The Complisult. A modern label for that compliment that just doesn’t sound right. They just rub ever so slightly. You know you’ve heard them . . .
“That dress looks great. It really draws attention away from your thighs.”
“Thank you, um, wait.”
Need some further explanation? Watch the folks from Community lay it down in 20 seconds.
Are these little gems the poisoned tipped arrows slung by passive-aggressive desperados? Or are they the collateral damage that blooms around people who chronically suffer from insert-foot-in-mouth-itis?
You generally have to be in the moment to pass judgement, but either way, we’ve been on the receiving end of more than our fair share.
10 Complisults We Could Have Lived Without
1. Wow, that is some dress. Is that what you’re wearing?
THE RUB: This little gem was aimed at Erin before the internet was even a zygote. The scene? On her way out the door to prom. By whom? HER MOTHER.
2. She is a great little girl, but you should really spend more time talking with her.
THE RUB: This blast from the past was directed at Ellen when her oldest was in preschool. So what if Coco yipped to respond to questions? Was that really any reason to call Ellen’s mothering skills into question?
3. You’re daughter is so tall and beautiful. She looks like a supermodel. Where does she get it from?
THE RUB: Fast forward and Coco is in high school. But now Ellen is getting zinged because of Coco’s fabulous-ness? Is there no winning in motherhood? Wait, we know the answer to that.
4. That’s great you’re a stay-at-home mom. I would go crazy from boredom if I stayed home. I don’t know how you do it.
THE RUB: Oh Mommy Wars, let’s bury the hatchet. Just not in each others’ backs.
5. You’ve really made this house work for you.
THE RUB: This compliment was so back-handed it should have been in a tennis match. Erin must have wowed her with the recent addition of indoor plumbing.
6. I have the perfect dress for you to borrow. I wore it when I was six months pregnant.
THE RUB: Erin was not pregnant. Your table in hell has been reserved.
7. You look so good when you wear make-up.
THE RUB: C’mon. So how does Erin look without make-up? Wait don’t answer that.
8. Thank you for the birthday cake, Ellen. I can tell you spent a lot of time on it.
THE RUB: That’s the praise you give the 5 year old who brings you a mud pie.
9. Wow, you look great today!
THE RUB: The “Wow” and the “Today”. Take your qualifiers and shove them. And wipe that smirk off of your face. We deducted points for lack of originality.
And finally, the complisult that Erin and Ellen both get all of the time . . .
10. I like your blog. I could write a blog if I wanted to.
THE RUB: Oh could you now? Go right ahead. It’s totally cheap and takes so little time to create a blog that people besides your mother and your cat reads.
Thank you to Stasha over at Monday Listicles for inspiring this list with your topic “Ten Compliments”.
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski