10 Compliments I Wish I’d Gotten Throughout My Life

“I love how you only blinked once when asked what it feels like to be middle-aged by a colleague who’s five years younger than you!”

1. From My Preschool Teacher

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“It’s very smart of you to remain awake while all of the children are napping. Your wily spy skills will enable you to catch me as I sneak the desserts out of everyone’s packed lunch, for that is the only reasonable explanation as to why your mother hasn’t included a Tastykake lately.”

2. From a Boy in My Fifth-Grade Class

“I am really impressed that you know all of the words to the obscure song ‘My Mother’s Wedding Day’ from the musical Brigadoon. Like you, I was also not allowed to watch The Brady Bunch last night, and instead caught the showing of that movie on PBS. If we were not but 10 years old, I would whisk you away to live together forever in that magic Scottish dale.”

3. From the Most Popular Girl in My Grade

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“You did such a great job of applying multiple layers of concealer, foundation, and pressed powder that I can barely tell you suffer from extremely intense adolescent acne. It’s really only in the very brightest of lights that it’s apparent. You should probably look into stage makeup as a career, you deeply talented artist, you.”

4. From That One Really Hot Senior Guy

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“Wow, many people are fans of Monty Python, but it takes a very sexy woman to be able to recite all of the “Dead Parrot” sketch on the dance floor of a high school prom while Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” is playing and other couples are slow-dancing. Your physical awkwardness means nothing to me now. Come on over here, hot stuff!”

5. From a Native New Yorker

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“Sure, you walked down the street wearing a Oberlin sweatshirt and cowering from every single person who walked by, but I totally believed you were a native New Yorker! I can’t believe you are only here on an internship. I almost asked you if the 2 was running local today!”

6. From a Theater Major

“Hey, girl, when you auditioned for that college show, and then ran out of the theater crying because you thought you did such a terrible job, and then sobbed so hard that your shirt was soaked in the front, and then realized that you had left your backpack in the auditorium, and then had to go back in between auditions, and then the director looked at you sympathetically and said, ‘Honey, are you OK? Do you need to find someone to talk to about this?’ I just want to say that I thought you handled it very smoothly and convincingly when you said, ‘I don’t know what you mean. It’s just allergies; I am fine.’”

7. From a Theater Director

“Yes, I was just staring at your boobs while you gave a long and complicated answer to my interview question. But something about how you explained the ‘real meaning’ of Our Town caught my attention. I’m going to hire you to work in this theater, and I’m going to sign myself up for some intensive therapy to get over my lecherous ways. Thanks for teaching me so much in just a few minutes. Also, and I say this without any agenda, your hair looks great!”

8. From a Salesperson at Bloomingdale’s

“I know that most people would visibly flinch at receiving a bridal registry listing for a friend’s second wedding, especially if they’ve never been married themselves, but you really covered your agitation with that very deep breath through your nose. Good for you!”

9. From a Co-Worker

Maritsa Patrinos/BuzzFeed

“I love how you only blinked once when asked what it feels like to be middle-aged by a colleague who’s five years younger than you! That shows amazing fortitude! Also, you are totally still young enough to pull off that lip color.”

10. From a Chipotle Crew Member

Maritsa Patrinos/BuzzFeed

“A lot of women try too hard to hold on to their youth. I really admire the way you’ve shown up at this Chipotle without makeup and in yoga pants that have a cream cheese smear on the leg. The bandana around your greasy, unwashed hair shows you’re down-to-earth and comfortable with yourself. You do you, lady. You do you.”

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