Thursday, October 20, 2011

Consolation Prizes: Wherein I Compare Ladies to Dogs (in a good way)

So the other day, I was standing in line to get a cup of overpriced coffee (is there any other kind these days?) and I overheard a guy complaining to his friend about how these days, girls just don’t know how to take compliments. He cited his experience on a date, during which he had remarked to his lady friend that he liked her dress, and she had responded by snapping at him.  “I don’t get it,” I heard him say to his friend.  “It’s not like she was a bitch, she just got mad when I complimented her.”  His friend seemed to shrug it off.  “Girls just do that,” he said.  “No one knows why.  Because they all expect to be complimented, it’s just a lot of them are snarky about it.”

At this point, I could no longer resist feigning deafness and I turned around.  I sighed.  I nodded sagely.

“Consolation prize,” I said.

There was understandable confusion between the two gentlemen.

“That’s why no one takes compliments anymore.  More often than not, they’re offered up as consolation prizes to bad news.  For example:  ‘You’re very talented at what you do, but it’s not right for our company,’ or ‘You’re amazing, but I don’t want to date you.’  Things along those lines.  Much as they say that you shouldn’t trust flattery, compliments can be suspicious.  It’s like the silver medal, the second place ribbon, the certificate for participation—the consolation prize.”

“I didn’t follow it up with bad news, though.  I just wanted to tell her that she looked nice,” the man said, somewhat endearingly.

“Well done to you, sir!  And I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically.  May I offer some words of wisdom to you?  Getting a new girlfriend is sort of like adopting a dog from a shelter.  You don’t always know where they’ve been or if they’ve been mistreated, but proceed slowly and be consistent and they’ll eventually stop growling at you when you try to pet them.  I don’t really mean that literally, but you could totally take it that way.  Not that I mean women should be compared to abused dogs.  I’ve just been watching a lot of ‘Animal Cops: Houston’ lately and it seems appropriate.”

The man scrunched his eyebrows in a way that probably meant, “Why are you still talking to me, weird girl?” but that I chose to take as a look of, “Thank you for your wise advice, mysterious stranger.”

Because if there’s one that this animal has learned, it’s that you should take compliments where you can get them, whether they’re intended as consolation prizes or not.

(Did I just compare myself to a shelter dog?!  What-the-ef-ever.)

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