1. Compliment her.
2. React with confusion when she questions the compliment.
3. Repeat the compliment.
4. Back up a little.
5. Insist you’re serious about the compliment.
6. Crinkle your brow in response to another question about the compliment.
7. Ask — with total innocence and an utter lack of guile — what her sister/your sister/her friend/your friend’s wife/some girl from Facebook you’ve never heard of/your ex-girlfriend you haven’t spoken to in eleven years has to do with your compliment.
8. Get frustrated.
9. Angrily repeat the compliment, Jesus Christ.
10. Insist, once again!, that you actually meant it.
11. Yes, as a matter of fact, you did say “meant” because you’re taking the compliment back this is CRAZY.
12. Ensure her that you definitely weren’t being passive aggressive.
13. Reluctantly admit that yes, you realize you rarely comment on her hair but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an honest statement.
14. Promise her that you’ll try to take more notice…
15. No, I didn’t trail off.
16. I just meant that I can’t force myself to notice things. A compliment has to be organic or else it’s bullshit. Why would anyone want a bullshit compliment?
17. Goddammit NO. How many times do I have to tell you that I fucking actually — somehow! — meant it?
18. WHO THE FUCK IS ANGELA?
19. Why would I care about your friend from book club’s sister? What is going on here?
20. YOUR. FUCKING. HAIR. LOOKS. NICE.
25. Sure, I like the dress too.
26. Of course!
27. Yes, everything looks nice, I just happen to really like your hair. You look hot.
28. I WOULDN’T HAVE SAID IT IF I DIDN’T MEAN IT.
29. Holy shit this is insane.
30. YOU’RE not insane. This conversation is.
31. But yes, you’re insane too.
32. I was joking!
33. OF COURSE I want you to come to the party.
34. Please don’t change again, you look great.
40. Move out.