Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The things people say

Sometimes people say things to us that we remember for a long time. They stay with us for years. I occasionally remember things from my childhood that mean nothing. Maybe a nice thing that a friend or teacher said that no doubt meant nothing to them, but somehow it has stayed with me, inexplicably "meaning something" to me.

And of course there are occasions when people say mean things. They don't always mean them to be mean, but they kind of are anyway. Like the first time I went to a hairdresser in central London, and she told me I was going thin on top.

But I want to focus on the nice things people say. Just as with mean things, though, the nice things aren't necessarily always intentional.

Here are two things people have said to me that I hold on to as compliments, though I know they maybe weren't meant to be.

1. An acting teacher once told me: "You remind me of Marlon Brando. You don't act so much as you react." Now, I know some people don't dig on Marlon, but many people regard him as one of the finest actors in the history of cinema. I'll gladly take that comment!

2. A friend once said: "You talk as though you are in a movie." Once again, some might perceive that as meaning I talk in a contrived, overly expletive-laden fashion with a few Americanisms thrown in. I think that means I talk like a cool and hip motherfucker!

So, dear readers, what have people said to you that you have decided to hold on to and consider compliments?

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Blogger Tanya said...

Hm. My singing teacher, Angela, once told me that I have "spunk". Which I took to mean I had a lot of guts. That I was brave.

27 March, 2007 11:42  
Blogger Tanya said...

OH... and I KNOW this wasn't intended as a compliment, but I took it as one anyway: someone said to me that I was the weirdest person they knew.

word verification: habono

27 March, 2007 12:27  
Blogger Pickled Olives said...

Marlon Brando isn't bad. But we do call our fatty cat Marlon. My male roomates when I was 21 told me I treated men like men treated women. I chose to take that as a compliment.

27 March, 2007 12:50  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Someone once told me I reminded them of Fenella Fielding. I took this as an enormous compliment because although she is not the most beautiful of women, her voice is wonderful and she has huge charisma.


27 March, 2007 12:50  
Blogger Milla said...

My friend Vanna told me she likes me coz I don't talk bullshit. I'm proud of that!

Word verification: POTSUN

27 March, 2007 13:22  
Blogger Shep said...

My new manager described me recently as a cross between George Clooney and Krusty the Clown.

Not quite sure what to make of that...

27 March, 2007 14:04  
Blogger Red said...

At college once, we were talking about exterior symbols of femininity: skirts, long hair, high heels... that type of things. At the time I had really short hair and wore Doc Martens a lot. The prof held me as an example of a woman who is so confident in her femininity she doesn't have to pay any heed to the trappings. It was the coolest thing anybody had ever said to/about me... (until I met you, baby).

27 March, 2007 14:13  
Blogger mist1 said...

I had a man tell me that I "was no trophy wife." I took that to mean that I'm very, very smart.

27 March, 2007 14:56  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

So...I was just minding my own buisness bored behind the concession stand at my local movie theater and part tiem job. All of the sudden a family of Londoner Britts step up to the plate to order some goodies.
They were absolutely hellarious. The twenty five your old sons were argueing about which candy to get. They wanted Twizzlers. The mother wanted Raisinettes and her arguement was that "those liquorish twists are saturated in unadulturated sugars and toxins."
I had to chime in to say that the Twizzlers are probably the best candy we have for you health and sugar wise. The sons cheered at their victory and promised me that if I ever came to England the Queen would know of my bravery and honor and welcome me into her courts with open arms.
I laughed to myself and immediatly thought of you and Red.
I am in favor with the queen.

27 March, 2007 15:08  
Blogger cappy said...

marlon eh? you don't look that bloated in your pics!

27 March, 2007 16:08  
Blogger Cynnie said...

My first grade teacher told me i was smart..just once...and in a very genuine way so that i believed her.
And i clung onto it throughout all the years i was told that i was stupid.

27 March, 2007 17:54  
Blogger martinobhoy said...

An Italian waiter telling me he had never seen a non-Italian drink so much grappa in one evening.

I took that as a huge compliment.

27 March, 2007 18:00  
Blogger Ben said...

Boy, there are just so many... How can I narrow it down?

27 March, 2007 18:50  
Blogger _z. said...

hmmm, yeah there are so many of these instances in my life....

let's see...

my thesis advisor (after a heated debate) telling me that I am more a theoretician and a reasercher and that he could very well see me in an academic milieu...

one could take it as a compliment, or apply the saying "those who can't do... teach"...

I, of course, would love it if one day I could give an architecture studio...

27 March, 2007 20:23  
Blogger _z. said...

* researcher... lol... so much for academia...

27 March, 2007 20:24  
Blogger Underground Baker said...

A very long time ago I was once (and perhaps only once) complimented by my very proper german ex-mother-in-law. She said "you have such nice...ah...mousy brown hair" as she touched my rag-tag, never brushed mop with two hesitant fingers.
It is still rarely brushed, but I am pleased to say that it is still naturally mousy rather than the alternative.

27 March, 2007 20:28  
Blogger Camie Vog said...

My brain usually shuts down when it senses a compliment coming from someone, so I can't think of a "positive" one...However, if one more person tells me that I look like Joan Cusack, in terms of complimenting me, I will do the "Britany" and shave my head!

27 March, 2007 21:08  
Blogger Ron said...

Someone once told me, "You frighten me, but I can't stop talking to you."


27 March, 2007 21:23  
Blogger ldbug said...

Oh, I love Marlon Brando "Stelllaaaaaaaaaa"

I can't think of one at the moment that's been said to me...but I know there have been a bunch.

27 March, 2007 21:50  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Marlon Brando is a compliment...I would say especially comingfrom an acing coach!

Um, my friend Scott says I am "heroically well-adjusted". Which is sort of a compliment because he has met my parents and knows my family...so really, it is a response to my history.

27 March, 2007 22:33  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

p.s. Hi, I just was trying to find the video you psoted of you talking for Stagg to see and couldn't find it, can you give me the link...

and while doing that I found you saying you finished The Road!!! I never read that area of your blog...I guess now it's because that was right when my dad died exactly

I was laughing so hard...I was very curious how you would take his style of writing. Is it possible to get the page number, and publisher of your copy...and any other grammatical things you found wrong, very interested. It's a good thing you cired at the end...how could you not?

27 March, 2007 23:46  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Thanks all. These are all really cool. People say the weirdest things, whether intended as compliments or whatever!

28 March, 2007 09:40  

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