Because It's The Right Thing To Do

By Karen Cleveland

There’s a draconian social code dictating that you tell someone when their fly is undone, that their skirt is tucked into their tights, and that there’s toilet paper stuff to their shoe. I like to think that our good-natured, polite ethos makes us feel just as comfortable telling a stranger at a restaurant any of the above, as we would telling a good friend.

In fact, recently SDTC’s very own belle of all things French and fabulous quietly and diplomatically told me when my lipgloss had gone renegade, and was smeared something awful. After all, what goes around comes around. And I’d rather hear that I’m looking like a hot mess/have something stuck in my teeth, than go about my day, ignorantly embarrassing myself.

So if that’s the light stuff, then….there’s the dreadful real stuff. The delicate, awkward territory that we’d prefer never to address with neither friend nor stranger… know, the stuff that makes your face scrunch up like you’ve sucked on a lemon: dental hygiene and dragon breath, body odour, reeking of smoke, or worse, horrible body odour. Perhaps the coward’s way out, but addressing this embarrassing stuff anonymously does the job with the least amount of damage. A discreet (DISCREET!) note folded and left on a chair, or tucked into a coat pocket that simply states the facts “there’s no easy way to say this, but if it were me, I’d want someone to tell me if my breath was terrible.”

It’s risky, true, but if this person is subject to gossip or teasing behind their back, step up and try and squash it. Pain for some gain?


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