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Damned with faint praise.

(62 Posts)
annsixty Tue 04-Nov-14 11:30:32

A friend of a friend lives quite near me,so I have seen her on social occasions but never been close.She is probably everything I am not, very attractive,fashionable and artistic.A few weeks ago her S.O.was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died very soon after.I went to see her and as she is probably quite lonely she has started inviting me for coffee,sometimes in the evening for a glass of wine and we have become friendly.She called in yesterday and stood by the mirror flicking through her blonde locks and said "I must take myself in hand,I look terrible" and glancing at me said" you always look so neat and tidy".

I really didn't know how to react,do these things happen to others?

Am I perhaps being too sensitive?

janeainsworth Tue 04-Nov-14 12:38:27

I think that's a compliment Ann, and she probably doesn't feel herself to be as attractive etc as you think!
In any case, I'm sure she's really grateful for your friendship and support.

KatyK Tue 04-Nov-14 12:38:53

Do you mean you took this as an insult ann?

Agus Tue 04-Nov-14 12:41:13

I think it was a compliment too Ann. We don't see ourselves as others see us. Enjoy the friendship.

merlotgran Tue 04-Nov-14 12:42:11

If anyone told me I always look neat and tidy I'd suggest they go to Specsavers grin

KatyK Tue 04-Nov-14 12:46:35

If someone more glamorous than me (which is most people) pays me a compliment, I always think they are being patronising but I think perhaps that is my problem not theirs.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 04-Nov-14 12:51:56

I was shopping with someone I didn't know that well and in the changing room she looked at me and said (with surprise) "You've got not back fat at all." I know it was meant as a compliment but years later I'm still wondering what she actually expected to see

Eloethan Tue 04-Nov-14 12:58:21

When I had my daughter, a nurse admired her saying "what a pretty little thing". She looked at me and then my husband and said "I can see she takes after her daddy!" I feel sure the way it sounded wasn't quite what was intended, and can laugh about it now but it took me aback at the time.

This lady's comment seems like a compliment to me - there's a lot to be said for looking neat and tidy - better than looking like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards.

You seem very critical of yourself. We can't all be raving beauties, but, given that you appear to have made a particular effort to be a friend to this lady in her time of need, you surely have many qualities that others value much more highly.

annsixty Tue 04-Nov-14 13:13:37

Thank you for your kind replies.I actually am also thankful for her friendship as I have said before my DH has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers and she will be a support to me I am sure.

Maggiemaybe Tue 04-Nov-14 13:24:17

I really don't think your friend meant to be dismissive, annsixty. I certainly hope not, when you've been so kind to her.

Someone once said I really reminded her of "an old actress - somebody dead". Weeks later she told me she'd meant Greta Garbo. I'm nothing like her.

Mishap Tue 04-Nov-14 13:32:12

What merlot said! No-one has ever suggested I might be neat and tidy! - well done you!

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 04-Nov-14 13:34:57

You are being too sensitive Ann60. The fact that you always look neat and tidy seems to have made her realise she has been letting herself go, and now she intends to do something about it. You have done her good. Well done. smile

And she might be different from you, but that doesn't mean you are less attractive. We all have our own styles.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 04-Nov-14 13:35:38

Sorry. Got your forum name wrong! hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 04-Nov-14 13:36:27

"Back fat" sounds horrible! grin

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 04-Nov-14 13:36:46

It's the last place you expect to be fat.

FlicketyB Tue 04-Nov-14 13:56:04

I had an uncle, a life long depressive, who would often describe his first day at work and the crushing remarks made to him by his manager. The first time he told me the story I was stunned into silence. In his place I would have taken both the remarks he described as encouragement, certainly not as put downs. The first remark was when he was introduced to the man who was going to teach him his work. His manager said 'If you do half as well as Fred here, I will be happy'. At the end of the day his manager stopped him on the way out and said 'you'll do, boy, you'll do'.

I think annsixty is re-acting like my uncle. I would be over the moon if someone described me as always neat and tidy. I generally feel a dishevelled mess, whether that is an accurate description of me or not, I do not know, but it is how I feel.

numberplease Tue 04-Nov-14 15:37:28

My DIL told me last week that my 6 year old grandson told her that "Grandma`s a pretty lady". I`m not, but bless him for making me feel good, if only for a moment!

absentgrandma Tue 04-Nov-14 15:49:09

In another life I was the manager/buyer of gift shop. My boss's wife came in one day with one of her 'lunching' lady friends. The friend commented on the lovely display of stock, to which Boss's Wife said: Oh yes, we're so lucky to have Xxx..... I couldn't possibly do her job. I've got far to much good taste!

Twenty years later I'm still wondering about that one!

PRINTMISS Tue 04-Nov-14 15:56:15

Can I please have your secret for always being neat and tidy annsixty?

annsixty Tue 04-Nov-14 16:17:34

I truly believe it is the short ,straight,white hair and the very "plain dressing" that gives that impression,but I feel so dowdy and frumpy now. I still like my new friend though.

KatyK Tue 04-Nov-14 16:21:45

A couple of years ago, I had been through a bad time, culminating with all my hair falling out. I had been staying in as I looked so horrendous. I found a solution and was happier with the way I looked than I had been for years. Everyone said I looked years younger. I was out with my sister on Christmas Eve (she is 9 years younger than me) and someone she knew came over to us and said to my sister 'Oh this must be your mum' shock

kittylester Tue 04-Nov-14 16:31:32

I've posted before about my great aunt telling me that I looked just like my mother at the same age 'just not quite as pretty!'.

My mother has also been known to say that 'when I make the effort' I can look almost presentable!


FlicketyB Tue 04-Nov-14 19:34:11

My sense of being always dishevelled was only emphasised when an ex-boyfriend commented to a mutual acquaintance about me that 'she could be quite attractive if she did something with her hair.'

Tegan Tue 04-Nov-14 20:08:40

On the way back from school today my gramdson said 'Granny, do you use a walking stick'. When I said 'no I don't but why do you ask' he said 'because really old people use walking sticks' sadsadsad....

Marmight Tue 04-Nov-14 20:46:06

grin Tegan