Your least favorite co-worker, Sandra, approaches you at a party. She looks you up and down and says, “You got a haircut.” Your compliment-receptors are triggered, and you instinctively reply, “Thank you.” Sandra makes a face — did you just say “thank you” to a statement? That’s right — you said “thank you” to someone who wasn’t complimenting you. Who do you think you are? Here’s what happens next.
1. Sandra will want to clarify that she didn’t say your hair looked better, she was just stating a fact. However, she won’t say that because she is…
2. Caught so off-guard that she’ll choke on her olive. She doesn’t know how to handle being thanked for a statement. Obviously, she’s not used to women who receive so many compliments that they’re just on guard to say “thank you” at all times.
3. Sandra will start coughing aggressively, probably for attention.
4. Chad, the man you’ve always loved (you love a “Chad”? I’m sorry), will rush over to see what’s wrong. He’ll give Sandra the Heimlich, which she didn’t really need, but he clearly just wanted to touch her.
5. Chad will ask her if she’s OK. She’ll say “Yes, thank you,” but no one will criticize her for her misplaced thank you because she’s like a hero basically (it’s a kinda boring party — more on that later).
6. Chad will ask Sandra what happened. Sandra will shoot you a look that says, “Do you want to tell him or should I?”
7. You’ll roll your eyes — do people really need to explain why they choked? You choke all the time — you have an overactive gag reflex (although several men have asked you to explain that).
8. Chad will then turn his attention to you. He’ll look you up and down and say, “Did you get a haircut?”
9. You’ll wonder why people at this party have to keep checking out your entire body to conclude that your hair is two inches shorter.
Chad will smile and say, “It looks nice.”
10. You’ll want to say “thank you,” but you’ll wonder if perhaps not saying thank you to a compliment cancels out saying it to a statement. You’ll say nothing.
11. Sandra and Chad will both look at you quizzically — now you’re ungrateful, too? Who doesn’t say “thank you” to a compliment! What, do you get SO many compliments that you don’t even need to address them all?!
12. Chad will turn to Sandra and say, “Is that jacket new?” She’ll reply, “Yes!” He’ll say, “I love it!” Sandra will say “Thank you!” You’ll wonder if they staged the whole interaction just to demonstrate how normal people handle compliments and lack thereof. Tools.
13. Word of your misplaced “thank you” will spread. You’ll never be invited to a party with this crowd again.
14. Unfortunately, it was a family party, so your holidays are about to get a whole lot lonelier.
15. Chad and Sandra will go home together. You’ll see them leaving in an Uber that comes right to the front door. Did he spring for an Uber Regular? That’s a little on-the-nose.
16. The next day, you’ll tell your friend Bailey about it. You’ll ask if she thinks it would have been better to immediately take back the “thank you” when Sandra first asked about your haircut. Bailey will tell you that you’re overthinking things. She’ll ask if you lost weight. You’ll say, “Thank you.”
17. You’ll never hear from Bailey again.
18. Months later, you’ll stalk Chad and Sandra on Instagram. They have a perfect life together — they even order Blue Apron. Who does that? It’s like, we get it, you listen to podcasts.
19. Chad and Sandra will get married. You won’t be invited to the wedding, which is convenient, because if you had been invited, you would have needed a new haircut. Plus, you won’t have a date, because the last time a man approached you and said, "You look like Jennifer Lawrence,” you said, “Thank y—” then cut yourself off in the middle to flee the party because who even knows if he meant that as a compliment?! She probably wasn’t even invited to Fyre Fest!!
20. You never cut your hair again. It’s not worth the risk.