Wednesday, 4 July 2012

When is a back-handed compliment just a compliment?

Last weekend, I braved the weather and went to the Isle of Wight festival.  For the record, the weather forecast had been predicting days of heavy rain for weeks, and there are loads of good options for getting to the Isle via public transport.  So neither did I have to sleep in a car for 14 hours, nor did I feel compassion for any of the numpties walking around the site in high heels (yup, seriously - I am not making that up).  Anyway, we had a load of sun - see!:

Me, with sunburn (despite having applied day-long SPF30 sunscreen)
I had an awesome trip, spent with (some of) my besties listening to great music (the Boss, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, the Vaccines, Example, Elbow etc etc).  In true 'what goes on tour, stays on tour' fashion; there is a lot that will remain unspoken about this weekend.  I don't really know why people say that (other than to be mean and exclude), but I do know that it would bore everyone else if I went on and on and on about it.  However, there is one thing that I will share with you:

Whilst waiting to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (who were ah-maze-balls), I befriended (in the loosest sense of the word as you'll see) some fellow kiwis.  I don't know how much my junior they were, but one upstart (tee hee) told me I was "a cougar".  Now, I told one of my girlfriends this in disgust, and she said I should take the compliment as one "has to be hot to be a cougar"... fair point I suppose, but I was focusing on the other prerequisite: i.e. age.  At the time, I retorted to the guy that being called a cougar required me to want to score him, which I didn't, therefore I wasn't (a la the scene in In Bruges where the two main characters discuss the relative merits of Bruges as a tourist destination):

If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me 
but I didn't, so it doesn't... wah ha ha, I love it.
Funnily enough, I didn't see much of him (annoying kiwi upstart) after that.  So, to the meaning of this post: who actually makes a back-handed compliment just that?  Is it the person giving it (they might be being snide and not meaning the compliment at all, or just stating the obvious) or the recipient (perhaps it only had negative connotations because of my own fear of ageing)?....

Either way, I won't be getting the leopard print tights out any time soon.

Kath and Kim anyone?

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