Insult or compliment?

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My mother is sometimes creative and funny without meaning to be. Most of the people in my family laugh at how blunt she is, but she said a couple of weird things to me today that I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to take, though I laughed at of them. Is she insulting me or complimenting me? Examples to follow.

Example 1: “Your earring matches your dot.”
She was comparing my purple studs to the dots on my arm. Huh?
Answer: Neither, she says. This was just an observation. Um, okay.

Example 2: “Your hair looks like gim.”

(In case you don’t know what that is, gim is seaweed in Korean food.)

Answer: Compliment.
When I said, WHAT, she said, my hair looks black and shiny, you know, like gim, in a good way. Again, WHAT? Who would say that to people? What if I said your hair is like paella. Would you be insulted?


Example 3:
“Did you cut your own bangs? I can tell.”
Answer: Insult. Definitely. And really, when I cut my bangs, it looks like I used construction paper scissors on my hair, so I think it’s totally fine to make fun of my hair. I agree.

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