I get a lot of compliments

I get a lot of compliments. It all started when I got a walking stick.

“What a lovely cardigan!”

“Oh, thanks!” Nice, I thought. What a nice person. I should be like that, handing out compliments like flowers to strangers.

But then they started coming thick and fast, and it hit me: it’s the stick! You see me, young(ish) – well, not elderly by any means – walking with a stick. You feel sympathy; you want to make my day just a little less hellish than it clearly is. You don’t have a flower so you hand me a compliment instead.

And what’s with the constant apologising? All I have to do is hobble in the vague direction of someone in the street, and they take an exaggerated step back, with an alarmed expression, and blurt, “Sorry!” One, you’re not in my way. And two, it’s not your fault. Really. I might blame genetics, or poor diet, or maybe even plain bad luck. But I never considered blaming you. Maybe I should.

On the bright side, I can be assured of clear passage when moving through a crowd. I feel like Moses before the Red Sea at times, but it does speed up progress.

Now I know what you’re thinking: next this ingrate will be complaining that we open doors for her. No, you’ve got me wrong there. The first few times, sure, I felt a little patronised. But these days, I’m all gratitude. And if you’re thinking of offering to carry my shopping to the car, don’t hold back!

On one particularly wobbly day, a teenage boy offered to help me cross the main road, bless him, before sloping off back to his skate park/Playstation/meth lab. I swear, I nearly melted.

But back to the compliments. More recently it’s my mobility scooter.

“Aren’t these fabulous!” Beaming, looking down from a height that two serviceable legs will confer.

Mmm, they’re great.

“I’d kill for one of these some days!”

Sure, swap you for your legs?

And yesterday it was my dogs, tied to the scooter outside the newsagents.

“Such beautiful dogs!”

OK, they look fine, but steady on… And then, of course, more admiration for the scooter itself. Yes, it’s fabulous, couldn’t ask for more. Ain’t life grand?

3 thoughts on “I get a lot of compliments”

  1. I think I would much rather have the compliments than be invisible. I live in the CBD of a large city and I’m generally invisible. I used to walk with a stick and I now use a walker. Generally, people nearly knock me over in their hurry to get somewhere. When they realise they’ve actually bumped into me, or the walker, they give me an annoyed look waiting for me to apologise. When I’m out I’ll try and walk close to walls, out of peoples way. Yet people still head straight for me. I stop and brace myself, occasionally, I’ll call out “Oi” to get their attention. At this point they’ll either stop and wait for me to walk around them, or they’ll try and walk between the wall and me. Truly ridiculous! When some of my friends or family are with me they do get very annoyed and let fly with some choice words. On occasions when somebody holds the door open for me, people nearly push me over as they hurry to get through before I do. Elevators are another joy. Just as I get to the door the person inside lets the door close on me. As I’m invisible, I really can’t blame them!!! Don’t even get me started on crossing the road!!!
    Thankfully, there are some wonderful people who do go out of their way to help. 🙂

    1. Bril, thanks for letting us know the other side to this. As you might have seen in my other posts, I live in a small village on the far south coast of NSW. Even in Bega, our regional “business centre”, I’m very likely to know the people who pass me on the footpath. Reading your comment, I suddenly feel very, very grateful for those compliments, for people who hold doors open, for that young bloke who helped me cross the street.

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