Sometimes fishing for a compliment means you get hooked on your own bait..
|Word Count: 428
Fishing for a Compliment
By Donna LowichIt was the end of a long, tiring week of work and I was desperately in need of some positive feedback. More specifically, I was in search of that most elusive of all dialogues: The Compliment. As none seemed to be forthcoming, I decided that I would gratefully accept a wayward, even accidental pleasantry. I opted to order a pizza to be delivered instead of laboring in the kitchen after such a long week.
This was the backdrop to that Friday evening near Christmas a number of years ago. After dinner was delivered, and consumed, my family and I gathered in the living room to watch an old film version of "A Christmas Carol", a tradition I started a long time ago. We got to the part in the movie where Bob Cratchitt describes what Christmas dinner will be like to his wife and family.
Mrs. Cratchitt worries aloud that her pudding may not taste right because she doesn't have the proper amount of flour to put into it. "Not to worry, my dear," comforts Mr. Cratchitt as he looks lovingly at his spouse. "It will be a PERFECT pudding." Then, turning to his son, he says, "Won't it, Tim?"
Tiny Tim, smiling at the thought of his mother's previous perfectly-made puddings, agrees enthusiastically. "Oh, yes, Father. It will be the best pudding in all of Londontown!"
I just had to speak up at this point. No sense in waiting for a compliment that obviously hadn't come during the previous weeks (more like months) of cooking, and apparently wasn’t about to show up now. I was getting impatient, so I used the direct approach.
"Well, at least Mrs. Cratchitt's meals get noticed."
Jeffrey, age eleven, was lounging on the sofa, and had to crank his neck around, in order to look at me. "OK. Mom, that PIZZA you PHONED in tonight was GREAT!!"
Not to be outdone, Walter chimed in. "It was the finest pizza in all of Londontown, m' dear!"
OK, the point was well taken: I did phone for the delivery of the pizza. But does that negate the dinners I cooked after working a full day in the previous weeks and months? But I realized that sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to fish for compliments; sometimes you hook yourself with your own bait.