C’mon Guys, Take The Compliment

There is only one person in the world I would throw my best friend under the bus for. That person is my hair stylist, Craig. When he dies, there will be a special place in heaven just for him–and that is on the cloud adjacent to where Vidal Sassoon now floats.

While I was endowed with some not-bad physical traits like straight teeth and decent skin, great hair is not one of them. My hair is wild, frizzy and coarse. Thus having a great hair stylist is essential to my physical and spiritual well-being. I have followed Craig to the ends of the earth (well, to different parts of Toronto anyway) whenever he moves salons. I make him double-check at the end of every visit that he has all my updated contact information just in case he moves again. No woman left behind, and all that, right?

It isn’t just how Craig makes me look that has me following him around like a loyal puppy; it is how he makes me feel. After he has finished transforming my hair, he steps back, gives me a penetrating look and declares, “You are gorgeous.” I love hearing this. My heart always skips a beat. But both of us know our relationship is limited to the hour I pay to sit in his chair; ours is unequivocally a working partnership. But, hey, here is this 30-something guy who looks like he just jumped off the pages of GQ (ok, minor crush here) telling me I am beautiful. What could be better than that?

Apparently, I’m not the only female client of Craig’s that loves the attention. He has a gaggle of devoted women who would rather not eat for a week than skimp on his services. It was disturbing, though, to hear from Craig that many of his male clients don’t welcome compliments from him the way his female clients do. When he tells men how great they look after he finishes styling their hair, many start to squirm, cast their eyes downward and get ready to bolt like they are about to be chased by a hungry grizzly. Do they think that Craig, their gay stylist, is coming on to them, simply because he is paying them a compliment?

Listen guys, in this day and age, I find this too sad. Why shouldn’t Craig be able to give you a sincere compliment without you feeling he is over-stepping his boundaries? There’s nothing “gay” about it, even if he happens to be gay. And, let’s be honest, as a gay guy he probably has better taste than you, am I right? So rather than feeling vulnerable, shouldn’t you instead feel flattered? If Craig can make me look “gorgeous” (no small feat), I’m guessing you are also looking pretty darn handsome at the end of your visit. Be secure in your own sexuality, and bask in the praise. And here’s an idea: You may even want to try flirting back a bit. Trust me, it’s really fun to flirt with Craig, and he doesn’t bite.

C’mon guys, take the compliment! And, don’t be shy to pay it forward.

Sue Nador is a relationship strategist. She helps hash out expectations in the messy world of love in a pragmatic, humorous and straight-talking way on her blog Sue lives with her husband, two sons and goldendoodle in Toronto.

Image(s): Eugenio Marongiu

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