Monday, September 26, 2005


In Which I Am (Apparently) Hot...

There's nothing like an unexpected compliment to make you realize just how insecure and completely lacking in self-confidence you really are.

Don't misunderstand. Being complimented on things you do well--or at least try to do well--is wonderful too (For example, one of you nominated me for a BOB award. And while I have no chance of winning, the gesture itself was a fine compliment). It's wholly satisfying and essential, like a big meal in a warm kitchen after working outside all day in the cold.

Getting an unexpected compliment is something else again. It's the stolen kiss that is sweeter than all others. And so it is in my specific case today, because someone paid me a compliment I've never been paid before.

Someone told me she thought I was hot.

This someone was not my wife (who by the way is bound by law to rain compliments upon my needy head, but has never yet seen fit to call me hot, except in circumstances involving fever), which in its own way makes the compliment all the more special.

And I can take some enjoyment from it because I know that the compliment was both sincere and yet innocent. Well, innocent to the extent that it was not a prelude to any kind of morally precarious situation (well, not too much of one, anyway). But I have every reason to believe it was heartfelt, and so I've been carrying it around inside me, this quiet little fire that has been warming me all the way to my toes.

It occurs to me that I probably don't do this enough, compliment others for no reason other than I see some quality in them and feel compelled to blurt it out because I really mean it. Obviously, decorum, and sexual harassment law prohibit me from saying things at work. But that's not a problem here, where I have hundreds of close, personal strangers to share my opinions with.

So, I'd like to pay out a few compliments that occur to me right now. More to follow:

Jack: Ever since I've known you--and probably long before that--you've labored under the reputation of being an irresponsible fuck-up. But in all the ways that count, you are one of the most conscientious, responsible men I know. Outside of my family, there are maybe 3 people to whom I would willingly entrust my life. Guess who's at the top of the list, brother?

Shane: I want you to know I mean this in most impersonal, chest-thumping, manly way, but: you're one handsome man. It floors me that you're considered a "guy-next-door" type. All I can say is, I'm glad you're not the guy next door to me. My wife is home all day and she thinks you're shit-hot.

Sharfa: Words cannot convey how glad I am that you started blogging. I hope you continue to do it as much as you can. You're a much better writer than you probably think you are.

And you: It's one thing to be called "hot" by any old someone. It's another thing entirely to get that compliment from someone who truly is. Earlier, I likened the unexpected compliment to a stolen kiss. In your case, I wish it really was. If I were Shakespeare, I'd write you a sonnet. But since I'm me, the best I could manage would be a halfway decent haiku, which I will probably write today. Or tomorrow.

And which I will not be publishing here.

When I first started writing this entry, I had it in the back of my mind to round things off by suggesting we all take a moment--or even make it a once-a-week kinda thing--to be sure and give someone else an unexpected compliment. But saying that here would be an insult to all of you. Because aside from the very occasional troll, I have been nothing but impressed with the kindness and gentleness you tend to show each other leaving comments in blogs.

So if anything, you've all inspired me to make more of an effort to do the same, to be a better person than I am.

And I mean that as a compliment.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

Well, when you first started posting more pictures of yourself I had the idea in my head that you looked like my version of Richard Mayhew.

o_o Just because I think I kept forgetting to say that. If I just repeated myself, I'm sorry. >_>
Well it wasn't me, but I will definitely vote for you. Your blog is hot!

You don't have to compliment me as long as you send me free crap. Just kidding.

You're definitely encouraging, don't short change yourself.

Also, I saw # fucking 38 yesterday at a toy show. Yeah, I'm lame I went to a toy show. It was glorious though, but I held off on buying him since you promised it.

No Pressure.

Jack: Ever since I've known you--and probably long before that--you've labored under the reputation of being an irresponsible fuck-up.



Who's been talkin what about who now?
It's funny, how much a compliment can make your day...week...month...and how the context of the compliment can really make a difference. I'm amazed and awed when fantastic writers comment on my blog (I think leaving a comment is a compliment in itself), and have been floored when I've received appearance-related comments related to anything but my rear end (J Lo's got nothing on me - there are a certain set of people who generally appreciate my 'ass'ets).

Anyway, go you - for both receiving a well-deserved compliment and paying it forward, as it were.
You deserve top honors (with occasional coffee spew alerts)!
I'm floating 4 feet off the floor right now. Coming from you, I consider that the ultimate compliment! You are an inspiration, and the sole reason I started blogging. Thank you.

I wouldn't count you out of the running for a BOB award either. You've developed quite a following and certainly deserve one.
MM, while I like your writing, I must admit I've never thought of you as being hot. But then, I like girls. Now your BLOG is definitely hot.
I know I said I wasn't gonna do this but I can't help myself. Your piece today was very nice. I said you had a voice made for NPR, I meant that as a compliment. Please take the you know what down. It is depressing me :(
No apparently about it. Don't you know? You and Shane head up the Blogosphere HVH club...Hottie Von-Hottenheimers. ;)

In all seriousness, it's nice to hear how someone's kind words have brightened your day/week/month.
Ok, first of all, thank you. Secondly, I'm stealing "shit hot." Thirdly, if I *did* live next door to you, it sounds like there'd never be a dull moment in the neighborhood. Between fence jumping, mean dog, getting kicked in the baseballs, prowling neighbors scaring the bejesus out of you, parking on sidewalks, and being the local kid catch-all, Magazine Mansion sounds like a pretty entertaining place to live next to.

Congratulations on the BOB nomination!
"There's nothing like an unexpected compliment to make you realize just how insecure and completely lacking in self-confidence you really are."

That's just perfect.

She is right.
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