"You ever get mistaken for gay?"
A few weeks ago, after one of my comedy shows, a guy came up to me and said, “Hey, you ever get mistaken for gay?”
If you’re asking, don’t you already have your answer?
So I was like, “Are you gonna buy me a drink?” Let’s get this thing started, you know? [And then we made love to each other.]
What a weird question though. You wouldn’t ask that if it weren’t true for at least you, you know? Like no one ever says, “Hey, anyone ever tell you you look like Heather Locklear? Because you don’t. Like at all. I was just curious, if ever in your life, someone was out of their mind enough to have asked you that.”
We don’t do that with complimentary things. Whenever we’re about to ask if someone’s ever been told they look like so and so, it’s never a good comparison.
“Hey, you ever get mistaken for Mother Theresa?”
“Yeah, it’s the sunken eyes and the habit I’m wearing.”
Why do we do that to other people? We always think it’s a compliment. We never think to ourselves, Does this guy want to know he looks like Steve Buschemi?
We’ll do it to complete strangers. What compels us to approach a complete stranger and say, “You look like someone else.”
What is that person supposed to do with that information? “Oh, cool. Thanks for letting me knowI look like someone else!”
And then we always defend it as a compliment. We even say it’s a compliment. Shouldn’t that be obvious?
You never say, “Wow, you’re so pretty. And I totally mean that as a compliment.” It’s obvious because you’re complimenting that person.
But, “Wow, you look like Ryan Philipee” and then you see the look of confusion on the Ryen-lookalike’s face, “but I totally mean that as a compliment.”
“I mean that as a compliment” has got to be one of the back-handed things to say. It never feels good being on the receiving end of a quote compliment. It always comes across like I guess she has a thing for ugly celebrities?
What if, instead of rushing to say a half-baked compliment, we didn’t. It wouldn’t be hard, it might take some practice, but overall I think it would have a better reception, you know?
This might sound like I’ve had issues with people saying things to me that sounded like compliments but really weren’t. Not that case.
People have told me I look like Ryan Reynolds—which I’ll take—and David Duchovny (during his X-Files years, which I’d also take). The gay thing doesn’t bother me because I assume he thought other people would think I was gay because I dress well and shower daily.
Anyway, let’s wrap it up, shall we?
The point of this is…You know what, I don’t have a point. So sorry to lead you all the way through this meandering thoughtfest only to say, FORGET ABOUT IT.
Maybe the point is let’s pay compliments where compliments are due. And even then, it’s a little easier and nicer to just say “you’re pretty” or “you’re handsome” or whatever isn’t going to piss someone else off than it is to compare them to a celebrity who may or may not be attractive.