Wendy Darling becomes a pilot as soon as she comes of age,
because she was always going to find a way to fly,
and night after night sitting by the windowsill never got her anywhere
other than the ground.
When told of her curse, Sleeping Beauty goes in search of a spindle.
Instead of mounting the land with her feet full of needles, Ariel watches as her lover slides into the ocean with his legs blurring into scales.
One night, Belle finds herself growing a set of fangs and a coat of shaggy fur to match her Beast’s, and finds that she prefers jagged claws to blunt fingernails.
2. “I could tell immediately he wasn’t fit for developmental psych research.” I am SO PLEASED by the number of people who saw fit to send this to me.
3. I had a terrible time finding a pull quote from this article by Stephanie on negotiating intimacy in work settings. So I’ll settle for a large block-o-text and strong encouragement to go read the rest of it. (See! I even linked you twice!)
So after all that, and everything else that’s been said, what’s left to talk about? Maybe the fact that every single time a discussion like this occurs, someone wants to know when compliments are appropriate. Sure, the temptation is there to dismiss the questions as distractions from the discussion at hand, but it is a real question for many people. Some of those comments are honest cris de coeur. And the conflicting responses, plus the occasional “never outside a relationship” aren’t helpful.
The real answer is both blindingly simple and incredibly difficult in practice: it’s negotiable.
Personal compliments are like touch, like nicknames and entrusted secrets. They’re an intimacy. They’re something that entails giving up a little bit of our personal integrity by letting someone in.
Intimacies are a good thing. We build relationships by exchanging these small pieces of ourselves and by treating them well. We build trust out of intimacies.
But intimacies also require trust, and they’re not something we can or want to share with everyone. If you’ve ever wondered why someone considers it infantilizing to be on the receiving end of an unwanted intimacy, just think about that relative–I don’t know which relative it was for you, but we’ve all had one–who wouldn’t stop calling you by your childhood nickname even after you graduated from high school, or who tried to smooth down your hair after you spent all that time getting it to do that.
Sometimes Stephen Hawking writes an article that both mentions Johnny Depp and strongly warns that computers are an imminent threat to humanity, and not many people really care.
6. I’m terrible at remembering the difference between Type I and Type II errors. This might fix it.