I heard someone say this to a woman the other day: You have a regal nose. And I thought to myself, what a perfect compliment! Think about it – you can say it to friend or foe alike, sincerely mean it, and get away with it! The question is, which regal personality you were talking about. The poor woman has no idea you were referring to Julius Caesar, while she fancies her nose to be like that of Cleopatra’s or the Queen of Sheba’s.
It’s hard to say if that remark was intentionally equivocal, but its potential for diplomacy did make an impression on me. I made a mental note to compile one such list of perfect compliments.
See, an embarrassing moment seldom knocks before it stares you in the face. Before you know it, you find yourself in a position where you have to quickly think on your feet to say something nice. If you’re anything like me, you have an uncanny knack for landing right in the middle of these situations. Of course, don’t count on it to work all the time. For instance:
She: Look, I bought this (atrocious) outfit at Macy’s! What do you think?
You: You have a regal nose.
But imagine this:
She: That’s us in our honeymoon suite in the Poconos.
(Huh, I’m sure it is.) You’re looking at a picture that need not have been clicked to begin with, let alone passed around for people to frantically wonder what mentionable part – of the picture, that is – they could finally comment on.
You: Hey, you have a regal nose!
Tantadan! (That’s “Voila!” to you Francophiles). 1) You found something harmless enough to mention; 2) You meant every word you said – I mean, with so many kings and queens floating around in history books, there’s got to be someone who matches that nose. And finally, you made someone’s day with the perfect compliment. S.m.o.o.t.h.!
Watch out for the pitfalls, however. If you’ve already complimented someone on their regal nose, you want to refrain from commenting on their presidential chin. Especially so if that someone is a woman.
Well, the list has no end. Unfortunately, it hasn’t had a start either. At least not yet. But it’s imperative that one has it handy. If you come up with something, let’s hear it!
As for the one who mentioned the regal nose, what can I say, other than a heartfelt Thank You – for inspiring this post ;)