On Saturday night we went to a kids birthday party of a long time childhood friends' daughter. They're Russian like us. It was a great party and the monkeys had a fantastic time.
I was sitting there watching the monkeys play and realized that you would only hear the following at a Russian birthday party:
RGP (Russian Grandparents) - The brother was absolutely beautiful as a baby and all through child hood. She (the birthday girl) was not a pretty baby. Me - Um, she is absolutely beautiful.
RGP - She (the birthday girl) is absolutely freezing! Me - It's 65 degrees and she's in a full on long sleeve dress and stretch pants about to walk in to an indoor play place.
RGP in-law - She (the mother) has gained weight! RGP mother of my friend - I don't think so. What do you thing Julia? Me - Um, she looks great like she always does.
RGP - Julia! You look so great! I hardly recognized you! I can't even tell you're your parents daughter! Me - Um, Thanks (seriously, how bad did I look before)?!?!?!?!
RGP - Julia! You've lost weight! Do you not eat? Me - Nope, just go to the gym.
RGB (Russian Birthday Guest) - RGP, hi how are you? Why are you eating that sandwich? Look how many calories it has (mind you, the RGP is in her 60s and has earned the right to eat whatever she wants).
I realized a long time ago that: 1) My people can not do real compliments, only ones that are dripping in criticism or put downs 2) My people have no filter and no one is safe, not even a birthday child 3) We are all so used to this behavior that no one even bats an eye when it's done