Words are powerful. Particularly when spoken from the heart of a total stranger. In the form of compliments, they invigorate and inspire us to live our lives in meaningful ways. They remind us of our impact and validate our self-expression.
Earlier today, I was eating lunch at the dining hall with the guy I am dating. Our plan was to study and eat together. We grabbed a table, got our food, and worked from our laptops. We were totally minding our own business. I was reviewing my notes and typing up a study guide for the exam I had in the afternoon. My date (I say date because I am still not sure if we are “officially” boyfriends*) was doing his own homework. We chit-chatted here and there to keep the mood light and fun despite my growing anxiety as my exam neared.
Right before I started to pack up my stuff, some young man approached our table. We both turned and smiled at him. I predicted he was going to ask if he could take our table if we were leaving because the dining hall was noticeably busier than usual. To my surprise, what he said to us turned out to be one of the sweetest things I could ever have imagined. It completely lifted my mood. I’ll explain more after sharing the quote.
I don’t know if the two of you are together or not but I was sitting at that table listening to my music in my own little world watching the two of you eat together and it was so cute, it made me so happy, and I really want both of you to know that.
I was somewhat speechless but managed a quick thank you before he turned to walk away. Still in shock, I watched as this stranger exited the dining hall. Just like that, he was gone.
It was truly a bizarre feeling to be given such an emotionally-charged compliment that I couldn’t respond to. I was in awe of his honesty and openness about his feelings towards seeing us together. People frequently voice their disapproval towards gay couples but rarely do you hear the opposite. I have heard people say unbelievably rude things. I mean, I have even had cigarettes flicked at me on the streets. An unsolicited compliment like this felt like the ultimate act of kindness as it was happening.
The look on his face as he spoke was indescribable. His eyes said a messages of their own. He looked inspired (or proud, perhaps) to see the two of us openly living our lives together in an environment where we felt safe enough to do so. He seemed so touched by whatever he witnessed (but honestly, we literally didn’t even do anything! Haha)
I am also impressed that he made his comment without having any concrete proof that the two of us were, in fact, a couple. I mean, we almost/basically are together so it’s fine. But it is not like we were hugging or kissing while we were dining together. He took a chance in saying what he did. I guess he could tell. Maybe he could see it in our eyes? Or he read our body language? I don’t think he’d do something like this without being pretty certain in his observations.
Strange man, thank you for your kind words today. You’ve left me feeling both perplexed and inspired in an entirely new way.