Don’t Call Me Sweet; I’m Not Candy

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Don't Call Me Sweet; I'm Not Candy.  
“This is a light-board that I made for Christmas, it hangs pictures etc.”

“That’s so cuute!”

“Did you make this? So adorable!!

“I saw the bowl you made, it’s so sweet.”

I know I repeated the words too much, but it’s the truth.  Sweet. Cute. Adorable. Most adults use the same words every now and then. You’re looking so cute, this art is so sweet, your hair is adorable. I know it’s easy for them – just say that one mushy-mushy word and no more has to be said. That one word has plenty of “sweety-ness” already in it.

Why? When I show my art, I don’t need compliments. Just them looking at the art thoughtfully is enough to brighten my heart. Or, maybe, something a little thoughtful. But all that slips out is a few words, sometimes a sentence saying that they think it’s very nice. Or very sweet.

It’s okay – you don’t have to say a lot. Don’t give feedback if you don’t want to, or if I don’t ask. It’s okay, and at times these mushy words are all you can say. But here’s what I think: saying something a little more thoughtful, like I really like these branches that you made, or, I really like the background colors. It’s showing that you care, that you like it, and more so – even thought about it.

“Yeah, I made a light board for Christmas, it hangs pictures and lights,” I said to a friend (who was an adult.)

“I saw it, it’s very sweet.”

Sweet? I don’t exactly think it was sweet. I skipped forward a little, a bit surprised with the crisp three-word-answer.

I don’t know why, but I felt sad. Perhaps even a little hurt. I don’t want to be showered with compliments, but.. sweet wasn’t what I was expecting. There could’ve been a lot more to be said. Sweet made me feel like a two-year-old kid who had scribbled something on a piece of paper and someone was saying sweeeeet in that baby-tone we all use. It didn’t feel right, with me cutting the thermocol, fusing the lights, clipping on the pictures, handwriting the words, and finally putting it all up.

And being answered with three words – which include, sweet.

I said my thought to my mom after everybody was gone. “I was thinking the same about what she said. It wasn’t right.” she replied.

Experiences have passed by like this, with “sweet” being told, hair being ruffled, a piece of art being put back in my hands after a few words of formality.

My cousin sister loves coming to me and showing me her drawings. “Pari, this is what I made!” she says excitingly.

“This drawing is really nice!” I say. “I like the girl’s eyes. But the nose is quite crooked, right?” I said, laughing a little. “You can fix it like this,” tracing my finger to show her.

Sufiana(my little sister) doesn’t like it when I baby-talk to her too. She gets irritated and a bit.. far. And yet I plant kisses all over her face when she comes, and she doesn’t mind it.  She likes when I’m crisp, yet a bit cuddly. I was keeping the newly-washed clothes in my wardrobe when she jumpily hopped into my room like she always does, as she excitedly showed me her new t-shirt and shorts me and my mom got for her the same day. “Aww it’s so cute Sufi!!” I pulled her towards me smooching her all over. She pulled away – she didn’t exactly like it. I realized, I instead said, “these pockets are nice. You can keep coins here,” I said talking in my normal voice.
“Yes!” she said jumping around again.

“Bye Sufi”, I said as she went down the stairs.
I grinned to myself, then got back to the towels.

I love when people talk to me like they would talk to an adult. It makes me feel like they care, like they want to talk to me. They don’t think I’m just a run-of-the-mill 11-year-old kid who’s talking to them. They nod their heads, replying seriously like they would to anyone else.

Here’s the thing: I don’t always want to be treated like an adult. Because of course, I’m not. We all are not art lovers, right? We all might not have the eye like some people do. Having the mind to know which branch could’ve been done better, which color looks beautiful. But just saying that without formality, and genuinely is enough isn’t it? 🙂 (Here’s a little iddy biddy fact.) It’s beautiful, utterly beautiful when people say things like, “you are a very good writer,

It’s beautiful, utterly beautiful when people say things like, “you are a very good writer, Pari. I love the way you capture words.” It sounds honest. This doesn’t mean you would have to say the same thing, obviously! 😀 But you get what I mean right?

We all do say sweet and “cute” sometimes. You feel like saying it when a little child comes to you wearing a pink, flowery dress. But we all deserve more, don’t you think?

And hey, I wouldn’t mind you going over to a candy shop and buying a sugar glazed donut and saying, “sweet”! It suits it, right? 😉

But this? mm… not at all times.

So don’t always call me sweet; I’m not candy.


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