Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Bottom Line

I wore a pink shirt to the gym the other day and one of my friends complimented me on it.

Me: "Oh, thanks. It's old and it kind of shrunk up. But... hey. Thanks."

My Friend: "Why do people always say that? It's always, 'This is old' or 'I paid two bucks for this.'"

Me: "Yeah, really. Next time someone says they like something, I should be like, 'Thanks, I paid $150 for it at Nordstrom.'"

My Friend: "Then they'll just look at you like, 'What a jerk.' And they'll walk away thinking, 'What's her problem?'"

I cracked up -- because it's so true! Why can't some of us just say "Thanks" without a qualifier?

My college roommate was the first person I knew who regularly discounted her purchases. I'd compliment her purse or her shirt and she'd say, "Five bucks at the flea market."

I had never been to a flea market. Correction: I had been to a flea market once, got scared by the amount of junk piled around people's cars and begged my dad to leave.

My roommate, on the other hand, went to an "Indoor Flea Market," which was really a gigantic building that housed everything from pickle purveyors to vendors selling gold-by-the-inch. And, indeed, many items seemed to be about $5.

Cut to today. Tell a woman you like the crackers she serving at her party, she'll tell you she got two boxes cheap at Christmas Tree Shops. Compliment somebody's shoes, and she'll say she found them on clearance. I knew someone having a cool pool installed and the wife said, "Well, we'll be eating mac & cheese for months because of it."

Notice these examples were all women. Men don't seem to do this. First of all, guy's don't compliment each other's shoes or crackers.

Guy 1: "Hey, man, these crackers are amazing."

Guy 2: "What's wrong with you?! The game's on! ...Are you doing 'shrooms again??"

No, men say things like, "Is that a new car?"

Guy 2: "Damn straight. I don't even want to tell you what I paid for the upgrades. Totally worth it though to be able to check Facebook hands-free."

Guy 1: "For real? I gotta get that."

A woman in the same situation? "I don't even want to tell you how much mac & cheese we'll be eating for the next year!"