If you ever meet me in person while I am drawing or painting, I am very awkward and shy about it. Most things I can handle, but compliments are not one of them.

Ryan and I went to Daytona Beach this weekend, which was gorgeous, but so busy! We went to an amazing little restaurant and I drew this young, energetic boy sitting at a bar. (He moved quite a bit, but it was still fun to draw him) Originally I thought he was waiting with his dad for a pick up order, but it turned out that he was a relative of someone working at the shop.

When the server came by to grab our empty baskets, she gasped in delight and waved the boy over to look at the piece. She looked like she was almost in tears and started praising me. I think I drew her kid. Her son gave a flourish, gesturing to himself, which was adorable.

I immediately froze and proceeded to say “Hehe thanks!” over and over again as if those were the only words I knew. Like I said, I get embarrassed quickly around compliments.

After she walked away, I added some last touches to the piece. When she got back behind the bar, she yelled over, “You made my day!” This of course made mine.

I finished my drink, and I decided in that moment that I wanted to give her the study. Ryan and I gathered all our stuff because I had told him I wanted to leave to avoid the awkward smile-wave as I collected my things.

As she was talking to a local at the bar, I slipped up to her son and tried to awkwardly hand him the piece as he was looking at his phone. He tried to make as little eye contact as possible, while saying, “No, thank you.” (This to me was hilarious and I proceeded to say “No, thank you~” in a high-pitched, mock pre-teen voice repeatedly throughout the day to Ryan who just chuckled at how funny I found this to be.) His mom looked over as I held out the piece and she gasped again. She was adorable. Honestly I had intended to captured her in the painting as she was absolutely too beautiful and cool for words, but people had come in and out of that area and she was busy all the time. I do these pretty quickly and don’t use an under drawing.

She cried out, “Oh my- Are you giving this to me?” She cried her son’s name, who had the tell-tale pre-teen “please don’t” on his face. It was wonderful. Then she did something that I honestly hadn’t accounted for. She said, “I have to pay you!” and began reaching for her tip bucket.

“No, no! No! Heh! Please just take it, I want you to have it.” I was still holding the piece and mortified that she was digging out money to pay me with. I ran around the man she had been talking to and placed the piece on the bar.

Now the man’s eyes were wide, “Did you just paint that?!”

Omg. Kill me. I am a pre-teen at heart when it comes to praise.

She put down all the money from her tip bucket and I laughed, patting the pile. “No. Thank you. But this is for you.” I backed away from the painting and the pile, and waved as I headed out toward Ryan who was already out the door, knowing I was ready to go.

Ryan laughed thoughtfully as we walked back toward the beach. “You know, just seeing the painting made her day, but I’m pretty sure now you made her week.”

I threw my head back to the sky, letting the ocean breeze roll over me. “I love that.”

Thanks for reading my short story about a great day I had. I love hearing that my work makes people happy.

♥ Chelsea Loren Edwards ♥