Many Sunday mornings right before I head out the door, I look in the mirror and think to myself: "Daaannnggg, I look AMAZING!" And this is not me giving myself a pep talk, trying to boost my self-esteem, I actually do think this about myself. However, 3 hours later as I come home from church, my thoughts are usually more along the lines of "What the heezy? Why does no one else even know that I exist and am ridiculously attractive??? I should have gotten at LEAST 50 compliments today on my overwhelming beauty..." This actually probably says quite a few things about my pride level, but we'll leave that topic for a different day.
So the debate every Sunday is this: sleep in an extra hour and arrive to church only decent looking, or get up that extra hour and look Fabulous, with a capital F. The problem probably stems from the fact that at this particular moment in life, there is no one worth dressing up for (though honestly, I'm much more of the camp from the Mormon Pride & Prejudice where in the end the one crazy girl ends up writing a book titled something akin to "I Look Good for Me and My Girls", as in boys don't notice all of the ridiculous things girls do to make themselves look uber beautiful, so when one dresses up it should be for your own benefit, and not for a guy). So, I have no real motivation to look gorgeous each Sunday morning, yet every Saturday night I set the alarm one hour early, just in case it will finally be the Sunday I get compliments from the opposite gender. (Once in my 2 1/2 years here in Paly I did get a compliment from a guy on my hair. It was lovely. It wasn't like I was fishing for a compliment from him either since a) he's already dating someone and b) in the past I spent quite a few years secretly, madly in love with his younger brother in another state, so that would be awkward to be attracted to him as well. But it is always lovely to have a guy compliment you, no matter who he is. Coincidentally, this same guy is probably the only guy in my ward that I think of as intelligent and able to recognize things that are virtuous, lovely or of good report).
I've noted of late that our society is losing the habit of compliments (Relief Society is the one exception to that, girls always notice how awesome we all look and we all let each other know). I suppose in this singles ward it can be intimidating to just throw out compliments willy-nilly, because people are so over-reactionary and obsessed when it comes to dating, and someone might take a compliment to an extreme and think the other person is ready to marry them if they happen to like the necklace they are wearing that day (not that any opinion I have about dating should be taken seriously. In the past 13 years since I was 16 and therefore eligible to date, I have been asked out on a total of 3 dates, never once a second date. So any statement I make about dating should probably automatically be taken as the wrong opinion). But seriously. Why can't we just say more nice things to each other?
Even if the words themselves are hard to say, perhaps we could do better at letting our actions or body language convey the message. I have a friend who is ever so excellent at that. Probably because he is British, and the British have a dislike of expressing their feelings. So instead of saying things like "You're beautiful, you are an amazing baker and I am so glad we are friends," he instead will take the time to shower after a long day of herding llamas and speed to my place of work in his convertible Porsche right before we close just to pick up an extra cookie from a batch I made for my coworkers, with the decency to give a shy smile and blush when I see him walk in. Just because he unfortunately isn't secretly, madly in love with me and therefore will never ask me out doesn't mean he can't make me feel great about myself, and act like it is an honor to be able to associate with me.
Not that I can really complain about the mote in others' eyes, because I'm definitely in the antisocial camp at church, and should take my own advice about talking to more people. Well, boys at least. I think I do a pretty good job at telling other girls in my ward how nice they look, and if I am super envious of their amazing skirt or shoes, and how I with I could do whatever they did with their hair too. I can get better about complimenting guys' tie choice for the day. Or how awesome they polished their shoes. I hate when boys get haircuts, so I probably won't compliment that. But I should get better at noticing nice things about people, and letting them know. In the wise words of the great Josh Groban, "And all these words you were meant to say, Held in silence day after day, Words of kindness that our poor hearts crave, Please don't keep them hidden away."