The Dandy Lion exhibit in Harlem got me thinking. The fellas photographed are PHLY! And anyone who saw them on the street would turn their head - man or woman. Any time I see a man looking that phly, I let 'em know.
"Excuse me, Sir. I just wanted you to know you look amazing today."
"Excuse me. I just wanted to tell you that that color looks great on you."
"Brothaaaaa (gotta hold the "a" based on just how good they look), you are working that hat."
"If no one told you today, you are gorgeous."
"Let me be the first to say that you smell like heaven."
"You have the best smile. Share that with more folks today, 'kay?"
"If your walk says anything about you, it tells the world you are The Balm!"
My girl said she tells fellas, "Keep your head high, brotha!"
These may sound like lines. But I have honestly said each of them as they came to me at random moments. I look for things to say to strangers - male and female - everyday. It makes me feel like I am demonstrating my gratitude for all of the brilliantly miraculous details God has given us to acknowledge the millions or billions of years of work that went into that man rocking that fedora just so.
In 2007, the Fastgirls did a 40-Day Challenge where our aim was to find men for our friends. In this challenge we listened to what our sisters were looking for and then attempted to find suitors for them, with the culminating test being who could bring the most "potentials" to Kwanzaa celebrations. (It was hilarious!) We kept scores based on how many smiles we dished out, how many winks (that was a BIG score), how many conversations we had, and how many numbers we got. You couldn't count any men you'd slept with or went on a date with because it meant he'd then be off limits for the ladies. We may have even deducted points... Can't remember. But getting on those calls during the 40-Day Challenge was so much fun. Hearing about winks to bus drivers and the train conductor as they were taking off! We laughed more during that challenge than in any other. And there were PLENTY of men that Kwanzaa. *wipes brow*
So I took a poll asking men: How many days a week (on avg) would you say you get complimented based on appearance and/or personality?
The poll results are in.
Out of 21 men polled, the average number of days they receive compliments is (drumroll here)....THREE! With seven days in a week, to receive a compliment three of those days, to me, is a travesty. Ladies, we have to do better. Open your mouths and verbally acknowledge the fellas.
And if you find that you don't find men to compliment, I argue you are blind to the wonder and awe of the Universe. Find a man with a fresh cut and shout him out. Find a man who's well put together and tell him so. Find a man whose spirit enlivens the room and tell him to his face. Find a man whose voice makes your knees buckle, take a deep breath, and ... text him! lol
Get in the habit of finding something special about every person you meet, and practice telling them so. You'll find your life is that much more full.
I posted on FB that today was Compliment the Fellas Day. My favorite compliment I gave went out to the much older Asian man who fixed my sewing machine. "You know you're The Balm, right? You da man, man! You're masterful. And your smile ain't half bad either." He didn't know what to say. He just kept smiling.
So... I'm extending Compliment the Fellas Day to... Everyday!
Thank yous to Bonafide, Andrew, Derek, Q, JonDeus, Diallo, Mike, Chris, Deka, Divine, David, the other Derek, Mikey, Caprise, Born, Quincy, Kazi, Mark, Derick, George, and Russell.
(Photo: Slicker than most, Russell K. Frederick)