I was in the supermarket, idly screening the selection of butter with the faint hope there would be one claiming to be goat-issue and organic.
It had been a longish day, there is always dating tension, my basket hung heavily on my arm. I wasn't in a bad mood, really, but I could have been more chipper.
A woman walked by in a cheerful red sundress, white wires dangling from her ears, flip-flops thwacking. Without breaking her stride, she flashed me a big grin and said, "I love your shoes!"
Broken from my revery, I managed to stammer in reply, "Thanks!" She then disappeared down the ice cream aisle. I turned back to my dairy analyzation, but I found myself standing straighter. My chest felt lighter. I think I may have even been smiling to myself.
I left the store with my head held high, humming a tune under my breath. I then realized what was going on.
You are kidding me, I thought. A complete stranger makes a casual compliment about my footwear, and that's it? I'm good to go?
It made me think of the other way, how an early mean-spirited comment can totally ruin my day. I'm a morning person; when I first wake up (close to dawn) it's as good as it's gonna get. To have that buoyancy compromised, with a few words, is a feat of language.
Choose your words wisely.
I have to compliment more.