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Author Topic: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?  (Read 8386 times)

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BeagleMommy

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Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« on: May 18, 2015, 02:46:06 PM »
Last weekend was our graduation.  Friday was the hooding ceremony and those of us that work the ceremony usually get gussied up a bit since it's a big event.  I wore a 1950s inspired black cotton sundress, a necklace that looked like carved roses, and black round toe pumps.  The most interesting thing about my dress is the pattern.  It has skulls and roses on it and looks like a cross between prim and rock n' roll.

I received many compliments on the outfit from other staff (including my dean) and some students.  Between the undergrad and graduate ceremonies I had time to go back to my office to check emails.  One of my coworkers, Dee, noticed my outfit and said:

Dee:  "That's a really cute dress, BeagleMommy."
Me:  "Thank you."
Dee:  "Oh my Deity!  It has skulls on it!  Well, I take it back now!"

I just kind of looked at her flatly and said nothing.  What I was thinking was "Did you really just give me a compliment and then rescind it?!"  I don't think I've ever had someone do that.  I hope complete silence was the right response.

If I can ever figure out how to post pictures on here I'll put up a picture of the dress.

mime

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 03:52:08 PM »
I wonder why, if she felt the need to keep talking, she couldn't just clarify with something that takes focus away from the skulls, like "the style is so fun" or "that necklace is great" or something else?

I'm afraid if I were in the OP's black round-toed shoes, I would have either stood there in stunned silence at her taking-it-back, or would have laughed it off and treated her as if she were joking (because, surely, she couldn't be serious. That would be so rude!)

Is it at all possible that she was joking when she took back her compliment? I had that happen with some jewelry once. She thought it was ruby, but it was actually padparadscha, and she hates orangey-things. So she took it back, and I teased her about it, all in good fun.

--and I want to see a picture; I love 50s-inspired styles!

TurtleDove

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 04:07:02 PM »
Yeah, I would have assumed she was joking. I would have responded by laughing, not by silence.

I also want to see the dress - sounds like something I would love!

Oh Joy

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 04:19:39 PM »
She saw something she liked, then realized part of it was something she didn't like.  Sometimes the right words don't come out...I expect that if she could do it again, she would have chosen differently.

TurtleDove

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 04:24:32 PM »
She saw something she liked, then realized part of it was something she didn't like.  Sometimes the right words don't come out...I expect that if she could do it again, she would have chosen differently.

It could be this, or it could be she was trying to be funny.  I can absolutely see that being the case.  It's not typical to see a prim dress with skulls on it, and it could be that the coworker actually *did* like the dress, just was jokingly pointing out something interesting about it. 

Oh Joy

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 04:53:30 PM »
She saw something she liked, then realized part of it was something she didn't like.  Sometimes the right words don't come out...I expect that if she could do it again, she would have chosen differently.

It could be this, or it could be she was trying to be funny.  I can absolutely see that being the case.  It's not typical to see a prim dress with skulls on it, and it could be that the coworker actually *did* like the dress, just was jokingly pointing out something interesting about it.

Very good point.

menley

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 05:58:45 PM »
She saw something she liked, then realized part of it was something she didn't like.  Sometimes the right words don't come out...I expect that if she could do it again, she would have chosen differently.

It could be this, or it could be she was trying to be funny.  I can absolutely see that being the case.  It's not typical to see a prim dress with skulls on it, and it could be that the coworker actually *did* like the dress, just was jokingly pointing out something interesting about it.

I think I agree with both of these. Skulls are not typically found on workplace attire in my experience, and so I can very easily see myself complimenting someone's dress, realizing mid-compliment that there are skulls in the pattern and being surprised, so that I sort of stumble on my words a bit, then trying to make a joke out of my stumbling. It doesn't mean that she didn't like the dress after all, but that she wasn't expecting to see the skulls there.

Benni

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 09:51:12 PM »
I think I agree with both of these. Skulls are not typically found on workplace attire in my experience, and so I can very easily see myself complimenting someone's dress, realizing mid-compliment that there are skulls in the pattern and being surprised, so that I sort of stumble on my words a bit, then trying to make a joke out of my stumbling. It doesn't mean that she didn't like the dress after all, but that she wasn't expecting to see the skulls there.

