I’m pretty sure I was just the recipient of one of those backhanded compliment/insults that I had previously only read about in chick lit. You know, like when the author is trying to establish a character as evil and shallow by having her utter something like “No really, I love the décor in your home it’s so… quaint! Did you do it yourself?”
I was on my way out of a new salon I had just tried for the first time, my ego all puffed up by my new haircut, when Nice Mean Lady spotted me. She started out innocently enough by complimenting me on my handbag, which was strewn over my shoulder and bulging with $25 worth of unnecessary new hair products.
I thanked her for the compliment, excited because the bag was relatively new and I was still pretty thrilled with it myself. Then she took a closer look at both the bag and me and inquired about the pockets. Falling hook, line and sinker, I eagerly took the bag off my shoulder and showed her the inside, pointing out the special pockets for cell phones makeup, etc, gushing all the while about how easy it was to find my things in this spectacular bag.
Then she asked me who made it. “Kenneth Cole!” I responded brightly, careful not to mention that I’d gotten it 50% off, since I had just noticed that she was dripping in gold and diamonds that appeared to be quite real. Then ‘whammo!’ she hit me with “Well, sometimes those less pricy bags just turn out to be more practical, don’t they?” Then Nice Mean Lady gave my shoulder a patronizing pat and sashayed out the door with a smirk on her face.
The most embarrassing part is not that I received the put-down-shoulder-pat combo, but that it took me over a week to realize what had taken place! And do you know how I figured it out? By reading a few paragraphs of some chick lit that I found while I was perusing the bargain rack at Borders Books.
Now I’ll probably spend the seven weeks till my next haircut trying to construct the perfect bruising comeback in case I see Nice Mean Lady again. And in the mean time I should probably buy this piece of chick lit so I can be prepared.