No. Really. I'm Serious.

it's kinda like walking down the street thinking you're attracting attention because you look hot when really your fly's just down.

so there i am, walking down the street, heading to the pub, listening to my iPod, trying to be cute as i walk past the crazies and crack whores and tranny prostitutes (my neighborhood is so so cute when i am walking in the other direction).

and some guy walks past me carrying a bucket (lord knows if he was actually going to clean something or if he just happened to own a bucket, it's really tough to say) and says to me:

"you have a beautiful body."

"well geez," i think. "that's unexpected. and nice. i like you, Mr. Bucket Man" (not that i want to encourage conversation or extensive eye contact with a man in the tenderloin whose sole possession is a bucket, but still).

and so i smile, because i can't help it. it's nice for a stranger to think you're beautiful. and as i continue to walk and pass him, he sees me smile. and then he adds:

"i'm serious."


oof. i mean, i just kept walking but the words echoed.

"i'm serious," is NOT what you want to hear following a compliment. having to add "i'm serious" implies that the compliment is hard to believe. or even worse, something that could be mistaken as a joke. as though i wouldn't believe him.

oh, sure, maybe he was just trying to up his cred ("look lady, i may only have a bucket, but that doesn't mean i'm wrong"), but i'm not exactly the poster child for Having All The Confidence, you know?


  1. Theres also the times when people try to make you feel better.
    A couple of years ago I'd gained a few lb's (okay, a few lbs... squared).
    I was in complete denial & was squeezing myself into jeans that were a size too small.
    Realization hit me hard on New Years Day when my dad had me over for dinner, I sit down and the butt of my jeans rip out.

    Me: "Oh. My. Gawd..... My fat @ss just ripped out the butt of my jeans"
    Dad: "Well, umm.... uhhhhh...... isn't that the style you kids (I was 27 at the time) are wearing these days?"

    I appreciated the effort but it did absolutely nothing to make me feel better.

  2. the man in the bucket was sincere. but i know how you feel. it's like when the one-eyed drunk told me i was beautiful. "BUDDY HOW WOULD YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE ONE EYE!!"

  3. If he said he was serious, you may have given him a look. I tend to only say that I am serious when the people I compliment give me the brush off.

  4. Don't judge a man by his bucket, if your like me and it sounds like it when faced with a compliment you get a look of disbelief on you face , making him feel it is necessary to add in the ever dreaded "Im serious".

  5. I was reading about your firetruck story and had to visit your blog. I live in NYC, and after reading both the firetruck and the bucket man story I have to say I can totally relate - First, I'm 25, and not at all in the shape I want to be either... (keep reading.) I've been in a NUMBER of similar scenarious, so I'd like to introduce you to my little friend- I call it perspective. Look at it like this,... the firemen? Yeah. you did THEM a favor. You're doing something about it (your ass), but juicy is still juicy- they LIKE juicy. Let me tell you more men than I would have EVER thought possible like a girl with some ass to grab, so if this should happen again, turn around look at least on of them in the eye, smile the biggest, sexiest "I just had the best sex ever kind of smile", wink, turn back and keep pushing your leg on the machine thingy. It will blow their f*cking minds. As for the bucket man... next time someone compliments you, say Thank You. That's it. You can walk away, you can continue to talk with them, you can hop on one foot cause it made you feel good, or you can just smile, but if you say thank you and do whatever comes naturally, you've responded to them, and that will likely deter anyone from having to continue with an "I'm serious." Because you'll already have thanked them, and moved on with your life.

  6. I read your post on craig's list and now I'm hopelessly addicted to your blog! It's fabulous. I had a similar experience just today but in my story the bucket man is my own brother...I told him that I had decided to do Weight Watchers and actually USE my Curves membership. He called me this morning and told me he was really proud of me and that he was worried and glad to see that I was doing something...all well and good, right? Yah, then he adds "If you ever get unmotivated just call me and I'll tell you how FAT you are!"...WOW.

    Thanks for making me laugh! You are awesome!

    Jen in Seattle

  7. So did it leave you with a creeped out feeling?! It reminded me of the time when I was at the mall. I was in the food court eating a hot dog on a stick. I was sitting there minding my own business trying to scarf down food while I was on my 15 min break. As I was eating there was a man staring at me. I just gave that extreme half ass smile and he says the following: "you look good eating that hot dog." I immediately got up and left.

