I wonder if this happens to you too. You have a friend or relative. This person talks often of another person in their life who you never met. Let’s call that person “Aunt Fottsiey” (so as to not risk offending an actual someone). You hear GREAT things about Aunt Fottsiey. She is funny and charming and everyone she meets loves her. She says and does the cleverest things. Maybe your friend isn’t the only one who knows and mentions Aunt Fottsiey, and other people echo the praise and anecdotes. A picture forms in your mind. This Aunt Fottsiey must really be something.
Weeks or months or even years go by as you continue you hear about her. Then one day comes ’round when it happens. You meet Aunt Fottsiey. And… Aunt Fottsiey is nothing like the descriptions you’ve heard. She isn’t funny or charming and you don’t believe for a minute that “everyone she meets loves her.” Aunt Fottsiey isn’t merely having an off day either. She might even be obnoxious or just horrible all around. And what exactly can you now realistically say to your friend or the others who’ve been selling you on Aunt Fottsiey all this time? “Are you kidding me?” “THIS is the Famous Aunt Fottsiey??” “Boy oh boy, looks like I’m going to have to rethink everything I thought I knew about your judgement and sound mind.” “You realize your precious Aunt Fottsiey is a troll, don’t you?”
No, there really isn’t a whole lot to be safely said. (And here’s another scary thought. What if we are somebody else’s Aunt Fottsiey?)