Aren’t You Elle Macpherson, Part Two: "The Compliment Curve Ball"

I’m continuing my chat about compliments. Here’s another ruby from my treasure chest of verbal antiquities.

“Sweetie Pie, will you do that again?”

“What?” she asked, confused by my request.

“Put the trash bag back inside the can and lift it out again so I can watch and learn.”

She obliged, in slow motion, while she stared at me the exact same way someone might study a peculiar abstract painting.

“Your form is perfect,” I complimented. “Every time I try that, the plastic handle rips off and I spill coffee grounds on the carpet.”

“Sure, I can teach you my method,” she offers. It’s really not that complicated.”

“Thanks, Cupcake, but some people’s talents can’t be duplicated – they’re like fingerprints. Michael Jordan and you have a lot in common. Mike could devote his entire life to instructing me on how to windmill dunk from the free-throw line, but I’d fail miserably and probably tear my ACL.”

She smiled and took out the trash while I stuffed a wedge of freshly baked pecan pie in my mouth.

Aren’t You Elle Macpherson?

Zeus“You never compliment me – ever!” she shouted.

“Oh, for Poseidon’s sake!” he shot back. “Let’s check in with reality. First of all, I’m perfect and you’re not. That means you’re the one who should be adoring me with adulation and flattery.”

Hera could not believe his massive ego, as big as Mount Olympus. At times he could be so charming, but lately she wanted to stick lightning bolts up his ancient Greek Cyclopes’ ass.

Zeus ignored her and began rearranging the planets, which he knew would really piss her off.

Sincere compliments are as rare as golden eggs. The car dealer exclaims that you’re one of only a few customers who can appreciate the smart look of the smoked-pewter sedan. The clothing store clerk announces that the mauve and black scarf looks divine around your wife’s neck. The waitress congratulates your selection of wine. And your daughter’s teenage date asks if you’ve ever competitively lifted weights.

Don’t Knock the Knickknacks Conclusion: Plywood Polka Dot Lady

Holiday knickknacks are the worst in this category. At the outset, let’s acknowledge the verifiable difference between a festive decoration, which is acceptable, and an authentic knickknack, which is deplorable. For instance, a wreath on your front door qualifies as a decoration. On the other hand, a set of cheese-spreading elf knives meet the criteria for a knickknack. Does a home really need knives adorned with imps to help celebrate the Yuletide season and pay homage to the Christ Child on his birthday? In a set of 12, each knife features a plastic handle that’s professionally painted with a pudgy elf. The handle attaches to a wide, thin metal blade rounded at the tip, similar to knives used by construction workers for spreading spackling compound. These elf knives scoop cheese from a pecan-coated ball for spreading onto crispy crackers shaped like Christmas trees. The $17.99 investment meets the requirements to achieve “deplorable” status since people display the elf knives only once a year.

Don’t Knock the Knickknacks Part Two: “Apes in Drapes”

All husbands participate in decisions about home decorating – no surprises in that statement. The only suspense involves during which step of the decision-making process you will be asked for an opinion. The brainstorming phase? The in-store evaluation phase? The actual “go” or “no-go” purchase phase? Or the most practical one for husbands, the after-delivery-validation-head-nodding-yes phase?

If God unraveled creation and instead empowered husbands to make decorating decisions, then all homes would resemble five limited themes: the western saloon theme, jungle tree house, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, ammunitions bunker or the baseball dugout (where you can spit anywhere). But God won’t undo history because He’s a little set in His ways. As a result, the majority of husbands will continue their present course and require professional guidance to circumvent conundrums inside the labyrinth of home décor.