CONVERSATION: A True Story for the USA, Syria, and Belgium

Gracefully two-handing my fourth taco outside on front lawn when my daughter looked at me and remarked,

"Daddy, you look like a picture."

- "Really!"
I said.
"Thank you...what do you mean?"

She explained calmly.
"Well, you just look like a picture. You're very still and hardly moving and you look like a picture. Like a statue in a picture. You're like a statue."

- "Hmm...is that a compliment?"

She continued eating serenely, then looked at me. "You may take it as one."

- "What do you mean?! Is it a compliment or not?"

Monotone, with Methuselahian calm rationale. "You may take it as a compliment."

My ire rose. 
-"Did you INTEND it to be a compliment?!!"

Serene condescension.
"You may take it as one."

- "That is a very strange remark you made to me, because no one has ever said I look like a picture - or a statue - before. It sounds like you meant it in a nice way, right?"

She shrugged. "You may take it as a compliment if you want."


"You may take it as a compliment if you want."

- "Of course I'm taking it as a compliment! I just want to know if you MEANT it as a compliment!"

Shrug. "If you want it to be a compliment, it can be one."

- "I simply want to know what your motive was - did you mean it as a compliment? That's all I want to know."

"You may take it as a compliment. Daddy, can I have some ice cream?"

- "Of course not! I'm mad at you!"

"S'il vous plait? I asked in French, now may I have some, s'il vous plait?

- "You are maddening. I am irked with you, and you know how hard it is to say No when you start talking in French."

"Yay, we're having ice cream! Merci beaucoup!"

Her brother waddles over wearing taco like face paint. "Can I have ice cream too, s'il plait?"

- "No,"
I said.
"You need to work on your French."

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