Of late, when I am complimented, the "complimenter" commonly adds an addendum. The addendum is, "for a woman your age." An example would be, "You look great for a woman your age," or, and this is verbatim, "You have smooth feet for a woman OF age." Hmmmmm
Now, I am not opposed to being a woman my age, and I don't mind you noticing that I have not only survived but done pretty good for half a century of living. I wouldn't give up one year, one month, one day. Well, there was that day in '83, but we all know the 80's were a pain. ;0
So... in talking to other women who are no longer 'young' I find that many have had this same experience. It is a passage of some kind, to begin to have compliments qualified.
Think of it.... "You look good in that dress for a fat person." Or, "Dinner was great considering you can't really cook." Kind of like that.
Steve has been the greatest one for framing my life positively. Back in the 80's (yes, the 80's again) I came home with a new style I thought might work for me. I put the dress on and pranced into his presence. He looked, and thought, like a cat looking at a two headed bird, and then said, kindly, "I hope it's comfortable." We fell into gales of laughter. I took the outfit back. And that line is now our 'it is horrible' line.
So it is no surprise that this weekend I had the best compliment from Steve. We were sitting at a cafe talking about our kids, their surprising lives, our joys and hopes, and I said, about our youngest, "Do you think --- will find his life?" Without hesitation Steve said, "Of course. I found mine. And he is so much like me. I am not worried." I can always count on Steve to put my feet onto a solid hopeful place. But there was more. He smiled at me. He said, "He just hasn't found you yet."