My daughter-in-law brought homemade cinnamon rolls to our Thanksgiving Day celebration. Our family decided to get together all day, so we started with breakfast. She asked me what I thought of her cinnamon rolls even though everyone else had already raved about them.
“I don’t know if they’re really good,” she said, “or if everyone is just saying they are to spare my feelings because I’m pregnant.”
So she asked me.
I have a reputation in my family for speaking my mind without regard for people’s feelings. I have this reputation for two reasons:
- I have a high regard for the people I love and their ability to accept my opinions.
- I am an insensitive asshole.*
I tried her cinnamon rolls. While I was eating one, it occurred to me that if anyone spared her feelings, it was because they love her. I asked her, “Would you rather experience some doubt about yourself knowing that your friends and family love you, or would you rather be certain but know that they do not?”
She thought about it for a minute. “I don’t know,” she said.
“They’re very good,” I said. Indeed, they were.
*I sometimes shamelessly use the first reason as cover for the second. I’m sorry. I’m only human.