Thursday, November 4, 2010

Age: A Compliment or Comment?

I am 36 years old. Sometimes I feel much younger and other days I feel ancient.

Yesterday I received a comment from a man (who is my age) that I look much younger than him. Then he said, “How is that possible?” I laughed out loud. I’ve also had a friend say, “I always forget your age, you don’t look 36!” My reply was, “Gee thanks, but what does 36 look like?”

Backhanded compliments are such an oddity to me and generally no offense is taken. I’m not sure if people are just making poor conversation, whether they don’t realize how their words are perceived or whether they are being passive aggressive.

The old adage if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say it at all, seems appropriate about now.

What’s the funniest ‘backhanded compliment’ you’ve received?

18 comments:

  1. I have to laugh because there is one person that makes these comments to me often. Just yesterday he said, "wow, you really do look much younger than you are!" I guess it's meant as a comment but it makes me feel old... as if 29 is such a huge number! My philosophy on age is that I'm as old as I feel... I like to ignore the number or better yet, forget it entirely!

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  2. I don't know. Nobody acts surprised when I tell them that I am 36. I wish they did. :(

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  3. I had this neighbor who used to be quite petite tell me that I'm skinny just big boned after having my daughter. No one has ever told me that I am fat, big boned etc ever. She must have perceived herself as much smaller than I felt like she looked...now she is far heavier than me oddly enough. Anyways, if that was her way of complimenting me as not being fat I don't think I got it. lol. Funny nonetheless.

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  4. I got a Christmas present once for Foot Locker and the person that gave it to me said, "I noticed your shoes are looking worn out." I appreciated the gift, but not the insult to my shoes! I got clothes instead and still wear my worn out shoes! :) I'm not sure if that is the type of backhanded compliment you're talking about, but it's just what came to my mind! :)
    Big Fat Mama

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  6. My neighbor once gave me two shirts that her mother-in-law bought for her own daughter. Her mother-in-law bought them at Walmart. As she handed them to me, she said, "Here . . . you can have these. My daughter doesn't wear 'WALMART'." A few weeks after that, as we stood waiting for the bus, my neighbor commented on the cute outfit my daughter was wearing that day. She asked where I got it, and I told her, "Walmart. Everything looks so cute on Kate. It doesn't matter where I buy it. I swear, she'd look adorable in a paper sack."

    I feel bad about saying that, but I still was so bothered by her Walmart comment. I'm sorry ... I don't need to buy my daughter a $50 t-shirt (that she'll out grow in 2 months) to prove anything. Walmart is just fine with me!!

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  7. My mother in law's friend told me that I would be so pretty if I wasn't so fat...Nice, huh!? I wanted to say back to her: You'd be so nice if you just didn't talk!, but I didn't. I smiled and moved on, not wanting to draw more attention to the situation since it was at a party and there were 4 other women around. She's obnoxious and I try to ignore her presence and move around her.

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  8. "You look good for .... (insert qualifying statement)."

    Not as nice as just telling someone they look good.

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  9. Of course now that I'm trying to come up with one, I can't think of any :) And I've literally spent 5 minutes thinking about it. Go figure.

    This isn't a compliment but I absolutely can't stand when people say "you look tired today." Hmm, gee thanks!

    TGIF, girlie! Hope you all have a nice weekend!

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  10. You are so beautiful. Your daughter is so beautiful. Your family is so beautiful and you are always so sweet. I often read your comments on Mama's Little Chick site.
    I wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SURPRISING ME AND VISITING my site from the NESTWORK. It was a shock - how wonderful to feel special by someone - you and Mama Hen have made my day!
    I'm a proud follower of yours!!
    Bianca

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  11. Oh my word. I get these a lot being very thin with 3 small children! All I can says , 'ah ha, thanks?'

    and you are beautiful! whether you're 36 or not:D

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  12. TV you are beautiful and will be when you are 96. Beauty comes from within. I get a lot of comments about looking younger. I used to get a lot more when I was thin. I guess I need to start the pilates! Ha! This year I will be 40 and I am not sure how to take it. I think we all are as old as we feel from within. Have a great night my friend!

    Mama Hen

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  13. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I'm following right back! I agree with Mam Hen--you are beautiful. I actually received a similar "backhanded compliment" from my COM 107 students. (I teach first year college students.) They said I looked much younger than 35, but then they said, "Wow, you really are a LOT older than us." Ummm....thanks.

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  14. Well, I'm 35 & get comments like that a lot. Most people think I am in my 20's. I sometimes do feel slightly offended, because I imagine they think that due to my immature, silly ways sometimes?? OH, well...

    I think it was definitely a compliment to you! :)

    BTW, I would LOVE if Vanity or Glamour ever published my small talk quiz. I'm pretty sure they'd print it out and use it at the bottom of their bird cage.

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  15. It wasn't mine, but once upon a a time my (divorced) mom was waiting on a customer at the credit union she worked at when he said "is all that hair yours?" She told him, "well I sure wouldn't have bought it". They ended up having coffee and long story short, became my step-father several years later.

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  16. I don't take compliments well, back-handed or not. They make me feel awkward and kinda sheepish. When, I used to go out to bars years and years ago, I would tell young suitors that I was 34 when really I was 24, just to hear them gasp at how great I looked for my age. I got a pretty good charge out of it, and oddly it made me desireable for some reason. I try to remember that now that I am in my 30's.

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  17. I can't think of one right now, but I am sure that I have had a million of them. I am following from the Friday Blog Hop
    Having Fun Blogging
    mrsphilipswithonel@gmail.com
    http://mrsphilipswithonel.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-very-first-giveaway.html

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  18. "That sermon was so good I hardly got sleepy."

    "That" indicates the specific sermon they are referencing as opposed to all the others! :)

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