Ask Martha: 'Should I come clean about not liking The Wire?'

Got a social dilemma? Martha Arthur has the answer...


Q. I have a guilty secret: I don't like The Wire much. I've given it four hours without understanding any of the dialogue and I don't think I have anything left to give. Should I come clean about this to my friends or bluff it out? Sophie, Hackney

A. Sophie, to thine own self be true! There is nothing more soulless or vapid than pretending to like a piece of culture just because you think you should. That said, you need to think about how to play this. If you tell your friends that you find said acknowledged TV masterpiece a bit of a yawn, and you can't tell who is who, nor why are there no adorable little dogs in bags in it, they will start to think you are a cultural lightweight. If you say you think it's reactionary, depressing and not a patch on the German TV epic Heimat... well they'll probably be too intimidated to disagree.There is a golden balance to be struck between these two options, Sophie, and I'm sure you'll find it.

Q. At work we share cake out whenever it's someone's birthday. I'm not very keen on cake so is it OK to refuse it? Or should I take it and then dispose of it secretly? And if so, how? MB, Warwickshire

A. As you have intuited, MB, one of the key rules of office team-bonding is to take the cake. To refuse is akin to drinking tap water all through the Christmas party. However, bonding makes everyone the same and there is nothing wrong with standing out in the workplace. Try turning down the dreaded sponge. It won't help you fit in or become "one of the team", but people will admire your steely anti-cake attitude from a respectful distance. You'll probably get promoted. If that fails – well, I hear a neat hiding place is behind your monitor.

Q. Coloured tights – a good look for winter? CH, Portsmouth

A. Yes, with a few exceptions: avoid yellow (too Malvolio), pale colours (unless you have the physique of a baby giraffe) and green (you risk being mistaken for one of Robin of Sherwood's merry men). Lace, colour and even leggings are great but beware the trend for legs in different colours – dangerously court jester.

Q. Please can you set me up with Barack Obama? He's dreamy. Bill, Brighton

A. I worry about this love affair of yours, Bill. It can be awfully hard seducing world leaders, as it's ever so difficult to pin them down. It's always Air Force One this, UN that. Furthermore, First Lady-in-waiting Michelle is also standing in the way of your happiness – although I am sure you would give Barack an excellent tour of your Royal Pavillion.

Email your social dilemmas to Martha at askmartha@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

    £18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory