10/28/2010

If You Can't Say Anything Nice

I ran into someone from our old church today at the store. As is typical of such things, awkward was the word of the day. She was sitting with a current acquaintance, so there really was no just pretending to ignore or a brief but polite head nod. And so instead we had stilted conversation:

Her: The kiddo's getting big.
Me: That does seem to happen. (Inwardly: Geez, Beth, could you be any more snotty? I know you were trying for funny, but it came out wrong. Way wrong.)
Her: I like your hair.
Me: Thanks. (Inwardly: Aaannnnddd, we're out of polite conversation already. Cause my hair today? Yeah, not something you comment on unless you mean "I like your hair...because it's so awful that it just cements the fact that you are a hideous person both inside and out." And, well, with her? Possible.)

Seriously. If you bump into an old acquaintance, particularly if it's someone who, in your last encounter, you squashed like a bug under your thumb, probably a good idea to avoid comments on their hair. Instead, pull out the general purpose polite lie:

Hey, good to see you.

Then move on.

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