Your breath smells of cabbage.
Your whitehead is leaking pus.
I can still see your moustache.
Your pubes are poking through.
You have a greenfly on your eyebrow.
Would we rather hear the truth from our friends?
Last night, I went for a dinner with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. The first thing I spotted when she approached me for a ‘long time no see’ hug, was a large bogey in her left nostril. Oh shit, what to say? I decided to ignore it.
We sat opposite one another and looked at the menu. Each time she looked up to ask me what I fancied, the bogey was still there; poised like a parachutist ready to jump.
I didn’t fancy eating at all. All I could think about was bogeys. Everywhere. Bogies in my salad, bogies in my soup and bogies floating in my coke.
I tried to focus on her pretty eye shadow and ignore the khaki boulder up her nose. Luckily, after a sneeze, the bogey shot out of her nostril and onto the menu in front of me. She looked at the bogey and then looked at me, mouth aghast, cheeks flushed. What did I do? I swiftly swept the crispy detritus away with my napkin and asked her about her dog’s diabetes.
Much better to have a friend’s bogey on my napkin than to cause us both embarrassment.
As soon as we’re in our bedtime pants, our parents persistently extoll the virtues of honesty – ‘Tell Mummy the truth sweetheart. I won’t be cross if you just tell me the truth.” But what they fail to teach us, is that telling the truth comes with a long list of conditions i.e. Never tell someone they smell, they kiss like a cod, they’re thick, they have dinner in their teeth/on their cheek/in their hair and their eyelashes are stuck together with sleep. No, we must lie in these circumstances.
However, wouldn’t we all be better off, if someone told us these truths? Whilst I’d be mortified if someone told me my breath smells of cabbage, I think I’d still like to know if I need a tic-tac.
This week, I received a disappointing email from an editor. It shouldn’t have upset me at all, because what she said was 100% truthful. I had pitched a story and failed to back-up a statement I had made. She said the article sounded ‘promising’ but my ‘pitch was tenuous and lacking.’ Ouch. Tenuous?! Waaaaaaahhhhh! I reached for the Oreo’s immediately.
When I’d made my way through two-thirds of the packet, I sat down and re-read the email I’d sent her. Hmmm, I can see what she means. I fucked up there and the lovely editor has taken the time to tell me. I should be thanking her, not putting a funnel of biscuits in my gob.
Should I have told my friend about her bogey? Suggested she took a trip to the ladies to blow her nose? Our evening may not have recovered from the humiliation but at least I would have been honest. And in future, she may give her nostrils the once over before looking at the menu.