On the way home from work yesterday, I passed by Sullivan's, one of our three bars in Charlestown, and was stopped by a bulbous old man smoking outside of the bar. He shouted something friendly at me, prompting me to remove my headphones from my ears. It was nearly five P.M. so I imagine he was having himself a nice little happy hour. What he says is: "Aren't you a view!" which is great because I love being complimented by strange drunk people. What I said was: "Hey, look at your friend!," gesturing towards his friend (or sworn enemy, perhaps), who was making wild arm movements instructing me to run away very quickly. What I should have said was: "Oh, that's just the alcoholism talking!" When I asked what he meant (because I am usually very friendly and wanted more precise details), he made a comparison to the Boston Harbor. Which frankly, I wouldn't go swimming in. On the other hand, that sort of comment is very open to interpretation. Lots of things would be considered "a view." The abandoned rail lot behind my last apartment that I saw from my window was a view. Catching sight of a humpback whale in the Atlantic Ocean is a view. But you wouldn't typically like to take a whale out to dinner or drinks. Just thinking maybe people should think of their compliments more literally before sharing them with strangers.
**In an afterthought, I just now walked to the 7-11 near my office and heard a compliment being given to a random woman that completely dwarfs the one I received. A panhandler yelled "America's Next Top Model! Right there!" after some chick on the street. Which is probably one of the best compliments you can receive from a complete stranger because it's like saying "America took a vote and decided you were the prettiest of six people and thinks you would look very well both in magazine ads and at a fashion show, I mean America really thinks so." Don't I feel like a humpback whale now! Not to seem completely superficial, though. I would be just as happy if someone came up to me on the street and said, "I think you write very well!! Do you want to go out for drinks?" I might be a bit more confused about how they could tell, though.