dubious compliments

this pic is not strictly relevant but my friend drew it and i think it's dope
my talented and wonderful friend and all round good egg Miska drew this. It might not be strictly relevant but I think it’s wonderful and I wanted to share

I’m interesting, cheerful and sociable, and I attract attention no matter where I go. Maybe people sense my immense influence in the blogosphere, or maybe their interest is piqued by my light up trainers, but people are drawn to me like moths are drawn to cliches.

The amount of compliments I receive from strangers on a daily basis is, frankly, staggering – to the extent that I am compelled to simply smile at admiring fans and continue with my day. If I stopped to acknowledge every single accolade, I’d never get anything done. Sorry, lads, if you’ve gone out of your way to cheer me on lately – the likelihood is I’ve given you a polite smile and skated serenely past. It’s nothing personal, but a girl’s gotta get to Tesco before it closes.

artist’s depiction of me waving at fans

That said, although my public is largely intelligent, sensitive and good looking, sometimes the comments aimed at me miss their mark. Sometimes they hurt more than they help. Here’s a list of the top back-handed compliments I’ve ever received.

P.S. – I know there’s a lot of controversy about the muddying of fact and fiction in this blog, and I’d just like to state for the record that all of these comments are genuine and authentic things that actual, real people have really said right to my face.

your english is pretty good!

Read that again.

“Your English is pretty good.” Pretty good. Not perfect, not amazing, not even good – just pretty good.

I absolutely love it when customers compliment my English. “Oh, you speak great English!” they say.

“I am English,”

I reply, with the panache of Tom Riddle revealing that he was Voldemort the whole time, feeling like a magician brandishing a curtain and revealing the rabbit – gone, the card – yours, the woman – sawn in half. This, surely, must be how Louis Stevenson felt when he revealed Jekyll was Hyde all along. Goddamn, what a twist! The barista speaking perfect English was born in Macclesfield!

I don’t often have the opportunity to introduce such a sense of drama into my working life. It’s a whole lot of fun for everyone, especially for me.

But how am I meant to take it when people say my English is pretty good? “Cheers, mate, I’m working on it”? Liars. My English is p e r f e c t.

you’re not as fat as most british girls!

Again, I must stress – this is a real, actual thing that a genuine, human person said straight into my face.

Literally, how am I going to take that?

Don’t worry though – this relatively brutal assassination didn’t ruin my self esteem. I’ve had a darling figure ever since I cut out all meat (and joy) from my diet. Now I just eat leaves and the occasional egg.

you’re doing really well for your first day!

Someone said this to me when I was working behind the reception at a hostel. I’d just fucked up someone’s booking somehow and, as my manager fixed it, I said apologetically, “I’m still learning how to do that.”

“Oh, don’t worry! You’re doing so well for your first day,” replied the guest with a winning smile. “You’ll get the hang of it.”

“Thanks,” I said, but my heart was shrivelling – I’d been working there for a month and a half. It was at that moment when I realised I really wasn’t cut out for this whole ’employment’ malarkey.

you would look really pretty if you smiled!

Hey, pal: there’s a reason I’m smiling at everyone except you.

Also, what the fuck? I have five expressions (pictured) and all of them are gorgeous.

I feel like I should point out the gaping difference between “You’d look pretty if you smiled,” and “You have a lovely smile.” The second one is a genuine compliment, whereas the first one is a subtle hint to wipe the bitch off my face. Plus, it’s especially unfair to me, because (as you can see in the pictures) I cannot smile for I have no mouth.

you’re a really great listener!

here’s a hint, JOHN, I’ve been trying to tell you MY opinion on the Labor antisemitism controversy for the past half an hour but you keep talking over me ya IPA chugging bastard why don’t you just find a pillow to monologue your opinions on BJ’s PM prospects to ya waster

Me – expressing my feelings

This one is tricky, because I genuinely am a very good listener and overall I’d rather hear what other people have to say than speak. However, that doesn’t mean I’m an endless ear just waiting for your hot takes, JOHN. Why don’t you ask me my opinion, JOHN?

Sorry, lads. I tried to contain my John-directed tirade to one paragraph, but I’ve got lots of opinions and (as stated) this wanker isn’t giving me a forum to express myself heathily.


It’s about midnight now and I’m signing off. If you find any typos, take it up with my manager.

endless love and kisses,
Ro x

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