 27, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Kitty- yes. exactly. like "how dare you compliment me" type a thing? ...we really need to try harder.

Lolly July 27, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

You think you're behind on mailing out shit? My daughter is four months old and I still haven't addressed and mailed out her birth announcements. What a waste of money.

AlyGatr July 28, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

I've never been great about taking compliments...but heck, compared to you, I'm old (hee hee) so I've had time to learn to just smile and say "thanks!" instead of doing what I used to do when I was younger, which was to take the compliment and turn it around into some snarky cut down of myself in a desperate attempt to seem humble.

OliveStreetStudio July 28, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

ITA about the compliment - why do women tend to do that? I'm guilty as well.

BTW- send me your baby clothes and I'll make you some good keepsake Memory Quilts that you can use now and pass down to the kiddies....see my blog for the ones we just finished....:-)

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