"Words have been invented to describe women like you." - Jack Nicholson to Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give

Feb 19 2018

Gentlemen, this is the perfect compliment. 

If you praise our looks, we either think you need glasses or we think you're shallow. As much time, energy, and money as we spend grooming ourselves, women typically believe that what we have to offer is much more interesting and indelible than how we look. We're hyper-aware of how fast things can sag, wrinkle, dimple, and scar. If all you ever comment on is our appearance, then it fills us with the dread of inevitability: if what he wants is pretty packaging, then it's only going to take one little tear in my foil wrapper to send him back to the store, window-shopping for someone who's implausibly perfect.

What makes Nicholson's compliment to Keaton so perfect in this scene is that her character is a writer. He's telling her that the major tool of her trade - language - would be incomplete without a new element crafted specifically to describe her, without something as unique as she is added to the lexicon. That's like telling an artist that a new shade of paint needs to be created to capture the color of her eyes or telling a sculptor that no marble exists that can recreate the smoothness of her skin.

Except - wait - those are both compliments on how she looks. You see how hard this is? As a civilization, we're all so focused on how decorative women are that even I'm doing it in an post on how important it is to not do it. 

Tell us how we make you feel. In your heart or your brain, not in your pants.

Tell us that you think about us when we're not around.

Tell us that you notice us taking care of you and, for the love of God, SAY THANK YOU.

Tell us that our presence in your life makes your world a better place to be in.

If you can't think of a better word than "awesome" to describe us, download a thesaurus app to your phone. Use it. Often.

Tell us what we are to you that no one else has ever been. Use your words. And if there are no words, invent a new one, just for us.

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