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Making a woman's day with a heart-felt compliment

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th November 2012 06:22 PM

I was driving home after a rather drab day. Folks who live on the Bukoto-Ntinda road in Kampala know this spot. There are guys who sell fruits on wooden wheelbarrows, somewhere between Kira Road Police Station and Shell Bukoto.

I was driving home after a rather drab day. Folks who live on the Bukoto-Ntinda road in Kampala know this spot. There are guys who sell fruits on wooden wheelbarrows, somewhere between Kira Road Police Station and Shell Bukoto.

Men's Say with Bob G. Kisiki
 
I was driving home after a rather drab day. Folks who live on the Bukoto-Ntinda road in Kampala know this spot. There are guys who sell fruits on wooden wheelbarrows, somewhere between Kira Road Police Station and Shell Bukoto. Well, that is where the car was parked. 
 
It was a lime green marvel of the new model Volkswagen. Smooth skin, big, arrogant eyes and generally exuding awesomeness. Just seated there on the side of the road, looking cool. Then a small silly voice told me, stop and compliment the owner. That was some years before these new beetles were seen at every street corner. 
 
So I parked behind the beauty. Hardly had I switched off the engine when a goddess walked from the pineapple and melon stall, a guy laden with her shopping in tow and opened the car.
 
After the other fellow had left, I walked to her, greeted her and then said, ‘Excuse me, would do you take a compliment from a stranger?’ she creased her face a bit, then said a cryptic ‘aha?’ I proceeded: ‘Chances are nine to one, you will never see me again (and she has not, close to 10 years down the line), so you need not question my motive.
 
I saw this car and thought, what a nice car. I will wait here and tell the owner that they have great taste. Then you came by, and now I do not know who is cuter — you or the car…’
 
Never before had I seen such blissful agony on a woman’s face. She teetered — almost visibly — on the precipice of adoration for this complimenting stranger and probably the fear of giving away too much in her response.
 
Then she breathed a soft, but heavy ‘thank you… thank you very much,’ before I turned away and got into my deplorable Toyota Corolla II and drove away. When I checked in my rear view mirror, she was still standing outside the car.
 
I have done no formal stats, but heck, do women live for the well-meant compliment! I cannot tell how they tell between the well-meaning one and the one used either to flatter or as bait from someone (usually male), who might want something from her.
 
But the moment a woman as much as suspects that the remark made on her beauty, dress, perfume or anything else is heart-felt, her day is made. In fact, if you compliment a woman and she says ‘you have just made my day’, believe her. She does not mean it metaphorically.
 
Many times when women meet, the first duty they owe to each other in celebration of their femininity is compliment on each other’s this or that, or both. One will go, ‘Jesus, your hair!’ and the other, to return the favour, says ‘this dress owes you one… it looks so great on your awesome body.’ Oh, do women know how to beef up each other’s esteem.
 
While I have used the word ‘woman’ throughout, do not be deceived that the desire for approval comes with age, like stretch marks. No, little girls barely out of their diapers — literally — will melt right before your eyes when you tell them they are smart in their little frilly red-and-white patterned dresses, or that their beaded hair and the little ribbon holding it is a marvel to behold. After that, she will not take to her peers’ company; you will be the better mate to play with (or on).
 
 It is possible that you will compliment a woman and move on, never even remembering what you said and how she looked when you complimented her, but some guys have learnt at their 30th wedding anniversary that it all started with a compliment. ‘We had just got out of the lecture room.
 
I was rushing to my hostel when Isaac here tugged at my arm. I stopped and he said I had nice shoes. After that, I realised what a warm guy he was…’ 
 
And Isaac is thinking, what?
 

Making a woman’s day with a heart-felt compliment

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