  8. Maybe it's my puritanical New England upbringing, but I always figured that "you have a beautiful body" is seldom an appropriate conversation starter. Am I wrong about this? If it's said with sincerity (and without a bucket), is this something that might later lead to a cool "How We Met" story?

    Of course, if the bucket is a requirement, I do keep one in the trunk of my car.


  9. Eh, you should have said "swingin bucket YOU got there, babe"

  10. I put on my jeans today and my boyfriend said, "Nice buns." I should explain that I've lost 7 lbs in a month by limiting myself to 1200 cal/day (not as bad as it sounds and not as annoyingly impossible either since I track them with and working out one hour/day, five days/week. It's hard work.

    Unfortunately, the motivator to keep doing what I have been doing wasn't the compliment, it was the comment that followed: "Because those were starting to make big fat rolls around your middle and it was getting pretty gross."

    Amazing how a compliment can be turned into a sort-of insult by just one further statement.

  11. i'm really not one to speak, because i am a seriously harsh critic of myself and my body.

    but if any guy i was dating *ever* used the word "gross" in relation to my body, i would dump him on his flat ass that very instant.

  12. I have this discussion with my friends all the time... why is it that only homeless/bucket-toting/unsavory men seem to give the best compliments? Basically- they have nothing to lose. And I think this guy is no exception- he's not expecting you to turn around, grab him by his collar (he WAS wearing a shirt, right? ;) and kiss him passionately, thus igniting a fire that would burn passionately for years to come. He just meant it. While there is a brand of man whose compliments should be entirely disregarded, you can take comfort that this one did, really mean it.
    P.S. While I am not funny yet, I'm working on it- and your blog has encouraged me to start my own. Yay girls!

    Anna [also] in Seattle

  13. U r just like me!I am so NOT CONFIDENT.If some1 complimented me, I would totally think they were joking.

    P.S. I love ur blog! Ur stories r so fun to read! And ur sense of humour is hysterical.

  14. Actually, it didn't occur to me to be offended. I guess that's my esteem issues talking.

  15. Hmmm... you were walkin' down the street, probably very successful "being cute", listening to music and, if you're anything like most girls listening to music, workin' it a bit! Of COURSE someone's gonna say something!

    Try not to overanalyze WHO the compliment came from, or if he carried a bucket or a dozen roses. Accept that you have no reason to lack confidence, you definitely sound pretty confident in your blogging.

    I think bucket-dude thought you were giving him the "Whatever" look.

  16. Sometimes beautiful women just leave me speechless...I am lucky to keep breathing, muchless a "hello" or "hi".

  17. You're just jealous you didn't get a "You're So Sexy" dance from Mr. Bucket-Man... Some of us just inspire greater expressions of desire amongst the bucket-toting, I guess...

  18. I love your writing, and have been reading for a few weeks since I got your address from CL. I know what you mean about the compliments though. Sometimes I just don't know how to feel, and that makes me feel wierd.

  19. Its pretty sad when you can't even take a compliment.

    A nice "Thanks" as you kept walking away would have been appropriate.

    Its sad that when men try to be nice to women, half the time its perceived as an insult. Bucket man said "I'm being serious" probably because your face/body languague was telling him something that made him go there.

    Once again, MEN PAY ATTENTION, complimenting a women's body is a BAD IDEA.

    You're much safer saying, "Wow, nice hat/jeans/sweater/dog/car/bicycle/handbag etc" than actually trying to say something directly about the woman.

    I will never again compliment a woman for how she looks physically. Too many bad reactions, from too many crazy insecure people.

    All for just trying to be nice . . . wtf?

    Be it known, "You will get nothing and like it!"

  20. Its sad that when men try to be nice to women, half the time its perceived as an insult.

    that is the whole point, you see. it is sad and i am crazy and completely insecure which is why i bothered with this post in the first place.

  21. Reminds me of this scary guy in a bar in college. He was so drunk he could barely stand up. Stumbles over to the table where I was sitting with a few friends totally immersed in conversation, and interrupts to tell me I look like Xena: the Warrior Princess. Is that a compliment??? I'm thinking no...


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