no that was a compliment

Compliments: giving, receiving, making an effort

Words are my stock-in-trade. I use them to make things and to explore the world. I go to them to learn and be comforted and to figure life, or pain, or puzzles out.

I come from Livejournal/Dreamwidth, before Facebook, when words were always what you used to tell a writer you enjoyed, appreciated, or interacted with their work. This is well before the “like” functionality was implemented across the internet.

Complimenting artists on their art, writers on their stories, wasn’t something I could do, growing up pre Internet as I did. And it’s thrilling as hell to be able to, like, tag @dduane and say, “thank you, your books helped me through a painful, awkward childhood where I frequently felt lonely and unloved, and I remember them fondly thirty years later.”

One of my favorite poets said she could live three weeks off a really good compliment and nothing else. :) Psychology has done studies on the need for praise and compliments in developing and maintaining a healthy emotional life.

We need them, compliments and praise, but we shy away from giving them. Why is that? I have theories, but this isn’t the place and time for that right now. Let me tell you a very short story instead.

I dig tattoos, both in the same way that I love art generally, but in a deeper way too. I have several, am planning several more. Yesterday at the service center, the lovely young man who checked me in, very well mannered, had lovely forearm tattoos: greyscale roses twining around words. (I tried not to stare, I didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable)

So I’m admiring his art but didn’t have the right kind of courage in that moment to tell him his art was lovely. The shading, the composition, the ballsiness of being a Hispanic dude in maybe his middle 20’s with visible floral tattoos, all of these impressed me.

I’m waiting for the shuttle to take me home while they work on my car, reading on Tumblr, and I run across the why-guys-send-dick-pics thread, why women don’t, and don’t like them, how men don’t receive compliments so women complaining about compliments is like the women are speaking in ancient Greek, incomprehensible. One comment that just nailed it was, “one person who’s dying of thirst is watching someone who is drowning”

(digression:. if you find that extended thread/conversation, please tag me so I can keep it, or throw a link in comments to this? TYVM!)

And I thought, REAL compliments feed us. And I don’t have students anymore who I can lift up in that way, but I do that with friends, and I do that on Facebook and Instagram and my other social media. And I do that for authors whose work I like (I need to make a long appreciative list tagging a bunch of y'all) and maybe, like my beloved friend Janice was doing years ago at Renfaire, I can start making a point of doing this in meatspace interactions again. Giving heart felt compliments. Nothing hollow, nothing that’s got a hook in it, nothing manipulative.

Just a gift.

I mean, this thought passed through me in a flash, feeling nothing like it does now to write it all down.

And then the young man with the roses came through with a clipboard. “Oh, you’re Liz, aren’t you?” I smiled and nodded. “The shuttle’s ready to take you home, have a good day,” and I half blurt “oh thank you, and I hope you don’t mind me saying?” (He turns back, slightly surprised) “That I love the shading on your rose tattoos. They’re really beautiful!”

Folks, the LOOK on his face… I could see what ten year old him looked like when he was really happy. He looked for a flash like kids might when they catch a baseball in the stands hit by their favorite player on their home team. He looked SO HAPPY, his smile changed his face completely.

I’m so glad I said something, that I got a second chance to put a look like that on someone’s face.

This is a thing I vow to do more of again.

Compliments keep the soul alive in a world that’s trying it’s best to kill our souls with dread, fear, and despair.

You know: They lie when they say kind words cost nothing: they cost effort, and courage, and willingness to take the risk, ability to let go of an expectation of return. But I have the energy and the commitment and this is something that I can look for opportunities to put out into the world.

So apparently I make really good pies and I’ve been told that I should start my own pie business on the side (as if I have time enough to do something like that) and frankly, the prospects of having an abusive husband at home along with the potential affairs that could pop up with my gynecologist just really scares me away from ever diving into that kind of endeavor

anonymous asked:

do you know... how long it took me to figure out what "MM" stood for in your MM magic Au post? very long. like. i saw the post this morning and i just figured it out now. i hope you will be entertained by my failure at least.

✿ HAHAHA, OH GOSH. Sorry, I probably should have used ‘Mysme’, shouldn’t I? That seems to be the more common way to shorten it.

clermontst said to anyway-i-love-vanderwood: hello! i discovered your blog last night and i would like to thank you for existing because you are a wonderful person

Anonymous said to anyway-i-love-vanderwood: I love your art and your writing and you’re cute too!!!

Anonymous said to anyway-i-love-vanderwood: Psssst you’re super cute~

Anonymous said to anyway-i-love-vanderwood: You’re very pretty and you kinda look like vanderwood lmao 

✿ sbsh;;; thank you! and welcome to following me hope you have a nice time

Anyways, Yuri just had a stressing day and it’s finally night. He’s in his own room, sending random messages to Otabek but once he gets a compliment on one of the messages. He smiles, Yuri felt 100% better after that and he start to send small compliments to Otabek again and again