I have trouble with compliments. They are basically my kryptonite.
Ali, I’m so proud of you.
OH MY GOD WHY?
Ali, I love your nose, it’s so adorable.
WHAT?! It’s completely asymmetrical and weird.
Ali, that dress looks so great on you!
Yeah, well, it’s because I’m super great at covering up my lumpy stomach bits.
Ali, your post was so funny.
Yes, I’m only funny accidentally and online. I’m horribly un-funny in real life. Sorry.
You compliment me, and chances are more-than-high that I’m going to downplay it, and deflect your attention. Oh look, it’s a squirrel in a funny hat! Try me. It’s like a fun little game.
On Friday morning I showed up at the Global Morning Show studio—un-coffeed and un-madeup, not bright-eyes and bushy tailed, unfortunately—to participate on a pre-Mother’s Day panel to discuss the portrayal of moms on television with two other lovely mom bloggers. I was excited. I mean, if there’s anything about which I could talk your head off—it’s pop culture. And I did.
And then there were compliments.
You did awesome!
Really, I looked so uncomfortable because I was trying not to lose my mic—there were some issues getting it attached to my dress and I spent the entire segment willing it not to crawl down my back.
You hair looked awesome.
Oh really, it was so big from the rain that I had to put it in a clip—what a nightmare!
Your dress looked so great.
Oh yes, well, that’s because it’s THE DRESS. It has nothing to do with me.
Let’s talk about your amazing shoes.
Oh well, they are, like, 3 years old and were probably $49 from ALDO.
You were hilarious.
No, I wasn’t. I said weird things about leggings as pants and I think I spoke too long about fascinators and I probably insulted women who wear fascinators in pools.
You were smart.
No, I wasn’t. I said weird things about my kids thinking that I’m a control freak like Claire Dunphy.
SEE? COMPLIMENTS AND I DO NOT MIX.
“Mama? I saw your segment.”
“It was awesome. You looked great, you talked well, you were funny, and you even mentioned me. You are the coolest mom on the planet.”
“THANK YOU EMILY.”
I didn’t argue, I didn’t deny it, I didn’t deflect. I simply thanked her.
Because she really, truly meant those words. She really did think I was great—she wasn’t just being kind.
And I want her to feel and know that when I tell her I’m proud of her, or how great I think she is, or how talented I know she is, or how beautiful she is both inside and out that I am not just being kind either.
I want her to know it, I want her to feel it, I want her to believe it, I want her to own it.
And I’m going to learn to do the same.