I have long been thinking that it would be nice to give at least one compliment a day. Like for example, to a lady checking me out at the supermarket: “You have such pretty hair!” Wouldn’t that just make her day? Here she is bored and tired and achy from standing all day, endlessly scanning items, and some gaijin tells her she has great hair? That might be the highlight of her afternoon!
The main rule is that the compliment has to be sincere. It can’t be, um, as Japanese Englophiles love to say, apple polishing, or flattery. Goma Suri? Can’t quite remember the Japanese expression. I am not allowed to say, “What a lovely dress you have on!” when really I think it looks like a bathrobe.
So anyway, at work today I told a young teacher that I liked her skirt. It was a very pretty skirt, with embroidery at the bottom. And where did she get it? I asked. (Knowing full well that she bought it at some skinny person shop I can’t dream of ever shopping in.) She told me the place and then said it was her favorite skirt. I told her I can’t shop at that store because I am too fat. LOL She told me at age 18 she weighed 73 kg, but started running. (She currently appears to be American size four or six to me.) I was all “Congratulations!!!! Way to go!” I really meant it, because I am currently, ahem, 73 kilos exactly, so she is my inspiration.
I also made the vow to STOP BEING NICE TO LITTLE JAPANESE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!! Every time I see one, I just get so excited with “Kawaii” and “Hello!” Well, they don’t appreciate it. They stick out their tongue at me or stare me down or answer sullenly and then escape my scary gaijin grasp. I am sick of it. So no more. No eye contact. Nothing.
I will stick to dogs and cats. They appreciate me.