Yesterday I decided there are seven deadly words you don't want anyone to use when talking about you. I was listening to a radio station that was playing Alice Cooper's No More Mr. Nice guy. After the song ended, the deejay spoke about recently seeing Alice in concert. He said that Alice was "spry." And I thought, how mortifying. The inventor of theatrical rock and roll - the man that added eye-popping visuals to a 90% auditory art form is being called "spry." That's a descriptor for a centenarian who can still make it from bed to the bathroom without a walker. Then I realized there are seven deadly words that are in fact, left handed compliments you don't ever want to hear in reference to yourself. Here they are:
BRIGHT - Bright means you have a pulse and can cut your own food. Brilliant is what you want to hear about you, your work or your kids. Bright is the new "average" and average was what replaced "idiot" decades ago.
ATTRACTIVE - Attractive is the visual equivalent of spry. Nobody calls Megan Fox or Keira Knightly attractive. They get adjectives like stunning, beautiful, gorgeous. That tarnished tea set you've never used is attractive.
YOUTHFUL - This is another code word. Youthful is a way of saying, "hey lady, you're at least three presidential administrations too old for the skinny jeans/halter top/ skyscraper heels/tangerine day-glo lipstick. Please act/dress your age."
SCRAPPY - More commonly applied to aging men than women, scrappy means you are more of an annoyance than a threat. In confrontations or combat, you want to be dangerous, lethal, menacing or formidable. But not scrappy. Scrappy was a dog sidekick to another dog in a goofy cartoon.
HANDSOME - One big time actress is often referred to as a "handsome woman." A law should be enacted allowing any female so labeled one free murder pass.
ZOFTIG/REUBENESQUE - As complimentary as referring to a slender girl as "rangy."
SWEET - Translation: easily manipulated, naive and a sucker. If someone calls you sweet, check your wallet and increase your iron intake. There's a fine line between "sweet" and "loser."