The Anatomy Of A Botched Compliment

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The jacked up compliment: we’ve all been the recipient of one. Or 100. If your man’s latest compliment to you was the verbal equivalent of a Taco Bell FourthMeal—something that never should’ve happened—there is hope. I urge you to take some time, and break that botched compliment down;  I’ll bet you’ll find the intended meaning melts your heart. Unless that organ is black like mine.

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Common flawed compliments and their translations include:

He says, “Mmm, I just love those curves.” All you hear is, “Fat. Fat. Fatty. Fat. Fat. Fat.” However, what he means is, “You’ve been hitting the Cool Ranch ‘ritos pretty hard, but that doesn’t matter to me, ‘cause I looooove you. And I think you’re sexy just the way you are.”

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He says, “Babe, you’re the best kisser. I want you to kiss me everywhere.” While you should get all wobbly in the knees, you just start wondering, “Well, why is his frame of reference so large that he can start using superlatives to describe my smooches? How many were good? Exactly who was better? And define everywhere.” What he literally meant was, “Babe, you’re the best kisser. I want you to kiss me everywhere.” Not a whole lotta translation needed here. In this case, you need to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self, crazygirl.

He says, “Now that I’ve met your parents, I understand why you’re so wonderful.” Instead of immediately concluding that he must have been questioning your ostensibly stellar qualities and motives right up until this meeting with the ‘rents, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Since your man did just endure two full hours of conversation about how exciting Will Smith’s movies are and how positively insightful Michael Buble’s music is, I think we owe him that. What he really means here is that your parents are…umm…great, and it totally makes sense because you are obviously an angel straight from heaven.

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He says “I love your new hair color. It’s just like when Rihanna went red.” Now, I heard this one not long ago, and I fumed with anger at Clairol, at the world, and at my husband’s horrible timing, my tears mingling with the red streaks of dye on my cheeks. Of course, I was the hot mess who knew better sitting in the Stephen King bathtub in my underwear, but still, I thought he could’ve been more sensitive. Now I understand that he was genuinely trying to make me feel better, and I really should’ve appreciated the fact that 1.) He held back the truth: I looked like Elmo, and 2.) He suppressed the one question he was dying to ask during this whole ordeal: “Does the carpet match the drapes?”