"Now there is the sexiest lady I know," he said, and then said very little else. Flashed me back to the last time I'd been given such heady compliments--the one who spoke then said I was the most beautiful girl on the grid--and he left me. What use are compliments when such actions follow? I tend to profoundly mistrust them.
Oh, I'm possessed of female heart and mind in full measure, I like to hear them. Just as few women born can know fabric unless they touch it, unless their hands know it, I am a woman, I'm partially fueled by pretty speech. But the rational side of me discounts much of it, because after the third man left me, while holding me the sweeping beauty beyond compare...it doesn't mean that much, does it?
I thank everyone who calls me pretty. I blush, or simper, or giggle in turn. But pretty, eh, it's surface, and the surface can easily be replaced. Admire my invention, my turn of phrase, tell me I have wit, intelligence, style, compassion--anything other than I'm pleasing to look on? Trust me, my undivided attention will follow such praise, because it feels less effortless, and much more real.
For all the other reasons I've listed, besides, I think that's the one thing that keeps me bound to my three--none of them default to the easy compliments as a matter of choice. Oh, they praise me for beauty, too, but that's part of what being in love is--those you love you find fair, become fair in your eyes when you love them. How could it be otherwise, they find me pleasing? I look upon them and cannot conceive why all women the grid over don't fall at their feet, and some men besides, for they are magnificent, glorious, essence of beauty--hearts, minds, spirits, skin--and it's always been that way for me, for those I love. I have a critical eye, I have a rational mind--at least part of it--but the part of me that loves, loves totally, and with rare reservation indeed.
Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee, says the Song of Solomon, and it's as true now as it was then.
And I'm not immune to the lure of the physical, obviously. Dress my loves up and I fall at their feet. The highest compliment, they seem to think, is to reduce me to the point I can't form understandable words. And so be it, if they wish to go to such lengths--I love them, and love seeing them, and yes, love how they make of me a singing chord, a creature bound only by skin around reaching want, thrumming to a single question I desperately hope, each time, will be answered in the affirmative.
And I'm not above saying they look attractive. Among the fae, after all, if someone's made an effort to be attractive, it's considered rude not to notice. And oh, I do notice.
But just as I'd rather hear anything other than "you're so pretty"...I'd rather compliment them on how well they design, how well they build, how well they dance. The intricacies of their minds, the deep compassion of their care, their dry-as-David-Duchovny-in-the-desert wit.
I'd rather say anything, than say something that just stops at the skin. Regardless of how handsome I find that skin to be.
And so I'd rather hear, myself. I won't say it's effortless being pretty. But there is so much more to me than that. And when the compliments stop at skin level...it makes me think they don't care to learn who lies underneath the skin.