Answer: This may not come as much of a surprise, but in my life, I have observed that few people are truly honest. I have determined, too, that, in some cases, people do not value honesty.
You are invited to dinner. The salad tastes as though it was doused with kerosene and the main course appears to have been some hapless creature that crossed the highway at precisely the wrong moment. If you are honest about the dinner set before you, you risk insulting the host. And if you rave on and on about the food as though it came from Maxine’s of Paris, your words are as dishonest as the cooking.
I have heard that, in such situations, you skirt the issue altogether. Something like this:
Host: Are you enjoying your dinner?
Guest: The dinner rolls are scrumptious.
Host: Yes, but what about the chicken gizzards au gratin? I spent all afternoon marinating the gizzards. Do you like them?
Guest: And the iced tea is just the way I like it.
Host: Yes! Yes! But what about the main course? Do you like the chicken gizzards?
Guest: I happen to prefer three ice cubes in my iced tea and you gave me three ice cubes. How thoughtful!
Host: Glad you like the tea, but what do you think of my chicken gizzards?
Guest: What a fetching little salt shaker! I have never seen a salt shaker as this!
Host: If you like the salt shaker, they sell them at any Wal-Mart. So what do you think of the chicken gizzards au gratin? This is my own recipe.
Guest: Did you say we are having cheesecake for dessert? How did you know that cheesecake is a favorite of mine?
Host: Yes, we are having cheesecake, but I want to know what you think of my chicken gizzard dish? Do you like the gizzards or not?
Guest: Admittedly, they are a bit chewy. Chewy and disgusting. I suppose I am not a big chicken gizzard fan.
Host: How dare you come to my home and insult my cooking! You may as well leave right now!
If you tell the truth, you insult your host. Unless, of course, you host happens to be one of the rare people who would rather hear truth over an empty compliment.
Many years ago, when I was a young man, I dated a girl whose cologne smelled like bug spray. It was awful. Do you tell a young lady that her scent reeks like some household pesticide? Or do you smile and live with the stink?
I have still not answered your question. Is it a sin to tell someone that the nasty tasting dinner is good? I can only ask: is it a bigger sin to destroy someone’s delicate feelings? My best advice? Think twice before accepting a dinner invitation.
How is that for really skirting an issue?