Compliments lift spirits, ages you nicely

 Compliment someone today. Tell ’em how nice they look.

Better yet, tell someone you meet what movie star they look like.

That’s what happened to me yesterday, and it lifted my spirits all day long. There’s nothing more positive as when a person compares you to someone you think is handsome and likeable. When choosing a star to compare to a woman, I always visualize a good-looking one, one that I like. Gotta be truthful. Can’t make a rose out of a  . . .I don’t know . . . a dish rag. But, we all share facial features with others whom we know we’ve been compared to before and kinda like the attention.

A woman wearing a bathing suit and bathing cap stood submerged in a swimming pool lane at the LA Fitness gym in Roxborough yesterday, chatting with another who wore none. Bathing cap, that is. (Don’t know where your mind drifted, this is not an X-rated Blog. Yet.) There are only three lanes, but two persons can share a single lane. All were occupied. So I says, “Ladies, which one of you would not mind sharing a lane with me?”

Both swimmers looked up at me standing on the walkway above the pool. The White woman said something and gestured to the side of the lane closest to the woman she was speaking to, an African American. “Oh no,” I said with all sincerety.” I don’t want to break up the two of you lovely ladies. Why don’t you swim next to your partner and I’ll take the outside lane.”

The outside lane has a metal devise protruding into the water from the landing above. A metal chair is connected to a pole-like feature that an impaired person could use to lower themselves into the water and not walk into the pool. It makes for a narrow passage, and I wanted to do the gentelmanly thing and take that liitle bit of discomfort.

Partner? Did you just call us partners?” the White woman, whose name was Joan, asked. “Do you know what that means when referring to two women?”

Float a compliment and watch it make someone’s day!

I was speechless. Had no clue, having just met them. Couldn’t really see them well. I wasn’t wearing my glasses. But, they were not fresh out of high school, so to speak. They laughed at my apparent loss of words and the shrug of my bare shoulders as I clutched a towel in one hand and spoke with the other. (Yeah, I know I said “spoke.” I’m Greek. Gotta use at least one hand to talk with or I’d be mute.)

I found my voice and said something funny. At least Joan laughed and turned to April, the taller woman who was Black, and said “Doesn’t he look like Dustin Hoffman?”

That  won me over. Felt great, younger. People have compared me to the actor ever since he starred in “The Graduate,” where he played a confused young man coming of age. Watched him flouirish in such movies as “Midnight Cowboy” (he played Ratso Rizzo, my least favorite), “Marathon Man” (teeth drilled by Sir Lawrence Olivier), and “Rain Man,” playing an idiot savant stealing scenes opposite Tom Cruise.

I bent down, spoke directly with Joan and heard April say something about a 90-year-old husband. I looked at Joan, but couldn’t tell her age with the head gear on. She joked like she was a teenager, but I could see some gray hair (could it have been white hair?) had come loose beneath the cap. Smiling, I asked who was 90 years old. “Her husband,” April said, laughing as I stared longer and harder at Joan.He must have robbed the cradle with you,” I said, loud enough for April to hear in the next lane, but looking directly into Joan‘s eyes.

You should have seen the smile come over her. She beamed from ear to ear. It had been my turn to make her day, and I think I scored with my words. The nice thing, is that they were all true. Straight from the heart.

Here’s looking at you kid:  live video i-married-joan. Told you that you reminded me of someone I liked on television! (See also wikipedia “I_Married_Joan”)

10 comments on “Compliments lift spirits, ages you nicely

  1. kalyani says:

    Cute story . Makes good reading and makes a point very well.


  2. Viv says:

    I’m not good at receiving compliments; in fact, I really suck at it. Terrible. I try not to be ungracious but anything about my appearance makes me anxious that someone is secretly mocking me, taking the mickey or being just sarcastic. It’s the same with other sorts of compliments: if it’s something I’m not 100% sure might be true(in my opinion) I am automatically suspicious.
    *sigh* I guess I have work to do.


    • contoveros says:

      What about your writing? Your good, damn good and I hope you know that and it is not only my opinion, but a helluva lot of others. At least in the States. Don’t know about that other continent. What do you call it, Europe?

      michael j


      • Viv says:

        Europe it is. I did sell ONE book in Germany.
        Yes, I do know I am good but in the depth of the night(literal and metaphorical) I doubt it. Had nightmares about it last night, woke crying AGAIN.
        You’re very kind. I like your stories, they draw me in nicely.


  3. You’re a very nice man Michael… the plain and simple truth as I see it! Your posts always make me smile… I feel a song coming on… And I have a feeling you might just say “Smile for Me, My Diane” Am I right?


    • contoveros says:

      The Bachelors
      Words & Music by Erno Rapee & Lew Pollack

      I’m in heaven when I see you smile;

      Smile for me, my Diane.

      And though ev’rything’s dark all the while

      I can see you, Diane.

      You have lighted the road leading home;

      Pray for me when you can.

      But no matter wherever I roam,

      Smile for me, my Diane.

      (Last time)

      Smile for me, my Diane.


  4. souldipper says:

    Yes, I agree, Michael J. Especially that it has to contain the truth. The Virtues Project taught me that I can acknowledge your *whatever virtue* even though I have no idea if you have only used that virtue once in your life – and I happened to catch you in the act!

    Great to not have to sit in the judge’s chair.


    • contoveros says:

      Sometimes I amaze my Self in getting so much from people by just being nice and friendly. Virtues Project. Gottta look into that. Sounds like something we all should take part in.

      Thanks Amy.

      michael j


  5. alywaibel says:

    Michael, you are such a treat! thank you for your stories!


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