Saturday, March 1, 2008

Good lookin'

It's never a good idea to try and fish for compliments from a child because they tend to be brutally honest. In our family, couple this with an innate tendency for backhanded compliments and you have a recipe for disaster. Slow learner that I am though, I continue to ask for abuse. Yesterday the kindergartner was talking about a story where the child thought his mother was the most beautiful mother in the world so I stupidly asked who he thought was the most beautiful. He told me I was (I do make him meals, afterall) without any hesitation but then gravely followed this with "Even though you're the prettiest, you do have an awful lot of freckles." Even without giving any credence to his change from "beautiful" to the slightly less intense "pretty" (which, incidentally, was probably intentional as he has an amazing vocabulary and the skill to use it to boot), it is clear to me that freckles don't make the beauty cut, despite said child having his own scattering of "brown spots" across that sweet face.

I did better on the compliment front a few weekends ago when I took the kids and headed up north to freeze our rears off at the annual Snows Fest by our cottage. I went out to a bar with my friend J. despite my not being a bar kind of person. For the record, I'm also not a stay up late kind of person nor an enjoys herself in large groups of strangers kind of person so this whole adventure was out of character. But I was along for the ride (and to drive all the more entertaining people home safely) and I decided to enjoy it. As I drank my water (my Lenten resolve against soda is still holding on but was sorely tested by the fishy tasting water at the bar), my friend abandonned me to go out to a fish shanty. You know: those things they drag out onto frozen lakes to ice fish in as if that could possibly be fun? Yes, apparently an old friend of hers and his buddies were fishing and wanted to head to the bar so they hooked up the shanty to the single snowmobile and dragged it full of people, propane heater still cookin' along, off the lake, up to the bar, and parked it on the road. Even better, the shanty was decorated with grass skirts all around it since the theme of the festival this year was Caribbean. Where but Michigan's UP would you see such a sight? So I'm sitting uncomfortably with people I don't know when I am summoned to the shanty. Apparently J. and C. have cooked up a plan to take the shanty another 4 or so miles to a farmhouse to party and they need me to come too. I poke my head into the shanty and C., whom I've never met before, takes one look at me and says, "You're f***ing adorable. I don't know you." Nevermind that he was blind drunk. Nevermind that he was younger than I am. It was the best part of the evening (I was also deemed "neat" later in the night). I guess freckles are just fine in his world. Perhaps I should let my kindergartner learn compliments from C.? Nah. Oh, and as for my husband's response? He was a little miffed that his compliments don't make me grin stupidly for days the way this one did. But like me fishing for the compliment from the kindergartner, he *has* to tell me I'm beautiful because he's stuck with me. ;-) Unsolicited compliments always trump the obligatory ones.

Oh, and we did take the fish shanty for a ride. It was terrifying and hysterical and fun all at the same time. But I don't think I want to do it again (unless I get a crazy compliment first!).

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