What You Think of Me is None of My Business - really. I Don't Want to Hear It.

It was so cool to be sitting in the cafe with these other young women. I hadn't been close to the women in my undergraduate program. But now. I felt free. Sipping coffee and brushing blueberry muffin crumbs off my black skirt. 

"Wow. You know - you're really nice.", she gushed all astonished as if niceness were only available on Jupiter.

Thanks! 

Her new friend added, "Yeah, when I first met you I thought you had kinda a bitch-face, but you are nice."

Thanks?

"It's just that you are always so perfectly powdered and made up."

Oh.

"Oh. Well, I'm glad you realized that I'm....nice." I clutched that little NYC paper coffee cup and peered out of the coffee shop. I hoped Deborah Harry would walk by.   

I looked at them  - both so earnest and bonded to each other. We were in our mid-20s but I suspected that maybe not all of us had graduated from middle school. They would go on fight the good fight against sexism but were just as happy to take me out as a "bitch-face" and were rarin' to discount me because I like lipstick. 

Ah, but they came clean! They were honest!
We thought you were a shallow bitch but now we know you are okay. Aren't you glad you have our approval? 

The two of them went on to make a pact about how they were going to be good friends no matter what. And that they were not ever going to let silly things tear them apart. 

(What is the emoticon for rolling your eyes so far back into your head that they pop out your ears? We need to make one.)

So, for the record: Never, ever, ever, EVER tell someone that they are "nice" if you are going to follow it with anything that sounds at all like "I used to think you were a horrible, no-good, talentless hack!" 

Would it be so hard to just leave out the little extra and ugly part? I really don't want to make someone feel bad, especially after I just said something to make them feel good. I want to make people feel good, okay, validated or understood. 

Have you been on the receiving end of one of those fabulous "compliments"? 

Amantha Tsaros