Strange Days Indeed


I don’t normally wear hats.  I like hats.  Hats generally suit me, but I don’t often wear them.  Yesterday I wore one of my favourite hats and on the walk between my car and the dentist’s office, I received three separate compliments.

“Nice hat!” smiled the strange man with the beanie.

“Love the hat.” The woman with the pretty shoes, gave me a thumbs up.

“Great hat,” said the old man with the cane.

Now none of these compliments were aimed at me, just the hat.  Interestingly, they made me feel great.

Today I was the reading helper in my daughter’s class.  One little girl piped up, “You’re Felicity’s mum aren’t you?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“You’re very pretty,” the little girl told me.

“Thank you,” I said.

Walking back from the school to my apartment, I contemplated the wondrous nature of children and how they say things like this without knowing the recipient of their praise at all.   Of course, I wondered whether she was just looking for a gold star from me but I decided to opt for a more positive outlook.

While wandering along, appreciating the day and my classroom experience, my path crossed with that of a man walking in the other direction.

“Gee you’ve got lovely eyes,” he said.

“Well thank you,” I replied.

We both kept walking. Me with a giant big grin on my face.

Now I’m new to this area and maybe this is some kind of local council initiative.  Maybe they conduct ‘pay a compliment day’, I’m not sure.  Here’s what I do know.  Those compliments made me feel good.  I fairly bounced through the door of the butcher on my way home, smiled at everyone in sight and texted my sister-in-law (who does my eyebrows) to tell her what a great job she’d obviously done!

I am not some svelte, six foot model wandering the street wearing designer clothing or perfect (any) make up.  I don’t get compliments every day, unless it’s on the meal I’ve cooked.  These compliments from random strangers, who had nothing to gain by paying them, truly made my day.  I know I’m not on my own in this.  Everyone loves a genuine compliment, so here’s where my thoughts went next.

This week is Mental Health Week (well here in Australia it is anyway).  I’m thinking that next year, one day during Mental Health Week we could institute ‘pay a compliment day’ or some such thing, where people should feel free to pay compliments to strangers (because face it, this is not something we normally do).

Surely in a world where we spend so much time being told about what’s wrong with our ensembles, our hair, our weight, our lifestyles, our everything; one day a year where we felt safe to say something nice to a stranger, wouldn’t be a bad thing.  If we lived in Bhutan, we’d top out the measure for gross national happiness, I’m sure.


4 responses »

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    I got a recommendation from a mutual friend to come and check out your blog – I’ve just started my own, and I’ve read a grand total of one of your posts so far. As a reader, I can say with full confidence that what I’ve read so far is getting your blog a spot on my favourites tab – definitely the inspiration I’ve been looking for 🙂

  2. Hi Adelle,
    Well congratulations on joining the blogosphere. I’m sure you’ll find the whole process to be an easy and fun undertaking.

    Thanks for the favourites tab, glad I can be of some inspiration. I believe you’ve just given me my smile for the morning!

    • That’s the funny thing, the hat is a Big W special. I saw it on a little girl at school and said to the girl’s mother “I really love her hat.” The mum laughed and told me where to get one. Turns out EVERYONE loves the hat! I’ll take a photo when I can.

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