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My husband has cancer, and people are very kindly sending us meals. One friend in particular decided to try a new company that does home delivery of healthy meals, and he’s sent us two already. He asked us if we thought the meals were good, because he’d like to send more from that same company.
Unfortunately, we didn’t really enjoy the food, and some of what he sent already went to waste. So do we tell him the truth? It feels ungracious. But on the other hand, he did ask, and it doesn’t feel right to have him waste money on meals we might not eat.
P.S. Our dog REALLY enjoyed the $15 serving of beef stew tonight in her dinner.
Yes! You should tell your kindly neighbor the truth and carry absolutely no guilt about it. I can see how it may feel ungracious. However, I guarantee you that someone who cares enough to send you a healthy meal through a service wants to know if what he has chosen (possibly at random) is working for you. If it was me, I would hate the thought of my gift being unsatisfactory if it was meant to ease your burden.
Next time you talk to him – and you’re right, he did ask! – just say, “Joe! Thanks so much for your thoughtful gift. You asked us what we thought of the meals. To be honest, they were a little ______ (bland, overly salty, hard to prepare, etc.) and we wouldn’t want your gracious goodwill to go to waste. Can we try a different service next time?”
I’m sure he will say, “I’m so glad you told me!” and will be off to the races to find a better option. However, you might want to keep it to yourself that your dog was doing backflips over the beef stew. There’s honesty and then there’s honesty.
My son is a college freshman, and I just sent him a large package of homemade baked goodies. He didn’t express much appreciation, which stung a little. Should I satisfy my motherly urges and continue to send care packages, or take it as a hint and back off?
A Little Steamed
Definitely do not stop sending goodies. As we know, teenagers are basically narcissistic, monosyllabic neanderthals. But that’s just on the outside … and mostly all the way through. But somewhere in there is the little boy that was adorable, loving, sweet and hairless. And that part of him is both ecstatic and touched that you have sent him goodies. He is being bullied by the neanderthal though, so he can’t be heard.
One day, the neanderthal will go extinct and the sweet boy will re-emerge and remember how incredible it was that you sent him goodies during his freshman year in college. He may even express that to you. When he’s 43. The object in this life is just to live long enough to hear your kids apologize to you.
What’s with seashells in bathrooms? Why? In little dishes, in pictures on the wall, as soap holders. What am I missing? Aren’t sea shells supposed to be in the sea?
I Don’t Get It
Me either! Seashells are indeed beautiful, but you are right, they belong in the sea. And as to their association with the bathroom? No clue! Maybe the sound of rushing water in the sink (or toilet??) make people think of the roar of the ocean. I know when I walk on the beach, the first thing I think of is, wouldn’t this conch be even lovelier with soap scum on it?
Perhaps people are just subtly saying to their guests, “I have been to the ocean (and you haven’t!).” Perhaps instead of taking things out of the ocean for display on our toilet tanks, we can make a commitment to returning them to the beach the next time we are lucky enough to go. Thanks for the reminder!
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.