Friday, November 5, 2010

Funny Thing That Happened to Me at Work: Best Compliment Ever

What is the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to you?

I've gotten my fair share of compliments in my lifetime. However, I'm struggling to recall one that is nicer than the one I just recently received from one of my co-workers. It was so nice, I felt I little sick after I heard it, just because I knew I probably didn't deserve such a ridiculously flattering compliment.

This particular compliment giver speaks no English whatsoever. I've come to think of here as my office Grandmother--she is an older Korean language teacher who shares office space with me. We usually exchange energetic waves and smiles when I see her on the bus on my way to work. Sometimes we sit together at lunch, and she is one the exceptionally impressed older teachers who never fail to watch me with amazement when I don't turn up my nose at the various Fermented Things/octopus tentacles/seaweed dishes on the school lunch menus.

Recently at lunch I sat with her and my head co-teacher, who always makes an effort to translate what some of the Korean teachers are saying to me. This older woman told me (via Hanee) that she was a devout Catholic, and that as soon as she knew that my name was Madeline, she knew I would be beautiful because she has been to this church in Paris:

The Église de la Madeleine.

All of the "You have such a small face! You're so beautiful" stuff is usually showered upon most foreign women here, I think, and it can be a bit annoying to constantly listen to many Korean woman be so self-deprecating of their own Asian features in comparison to my Western ones. But. It was still an insanely nice compliment, and one that made me squirm a little bit and feel guilty about every terrible thing I've ever done in my life, ect.

1 comment:

  1. Maddie it would be nice if we used this as the reason for your name, but it was really the book "Madeleine," which at least occurs in Paris. But we have always known you were beautiful! Love, M&D.