Imagine you're out hanging with a group of friends discussing political strategy. No burgers are served with chunky purple rings of onions and there's no garlic stew either. Just bottled water. Tim leans over to make a direct comment and instantly you feel your liver and other vital organs incinerate inside you. What toxic breath! Did he eat a dead skunk really? We've all been victims of Tim or perhaps we've had our own Tim moments for sure. I know I've had mine. I remember sophomore year in college. I had just finished a tasty bowl of Ramen noodles and I went about thinking my breath smelled of roses. But a good friend was "nice" enough to let me know my breath was on fire. Her exact words were "your breath is on fire." Although she gave me some gum and I was glad she was the only person who got remotely burned, nonetheless, the revelation that my breath wasn't immaculate hurt for a while. I accepted the gum and if I could blush I would have been red in both hands.
One time, a lady sat in front of me at church, wearing pants that were several sizes too small that the strings and other lacy accesories from her thongs were quite visible and unpleasantly so. I sat through the torture for a while and then I eventually passed her a note to take care of her visible undergarments. There are even more uncomfortable situations. Like having to tell an Asian lady that there was a big red blotch on her skirt. She gave me the look of horror! I didn't know if she appreciated me telling her or if I had crossed some cultural barrier I should not have. She walked away quickly and I was left alone in a bare hallway. Talk about keeping my mouth shut.
So, how do you tactfully handle those life's situations that are quite uncomfortable. If you've ever wondered, on Monday, the Oprah Winfrey Show will air a special episode that will discuss handling these situations. I'm sure we all want to know what to do besides playfully or seriously offering someone a stick of gum. Personally, I don't accept offers of gum from people. And please don't hold open a box of Altoids in my face. I have and will stare you dead in the face like the Asian lady did to me. And then I might run for cover, cup my hand over my mouth and breathe in and out. When I'm satisfied I don't smell like Pepé Le Pew then I will confidently stroll away. Oh and let's not talk about unsightly ball sized gunk in people's noses. These situations are quite difficult to handle, but maybe on Monday between four and five in the afternoon the skills will finally be learned. However, if you find someone not wearing undergarments don't approach them. It might be intentional.