Being Polite.

A friend posted a karaoke song in a WhatsApp group in which I am a member. Some others and I complimented him on his delivery and he has promptly said that he is encouraged to post most such efforts.

This reminds me of a story that goes back to four decades.

A colleague had invited me over to his home for a meal during a visit to Pune where he was stationed but I was stationed at Mumbai. It was an excellent meal and I thoroughly enjoyed it except for one dish which was obviously a favourite of my colleague and his wife made with karela. I did not have the heart to express my dislike for the vegetable or the dish and complimented the lady of the house for having made it specially for me. I had the mortification of being forced two more helpings of that dish that night. And that was not all. After we moved to Pune permanently, they were still graceful hosts and kept cooking that dish every time we went there for a meal thinking that it was my favourite dish.

My late wife who liked the vegetable and the dish however enjoyed my discomfort and would tease me for having been such a dishonest flatterer.

I have had two telephone calls from other members of the group who did not like the rendering of the karaoke and have criticised me for having praised the friend!

Has being polite like that resulted in such faux pas for you too?

11 thoughts on “Being Polite.”

  1. I thought you don’t look to niceties. and call a spade spade irrespective of the outcome. Better luck bext time

  2. I had that experience with friends who invited me for dinner as I said I loved partridges. And omg, I was speaking of the beautiful berries.
    They had baked 4 patridges that the husband had proudly hunted.
    To eat partridges a delicacy is to bite off their heads. Seriously.
    I just about gagged all over their beautiful laid table. And had to say I was feeling very ill, so sorry, maybe it was flu and should leave. Right Now.
    I did.
    And I can’t count the number of times they have invited me back to share partridges with them again in hunting season. Ongoing excuses.

    1. I have learnt about partridge berries thanks to your story. I can well understand your reaction and inability to tell the friends about your aversion to their kind of partridges.

  3. so many cultural differences too! if one doesn’t know of them it can lead to problems.
    here in the west I grew up being taught to eat everything on my plate.
    in some Asian cultures… unless you leave a bite or two they will keep putting more food on your plate lest you are still hungry!
    I shouldn’t really laugh… but I love Urmeela’s teasing reaction to the dish and your having to eat it! I guess there are just some instances where it helps one to simply be frank. “I have always Wished I liked that dish but sadly I just never have!” or something to that effect. then you could praise one of he hostess’s other dishes that you DO really like!

    1. Now that I am no longer in the rat race, I can afford to follow your advice but, not then when I was still climbing the corporate and social ladders. In retrospect it all seems so silly.

      1. ” In retrospect it all seems so silly. ”
        truer words were never spoken!
        especially about the corporate Rat Race! but… it also afforded you many nice friends and a wonderful retirement… so I guess I shouldn’t complain if you don’t! LOLOL.

  4. I remember such an occasion as well, and for years afterwards the person would tell everyone “I always bring that for her, because she loves them…” And there’s the fancy Easter eggs, when actually I preferred the cheap marshmallow ones!

  5. Yes, phoney politeness can come back to bite you! I’ve never had that experience of being served up continually with something I loathe, but I do sometimes find myself eating too much because it seems impolite to refuse a lovingly prepared starter or dessert simply because I’m not that hungry.

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