Someone approached me the other day and gave me a lovely compliment which I just couldn’t stomach.
“It’s a lie!” I cried out, “I’m a fraud!”
She looked at me, puzzled.
I lifted a strand of hair.
“I have long, wild, curly, obnoxious hair!”
She considered my short, sleek, straightened, obedient hairs and I continued my compulsive confessional without taking a breath.
“It took me forever just to figure out which shoes go with which skirt! This outfit is a painfully crafted result of hours of research punctuated by moments of hysterics standing in the middle of my closet in a bathrobe, surrounded by heaps of clothes that mean nothing to me.”
She was going over this mentally.
“Nothing,” I repeated quietly, head hung in penance.
Frankly, I felt a lot like the kids’ bathtub, that whited sepulcher.
It only gets cleaned up when company is coming, and unless company is planning to actually open the doors to the shower and get acquainted with it, life’s too short to spit-shine the inside.
I like a nice compliment as much as the next girl, but I wish I felt like I earned it honestly.
I studied the formulas and took the magazine quizzes, and can algebraically dress myself when I need to, now.
I love when I pass the tests, but if you open the door and take a look inside, you’re gonna find a lady who lives in stretchy pants and a Tshirt.
And hates shoes.
And hasn’t the faintest idea what to do with a compliment.
I have a picture that I’ve been trying to get pasted onto my driver’s license.
If we must live with fiction, I may as well have the whole enchilada.
And it’s definitely what I look like when a cop pulls me over.
Regal, with an aura of innocence. A dewy eye and demure posture. Long, flowing locks topped with a Clorox Crown.
This lady obviously knows what to do with a compliment.
She is squeaky clean on her insides, and wears only gossamer gowns.
You’ll notice the extra “e” on my name. The fourth-grader who did my portrait assumed I was french royalty, and earned herself some extra credit for it.
It also aligns me with Anne of Green Gables, known for big words that express big ideas.
Words like “Thank you” come to mind.
With a little princess wave.
Je vous remercie.
Surely I can master that one.
Cordelia is a perfectly elegant name, of course.
But if I come close to Jolie with an “e” (‘e’ for ‘enchilada’), that will be good enough for me.