Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Second Opinion...

There's something about asking for a second opinion that shouts, "not really!" It's been my experience that when people ask for a second opinion, what they really want is for you to agree with their opinion.

Today, I was at the fabric store to pick out fabric and trims for my needlepoint pillows. I swear, I must have a sign on my forehead that says, "Ask me, I have opinions!" Or it could be that they like the stuff I've picked out.

Anyway, this woman started asking me about her pillowcases. She had embroidered a row of flowers and butterflies along the edge. She did beautiful work and I told her so. I didn't even know that people still did that sort of thing. She showed me what she planned to do. She had this butterfly lace that she was going to put on the edge of the case opening. She asked me for my opinion. The trim was awesome, but right away, I did not like the placement of the trim on the edge. She proceeded to tell me that they were for her daughter-in-law who did not like pink. She was regretting using pink for the butterflies. There was also blue and lime green in the border. I asked her what her DIL's favorite color was. She said blue. I grabbed a blue 1" satin ribbon and laid it next to the seam under the border. I laid the butterfly lace over the top. That ribbon set off the lace perfectly. Plus, with the blue, it drew your eye to the blue stitching and down-played the pink. The conversation went like this:

She: "Don't you think it should be on the edge?"
Me: "Not really, on the edge, it looks like it's dangling in mid air."
She: "I did my last set like that and it looked really good."
Me:  "Well, you asked for my opinion. I think this way just really sets off your needlework."

Then, she proceeded to give me her opinion on what I'd selected for my pillows. I didn't ask for it, nor did I want it. I know what I like and have an eye for picking things that go together. I'm confident in my choices. She thought that the fabric I selected was too thin and would not hold up well as a pillow. I told her that I do not allow anyone to actually USE my pillows. They are decorative items only. After that, I moved on.

I think the same is true when you want a second opinion from a doctor. You either want him to agree with you or your doctor. I think the "askee" takes his cues from the "asker." If the "asker" says, my doctor says this, but I really think I should do that"---they are looking for someone to agree with them.

If I ever seek a second medical opinion, I want it to be completely unbiased. I want the new doc to know what the problem is, but not what my doc has recommended, or what I would like to do. I want to know what he thinks---independently of anyone else. To me, that's the only way to get a true second opinion. Otherwise, you're just paying good money to get someone to agree with what you want anyway.

That's just my opinion.


  1. I agree, often people ask your opinion in the hope you'll confirm theirs.

    In my opinion - I like pillows that can be used :)

  2. I have been catching up with you today Barbara, you make me laugh so much, I just love the conversation in the fabric shop! and I agree about second opinion. I can't resist buying something new to hang on my tree every year, of course this year I am especially excited as (hopefully) I will have an exciting something drop through the letter box. I really like your button tree. I know exactly that thing of 'In all this stuff, I still don't have the right thing' I suppose I am so behind with visiting that it will be less than 39 days to Christmas! Yikes!!! Oh and Miranda, Miranda Hart is such a great actress and comedian but I can't get along with this programme. Now, if you were to catch her in 'Call the midwife' you would know what I mean. In my humble opinion of course :) xx

  3. My daughters do that to me all the time - ask my opinion and then discount it. I try not to have an opinion whenever possible! Your fabric shop discussion was priceless!

  4. I think this is very well observed. The first time I changed the look of my blog and asked what everyone thought, a very wise commenter said it was obvious I liked it because I had chosen it so there was no point in anyone else saying they weren't keen. Which is good advice to keep in mind I always like to keep in mind now!

  5. made me smile.....Sian's wise commenter was spot on!

  6. What a funny encounter - I agree, most people just want you to agree with them! LOL Of course, I always have opinions to share . . .


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