My family is very nice, caring, and funny, but for some reason, they have no social graces whatsoever, especially when it comes to making introductions. This makes meeting new acquaintances very awkward because I always find myself giving people a “Disclaimer” every time I plan to introduce them to a family member. My family means no harm – they are just brutal in their honesty and criticism.

To save on time, I’ve actually devised a quiz based on situations that have actually happened to see when someone is ready to meet my family. Grab a pencil and see if you pass the test!

1.) When I was in high school, my friend Susan came over to help me with a project. My mom said:
A.) “Hi, Susan, it’s been a vile! Come, haf a seat!”
B.) “Susan, good to see you! How is your moddder?”
C.) “Susan, why don’t you come over more often? Is it because you think all Transylvanians are vampires? Because dat is really a negative stereotype and I don’t appreciate dat. Get out of my house.”
D.) “Hi, Susan! Look at you! You got so fat.”

Answer: D (4 points). I later had to explain to Susan that the world “Fat” was a compliment in my culture because it meant you were healthy…so in other words, I lied to make Susan feel better. I apologize to all Transylvanian-Hungarians for fibbing, and I hope you didn’t punch my friend Susan if she ever called you “Fat” as a compliment.

2.) Nagymama was at my cousin’s baby shower. Upon seeing my 8-months pregnant cousin, Nagymama:
A.) hugged her and said, “I am so happy that I have lived long enough to see my beautiful grand child bring my great-grandchild into this world.”
B.) said, “Congratulations!” and handed her a large wrapped present.
C.) said “Happy birthday!” and then immediately whispered, “Oh, my God, she got so fat.”
D.) wandered away.

Answer: C (4 points). Apparently, we have this on tape. If my cousin ever finds it, I promise to put it up on YouTube. If you answered A, deduct 2 points – you have seen too many sappy movies, no one actually talks like that. If you answered D, add 1 point, as this is likely to happen at any given time.

3.) Upon meeting my first boyfriend, Bob, Nagymama:
A.) said “Nice to meet you, you are a good boy” and then said in Hungarian, “What kind of screwed up name is ‘Bob’ anyhow?”
B.) handed him a cup of orange juice that was warmed in the microwave.
C.) handed him a plate of Little Debbie snacks that she claimed to have baked fresh that morning.
D.) All of the above.

Answer: D (4 points). You know, I tried to warn Bob, but he didn’t believe me.

4.) When I met my mother’s friend Amy at church for the first time, my mother said,
A.) “Dis is my friend Amy. You know, her beautiful dodder looks just like you.”
B.) “Dis is my friend Amy. She used to be fat. Amy, do you have a picture you can show Stephie of when you used to be fat, I mean, really fat, ‘like a pig’ fat?” then puffed out her cheeks as a visual aid.
C.) “Hey Amy, dis is my dodder Margo. Uh, I mean, Stephie.”
D.) “Dis is my friend Amy, I’ve already told her all about all your accomplishments because I am a loving moddder that is so unbelievably proud you and I just luff you so much,” and then she hugged me and give me a $50 bill.

Answer: B (4 points). If you answered C, add 1 point because this actually did happen as well, but not when meeting my mother’s friend who “Used to be Fat.” If you answered A, deduct 2 points, and if you answered D, please deduct 10 points and remember that this quiz is based on my reality, not on my wildest dreams.

5.) Whenever my mom introduces Margo to people, she says:

A.) “This is my niece Margo, she’s one of my sister’s two lovely daughters.”
B.) “This is my niece, Margo, she works really hard as a home health aid to assist hospice cases.”
C.) “This is my niece, Margo. She’s 35 and still single.”
D.) “This is my niece, Stephie. Uh, I mean Margo.”

Answer: C (4 points). If you answered D, add one point because this also happens very often.

6.) Whenever Margo complains about how my mother introduces her to people, I tell her to sarcastically reply with the following line:

A.) “Yes, and this is my aunt, Ildie. She’s 54 and divorced twice.”
B.) “I do not know this woman.”
C.) “This is my aunt, Ildie. She has a daughter named Stephanie that went to school for animation and you should make a tax-deductible donation to her film festival in order to support independent filmmakers and animators all over the world.”
D.) “Thank you. I’m going now.”

Answer: A (4 points). If you answered C, add 1 point, because I would love it if my cousin said that, but she’d probably punch me for asking. If you answered D, deduct 1 point, as this is what my cousin ACTUALLY says, not what I tell her to always say.

7.) Whenever I tell my mother that I am randomly bringing a new person over the house she says:
A.) “I can’t handle it!”
B.) “Good, I’ll have grandma go warm dah orange juice.”
C.) “No! The house isn’t clean and you know, I can’t do anything because grandma…grandma, she….oh, grandma. Vell, you see, grandma…” and then trails off.
D.) A & C

Answer: D (4 points). If you answered A or C, add 1 point. The funny things about letter C is that I have never actually heard my mom finish that sentence and she says it ALL. THE. TIME.

Now let’s tally your points:
20-28 Points: Are you ready for some Goulash?! Well, that’s too bad, because my family never makes goulash. We’ll go to a Hungarian restaurant in New Brunswick if you want some of that. But if you swing by Nagymama’s place, you can have some toasty warm OJ with a side of Little Debbie!

10-20 Points:
Vhat are you talkink about? You obviously understand that my family can be offensive at times, and you might even enjoy hearing about it or watching it from a distance. But I’m not completely convinced that you won’t leave the day with mental scars.

0-9 Points:
You can’t handle it! You probably shouldn’t be reading this column because it might rupture your delicate, Utopian mind-set. But who knows, perhaps even idealists enjoy watching train wrecks, but I don’t think you could handle being in one.

Photo by Sanja Gjenero