Monday, 6 February 2017

Compliments, Coral Pink and Eyebrow Pencil

Learning to accept compliments graciously has been a long and difficult lesson.  I'm much better than I used to be though still it's not one of my greatest skills.  Most of us usually get compliments of the easiest to manage type, which is a comment on something we possess.  "I like your shoes"  or, "Cool car".  I am now quite able to smile and immediately offer a gracious thanks, but will probably not manage to refrain from adding some facts.  For your benefit of course.  I am a firm believer that everyone wants facts, so if you admire my car I will begin to tell you just about everything there is to know about it although I will not actually make it through the entire list since somewhere around five facts in I will suddenly realise what I am doing.  Perhaps this is due to the look on your face or the fact that you've fallen asleep.  Still, this is a great improvement on my one time inability to accept compliments at all without basically arguing against it.  My mother pointed out to my younger self that to refute someone's compliment is not the modesty I believed it to be but rather an insult to that person's taste and judgement.

So now, I am highly aware of the need to smile and say thank you and I am also aware that I am generally supposed to stop there but often I don't.  If the compliment is about my person, "I like your haircut" or "You have nice eyes" I will be uncomfortable enough that a thank you is about all I can manage before awkwardly trying to change the subject or to return the compliment despite being fully aware that "thanks, you have nice eyes too" possibly sounds a little insincere.

Compliments about my character or abilities, such as "You are so ( insert nice thing here ) almost tip me over the precipice, body flailing forward, toes clinging to the very cliff edge.  It's at this point that I will usually cling to the spindly branch that is my sense of humour.  My sense of humour is dry, usually self-deprecating and often black.  Frequently this is the point where the branch breaks off in my hands.

It's a basic formula.  Receive a compliment, panic, tell an awkward joke which might be misinterpreted or simply not understood and proceed with hoping for some greatly distracting even to occur.

Speaking of compliments.....

I am growing out my pixie AGAIN!.  And this time taking into consideration that the problem is probably not length but style and also the fact that there are awkward phases which one must make the best of.  I am not really sure what I am aiming for but I know it will be layered and I know it needs to be a feeling and look of more hair than a pixie.  Despite liking the look of the pixie from the front I rarely like it from all angles.  It doesn't matter how many other people tell me they like it, if I am not comfortable I need something else.

So, in those awkward phases of growing out one does not expect an compliments on hair.  Mine is slightly wavy or often more accurately described as having sticking out bits.  It is not at all symmetrical and grows in different directions on either side  with the right side of my head wanting to curl forward and the left side to curl back.  The back of my head is curly enough that when it's long I nearly  have ringlets and my bangs and nearly poker straight.

ARRGGHHH!    At the moment I have been giving myself little trimmings now and then to avoid mullet territory and as I can never really decided wither to grow bangs out or keep them, I sporadically trim them and then leave them to grow longer.  On some days my hair cooperates and looks pretty good and almost like it's in a deliberate style.  Not every day though.

On this day it was not cooperating at all and I just wanted my bangs off my face.  One purpose of this photo was to get a sense of whether or not this hair arrangement looked reasonable enough for public viewing.  The other purpose of the photographs was to examine the colour contrast of my coral pink top ( it's lighter in reality that it looks here ) with the beige ( I want a better colour name-bisque? Almond? ) cardigan.  I tend to dislike two-colour high contrast and this seems more contrasting to me than what I usually wear.   While it may not be my favourite colour combination in just a pairing, I would add a third colour if going out, in the form of a scarf.  I think the contrast of the colours is actually working fine with my own colouring and it's just my personal taste hesitating. 

 Oh what the heck, let's test that addition colour.  The light is already changing; darn that quickly moving sun.  I will grab my camera, just a moment.......

 Oh my goodness I don't like this lighting.  Everything is already looking slightly greener, including me!  I think it was a cloud that was to blame.  I like the tri-colour combination better but the overall look is a bit bundled up and I don't care for the pink of the top showing through the open weave of the cardigan.

Note to self:wear this cardigan with lighter colours

This next photo looks better and so does the outfit.  More classic styling than my typical boho-redux  looks but I am wearing it with faded boot cut jeans and if I were going out would likely add some dangling leaf shaped earrings.

 In Case You Wish to Compliment My Eyebrows

I am also road testing some eyebrow pencil.  I applied it in a manner that felt a bit
heavy-handed but I realise I am cautious.  I've examined it in a mirror in natural lighting and while I have determined that anyone familiar with makeup would know it's there it doesn't look as fake as I thought it might.  My eyebrows are naturally quite light and can tend to disappear on my face.  The pencil is a light golden brown, something you would give NIcole Kidman to use and it seems to harmonise with my hair colour and to be balanced with the rest of my face.


  1. Cris and I giggled our way through this post! Love the falling over the cliff clutching to a breaking branch analogy for receiving compliments. It certainly would provide the needed distraction!
    Oh by the way "your eyebrows are looking particularly charming today" would certainly cause them to be raised! Actually I didn't notice them until you mentioned them, so they must be a good tone for you. I think they blend with your hair quite well.
    xo JJ

    1. You made poor Cris read about my eyebrows? I wonder if they are the eyebrows of someone gifted. Oh wait, I forgot the thank you part. Thank you for saying my eyebrows are looking charming and the fact that you didn't notice them is my favourite compliment of all. It means I succeeded in making them look natural enough. xo

  2. Hey Shawna ... I popped into blogland this morning to catch up on a few posts ... I loved this one of yours! Your writing is awesome and I agree that while accepting compliments can be difficult, without adding the facts, your Mom was right about that to refute someone's compliment is not the modesty I believed it to be but rather an insult to that person's taste and judgement." Often when I compliment someone and they start to give the "facts answer" I say to them "Just say Thank You". It is a lesson that has been hard learned for me too.

    1. Hi lovely Lynn, thanks for popping in. Thanks for the compliment on my writing! Let's not tell my Mum she was right. She is so often right and it's annoying. ;-) Hearing someone else refute a compliment we've given is a good way to realise that it's not the modesty we thought it was although I recognise it's meant that way. Sometimes I just say, "well that's how I see it." They can't really argue with that. LOL xo


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