Is honesty always the best policy?

Published 11:04 am Monday, July 18, 2022

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Dear Aunty Pam,


I’m sure hoping you can help me. 

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About a month ago, one of my close friends invited me to a dinner party to celebrate the new kitchen she had remodeled. It was pretty laid back because it was summertime, so the dress code was ‘casual and cool.’


We were all having a great time, chatting and drinking wine. When my friend served the entree she asked our honest opinion of it. Everyone said, “It’s good,” and then she looked at me and said, “Really? Honestly? You think it’s good?” I said, “I think it’s good, and if you want me to be totally honest, maybe a touch too much garlic?”


Well, she went really quiet after that and the whole mood of the party changed. I tried to make things better by saying, “It REALLY is good, I just tend not to eat a lot of garlic,” etc, and she’d say, “No problem, it’s no big deal.” 


But when the plates were cleared and she brought in an apple cobbler for dessert, she said she hoped everyone would like it, and then looked directly at me and said, “And hopefully, you won’t think it’s got too much butter or sugar.”


I felt really embarrassed and since that dinner party, I’ve sent her a couple of texts thanking her, but she hasn’t answered. We used to be pretty good friends and I feel like I’ve ruined our relationship.


Any idea how I can get back in her good graces?





Dear Ex,


What is she? 5? I’m not sure why you’d want to get back into the good graces of a woman who acted like a petulant prig, who specifically requested your honesty in front of a table of witnesses, and then decided to publicly shame you by both word and sullen silence afterward. She clearly didn’t want honesty at all, or, in her mind, all replies would be positive raves, and so when you mentioned the garlic, she was miffed.


Had you brought up the garlic without being asked, then for sure I would have advised to keep your pie-hole shut except for the need to belch on the drive home. But she asked, she insisted you be honest, and then decided to take her ball and go home. 


I wouldn’t send her another text, and, honestly, I would move forward and out of her orbit. Should she contact you in the future, you can let her know in no uncertain terms that you did not appreciate being put on the spot in front of others, and then being treated so shamefully. And also– that shallots make a good substitute for garlic.


Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam