Yesterday, I was having lunch at my local Applebee’s with my mom-in-law and there was an older couple seated at the booth directly behind my mom-in-law. I would guess they were in their late 70’s or early 80’s. They were very quiet and I didn’t take much notice of them until after about 30 minutes when a woman in her late 40’s or early 50’s entered and sat down next to the woman. My mom-in-law got up to use the rest room so I had a clearer view of these 3 people quietly enjoying their lunch and their conversation.
Suddenly, my eyes were drawn to the younger woman and I found myself staring. She was absolutely stunning and I couldn’t help myself. I literally could not take my eyes off this woman! She looked like a younger Sophia Loren with shoulder length black hair. Her facial features were very angular and her smile was so striking that my eyes just kept being drawn back to her.
But when she looked up and caught me gawking at her, I quickly looked away, embarrassed. What must she think? Who is this crazy woman who keeps staring at me? I felt compelled to tell her how beautiful she was, but I wondered how does a woman tell a female stranger that she is gorgeous without seeming like some weird stalker insane person?
I can’t even tell you how many times I have approached a strange woman and complimented her on her outfit, her shoes, some accessory she is wearing, or even her hairstyle or hair color. Countless times, actually. And this never seems weird to me to do. But complimenting a strange woman on her overall beauty just seems…well…strange. But why?
I don’t have an answer for why this felt weird. But I decided to put the awkwardness aside and tell this woman that she was stunning! What was the worst that was going to happen? She was either going to be flattered or just think I was complete kook. Either way, I wanted to see what would happen! And it wouldn’t be the first time someone thought I was kooky anyway. And at the moment, the universe cooperated with me and set the stage to perfection.
We were getting up to leave and I very clearly overheard the older woman (I assume it was her mother) tell the younger woman that she had been talking to so-and-so and they had said how gorgeous she is. The younger woman blushed a little and giggled. This was my chance to make it a little less weird! As I walked by their table, I stopped and said this, “I’m sorry to overhear, but you really are gorgeous. In fact, I found myself staring at you and I couldn’t help it and I didn’t want you to think I was totally strange. So I figured I would just tell you. You are very striking and my eyes were drawn to you.”
Maybe she thought I was weird, but she laughed and thanked me profusely and said that I made her day. She thought she was having a bad hair day and then this compliment came from a stranger! Her mother said, “Oh my! You are going to give her a big head!” And I responded, “That’s okay. We all need to get a big head every now and then!” They thanked me again and I left.
In the end, I am super glad that I decided to throw that compliment out into the universe. Maybe she really needed it that day. Maybe it will carry her through her a tough time. Maybe it just carried her through a bad hair day. Who knows? But I don’t think it harmed anyone. It certainly me feel great! And I’m glad I did it!
So, why, I ask, is it weird to compliment a female stranger on her overall good looks? Albeit awkward, I think you all should try it. Because it was really a cool experience!
Complimenting strangers from the edge,