In other news, the phone kept ringing and ringing today! It was really annoying, because we were on our last read of the last volume of Deltora Quest, and we just wanted to work uninterrupted! (Actually, it was an interesting day, manga mood-wise. We started out working on Deltora Quest, then we had to ask our boss a question so we worked on Higurashi while we waited for an answer. Then he got back to us, so we decided to work on Deltora Quest again, and Deltora Quest to Higurashi to Deltora Quest is really quite a shift in gears.)
Because we were trying to work, I was slow to answer the phone, so whoever was calling usually hung up before I got there, and I only talked to two people, who, not surprisingly, were asking for money. The scriptures say not to turn away beggars, so we always give a little something, even though we realize that that only puts us on their list of people they can get money from, and some of them will call every month, claiming each time that it's an annual thing. But what bothered me (again) this time is that both the people I talked to started out by saying, "I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of X group." So many times, I have been tempted, after they say thank you, to say, "Awww, you're welcome!" and hang up, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
The first guy even said the oft-heard, "You deserve a thank you once in a while, don't you?" This is what really gets to me, because while I agree with that sentiment, my version includes a "from someone who's not about to ask you for more money." This is one of many reasons that we really hate flattery. We used to see flattery used all the time in cartoons, usually against the obviously-less-intelligent-than-the-hero villains, which is why, when I was little, I used to think that flattery never worked. Anyone will say anything if it will get them what they want--it doesn't mean they mean it.
In fact, the other day as I was practicing the piano, I was remembering my piano teacher (probably because he had recently posted something on Facebook), and I remembered one time I asked him who his best student was, and he said I was. I actually don't remember why exactly, but I think it's because even as a twelve-year-old, I knew it was a grown-up's job to tell kids stuff like that, and so I asked who his second best student was. Now if he was just trying to flatter me, I still knew who it was I had to beat. (I like to think I'm less competitive now, but...)
But grown-ups have tried to flatter us even now that we're not kids. One time, we were angry about something, and one of the older women in the ward saw that we were upset, and she said, "Oh, but you're too cute to be angry!" And we were like, "How does that make the problem go away?" Now, not only has she not solved the problem, but she was clearly trying to avoid having to do anything about it by distracting us from it with something she may or may not even be telling the truth about.
...I don't think this essay is entirely coherent. Oh well. The point is we don't trust flattery.
Today I'm thankful for figuring out what to do about that thing in Deltora Quest, finishing that translation, Wikipedia telling us the lyrics to that Paul Bunyan song (63 ax handles high--it makes so much sense now!), getting to watch the Disney Paul Bunyan cartoon yesterday, and remembering to eat some honey last night.