I met up with a group of friends last week.
"You look lovely!" one said, giving me a big hug.
Not an unusual greeting by any means, and yet I reacted as if I'd just been put on the spot and asked to give a speech on Tanzanian politics.
"Nooohsdhcnjtyxsoowciylshzo," I replied.
She looked surprised. "I have no idea what you just said."
It was then that my whole life flashed before me and I realised that I have always been terrible at accepting compliments.
On my wedding day, the priest said, "That's a beautiful dress."
Instead of saying thank you, I immediately informed him that it was from the Sale rail and hadn't cost half as much as it looked.
Does anyone else do this? Try to undermine a compliment by giving the person the price of your outfit?
l like your dress! - This old thing? It only cost a tenner.
I like you shoes! - No, they're only Primark.
I want to just be able to say: THANK YOU.
I don't think it's because I'm modest either.
I have a similar problem when I write birthday cards. I can't stand leaving a blank space so I scribble across the two sides until I've made an inarticulate mess. Invariably I'll make a spelling mistake or repeat a word (a TERRIBLE thing for a writer to do!) and so turn the error into a doodle of a fluffy sheep, a cunning trick passed down by my Mum.
The trouble is it's much harder to produce a fluffy sheep off the page when I'm trying to cover up for an inarticulate response to how lovely I look.