Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flatter Me This....

"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent." ~ Horton, Dr. Seuss

If you know me at all, you know I'm truthful. Probably to a fault - but truthful nonetheless. So I'm sure you can imagine that pointless flattery makes me NUTS! Don't call me by a pet name if you  aren't in my inner circle. And don't tell me how cute my blouse is or how pretty my hair is if you don't mean it either. I abide by the Horton Hears a Who Rule. I mean what I say - even if I said it when I shouldn't have said anything at all. I expect the same out of others. haha
Let me give you an example of the whole 'pet name' thing. This little waitress at Top Golf last weekend almost sent me over the edge. We were in a group of a 9 - 4 girls, 5 guys - just having a good time. The guys were hitting balls while we girls were chatting about our lives. Obviously this was a golf place - and primarily dominated by men.  So like all good businesses catering to men, they had young girls running around taking orders for food and drinks. Only our group was "blessed" to be stuck with Suzie Suckup.  If she called us "baby" or "sweetie" or "honey" once...she called us that a million times.  I feel certain I was old enough to be her mother. And I'm 100% certain I wanted to stuff a golf ball or two in her mouth to make her stop!

I'm not sure if my issue is that it seems condescending or if it just annoys the heck out of me. I mean, I'm all about endearing words. My children will tell you that I call them all "baby" and I've been known to call Kerry "honey."  But I don't use those words lightly and I definitely don't use them with everyone I meet.

I also don't offer obligatory flattery to everyone I meet. I don't tell every man how handsome he is or how great he smells - even if I think it. I reserve that kind of discussion for the guys I know well! hah  Nor do I gush over a friend's new hairstyle or blouse unless I really like it. You can bet that if I compliment you, I ABSOLUTELY mean it.  (And my silence doesn't mean I dislike it either. So if I haven't said anything about something in your world...don't take that as a "oh Charee hates my hair!")

I wasn't that girl in high school that ooh-ed and ahh-ed over every cute boy. Nor was I the one that would giggle and blush when some boy would get really flirty with me. I was always in the "good girl" group to start with - and I think that came with a certain amount of respect. I have been blessed to be around great guys who were very nice without being sleazy! 

And  I'm pretty sure the guys I went to high school with that are reading this blog would tell you that the quickest way to my heart was to make me laugh. I'm still that girl. I LOVE to laugh - and I love to be around good, honest people. The friends I hold closest are the friends who would tell me if I have broccoli in my teeth or remind me that yellow is not my color. They are the ones who, when they tell me I'm pretty or that they like my outfit, are sincere. They don't say it for self gain and they don't say it because they think it's going to score them points. They say it because they care about me. And I treat them the same way!

In raising my girls, I have tried to instill that same idea in their heads. That should always be polite - and they should feel comfortable offering compliments to others. But they shouldn't use empty words. And just because some boy tells them how cute they are and how much he wants to spend time with them, it doesn't mean he's sincere. His words can be empty flattery meant to get what he wants out of that relationship. (Billy will be hearing this speech too - 24 or not! I know girls can be just as bad about it!)  Just because they tell you how great you are or how wonderful you look, it doesn't mean they are sincere. Nor does it make them a person worthy of your care and respect. So I want them to be careful in their own word, action and deed as well. Because I never want to hear they are "that" person either!

My hope would be that my children would always speak the truth in kindness, and that they would never say or do anything they don't completely mean. Words are very important and should be used wisely. And compliments or flattery are only as good as the heart which speaks them.

Oh - did I mention some of the worst cases of flattery seem to occur in bars? hahah!  "Hey sugar...you're lookin' pretty cute tonight....."  Only trashy girls/guys go for that stuff! (BLECH!) 

PS. Brent - you can still call me Char. I'm not offended by that.

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