I think the best compliments are the random ones, the ones that aren't coming from people who love you or anybody trying to be polite. Once, I was at church and I felt like I looked a mess, and this woman behind me told me I was really pretty. She didn't have to say that, so it was nice to hear. A few weeks ago, I had a new play premiere and on one particular night, the audience had many people close to me in it, as well as close relatives of the stars. After curtain call, a young woman approached me and said, "Are you the playwright? That play was AMAZING."
I thanked her (several times), asked her her name, and asked who she knew in the show...because, let's face it, if she didn't know me, she must have known somebody in the cast, because why else on earth would she be there?
She didn't know a single person in that show! She wasn't watching anybody she loved on stage!
She had no reason to think the show was amazing!
Her compliment truly meant the world to me.
The other day, I went to see a community production of The Diary of Anne Frank. (It was dessert theatre, which is a little weird. I mean, why do I get to sit there and eat cake while those people are on stage hiding for their lives and starving? So, so wrong.)
I am a The Diary of Anne Frank expert...I have seen my share of productions of The Diary of Anne Frank! This production was the first time I have ever walked-out going, "That actress who played Miep was FANTASTIC!"
(Who ever leaves The Diary of Anne Frank raving about Miep? I never have before. But this girl was REALLY GREAT!)
I sent this girl an email to tell her just that.
She sent me a lovely response, and I like to think that after she said to herself, "Wow, what a weirdo"...it made her very happy to hear how much I enjoyed her performance...because, seriously, who on earth DOES ever care about Miep? She has about 20 lines in the whole play.
I'm friends with a high school classmate on Facebook. I haven't seen him in years. I do not know his wife. But every time they post photos of their son, I have to "like" and comment because he has got to be one of the CUTEST kids I have ever seen in my life. I just want to squish him. He is a beautiful little boy and seems like he has the personality to match.
And, so, of course, I sent my old classmate's wife a message to tell her just that, and to comment on how lovely and happy her family looks.
Once again...I'm sure there was a moment of, "Okay, this girl's a little weird", but then I hope that it made her smile to get kind, unwarranted words from a stranger.
It's nice to do this. I think it's noticed. I think it's remembered. I want to do it more often.