Skulls may not be typically found in a corporate setting, but I believe the OP works at a school.  Skulls are common decorations on almost all types of clothing that students wear.  I have even  seen them on pink, ruffly baby clothing.  They are extremely common at a high school or university setting, and younger staff/faculty wear them all the time.  For someone to work in a university setting and not see clothing on males and females, students, faculty and staff would mean they were basically ignoring every other person they saw in their work life.  If this was not a joke, it was extremely rude.  If it was a joke, it fell extremely flat.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2015, 01:10:47 PM »
I think I agree with both of these. Skulls are not typically found on workplace attire in my experience, and so I can very easily see myself complimenting someone's dress, realizing mid-compliment that there are skulls in the pattern and being surprised, so that I sort of stumble on my words a bit, then trying to make a joke out of my stumbling. It doesn't mean that she didn't like the dress after all, but that she wasn't expecting to see the skulls there.

Skulls may not be typically found in a corporate setting, but I believe the OP works at a school.  Skulls are common decorations on almost all types of clothing that students wear.  I have even  seen them on pink, ruffly baby clothing.  They are extremely common at a high school or university setting, and younger staff/faculty wear them all the time.  For someone to work in a university setting and not see clothing on males and females, students, faculty and staff would mean they were basically ignoring every other person they saw in their work life.  If this was not a joke, it was extremely rude.  If it was a joke, it fell extremely flat.

Benni, you are right about skulls being seen around campus.  One of our art majors even drew one on her cap with glitter!  Dee has trouble with things that seem incongruous to each other.  Therefore, a prim 1950s sundress should not have skulls on it.  It just doesn't compute with her and she's not known for her subtlety when expressing an opinion.  It was the dichotomy that drew me to the dress in the first place.

For those who asked, her tone was anything but joking.  It was more like a combination of shock and disgust.

TurtleDove

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 01:18:29 PM »
I hope complete silence was the right response.


Based on the OP and the update, I personally would still have responded as if the coworker was joking. Assume the best, be breezy, and if she actually doesn't like the dress, who cares! I probably would have said with a smile (in response to Dee:  "Oh my Deity!  It has skulls on it!  Well, I take it back now!"), "Yep - I love that it has skulls on it! It makes me happy to wear it!" and then breezily go on my way.

PS am I the only one who really really wants to see the dress and know where you found it?  I want one!

BeagleMommy

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2015, 01:41:11 PM »
I hope complete silence was the right response.


Based on the OP and the update, I personally would still have responded as if the coworker was joking. Assume the best, be breezy, and if she actually doesn't like the dress, who cares! I probably would have said with a smile (in response to Dee:  "Oh my Deity!  It has skulls on it!  Well, I take it back now!"), "Yep - I love that it has skulls on it! It makes me happy to wear it!" and then breezily go on my way.

PS am I the only one who really really wants to see the dress and know where you found it?  I want one!

I'll see if DH can help me upload a photo.  I got it at Torrid.


BeagleMommy

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2015, 03:03:22 PM »

ladyknight1

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2015, 03:19:02 PM »
I think I agree with both of these. Skulls are not typically found on workplace attire in my experience, and so I can very easily see myself complimenting someone's dress, realizing mid-compliment that there are skulls in the pattern and being surprised, so that I sort of stumble on my words a bit, then trying to make a joke out of my stumbling. It doesn't mean that she didn't like the dress after all, but that she wasn't expecting to see the skulls there.

Skulls may not be typically found in a corporate setting, but I believe the OP works at a school.  Skulls are common decorations on almost all types of clothing that students wear.  I have even  seen them on pink, ruffly baby clothing.  They are extremely common at a high school or university setting, and younger staff/faculty wear them all the time.  For someone to work in a university setting and not see clothing on males and females, students, faculty and staff would mean they were basically ignoring every other person they saw in their work life.  If this was not a joke, it was extremely rude.  If it was a joke, it fell extremely flat.

Benni, you are right about skulls being seen around campus.  One of our art majors even drew one on her cap with glitter!  Dee has trouble with things that seem incongruous to each other.  Therefore, a prim 1950s sundress should not have skulls on it.  It just doesn't compute with her and she's not known for her subtlety when expressing an opinion.  It was the dichotomy that drew me to the dress in the first place.

For those who asked, her tone was anything but joking.  It was more like a combination of shock and disgust.

Our Anthropology professors, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students would be in trouble if skulls weren't allowed on clothing worn at work/school. It seems to be the unifying theme.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Minmom3

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Re: Did You Really Just Rescind Your Compliment?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2015, 01:45:56 PM »
Heck - I've seen skulls on dog collars and leashes and harnesses.  While it's not my personal cup of tea, it's certainly mainstream these days!
Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!