This term comes from a Spanish joke describing a scenario by which you sort of let someone down easily.
A guy lives at home with his mom and decides he needs a vacation. So he asks his sister to stay at his house with their mother and keep an eye on his beloved cat.
After a couple of days away, he calls home to check in. "Hey Sis, the weather is beautiful here, hey, how's my cat?" She replies "oh, the cat got hit by a car and died." He gasps and scolds her "What kind of an insensitive idiot are you? That's not how you break bad news to someone." She's taken aback and says "Oh, I'm sorry, it's what happened - how should I have answered?" He says, "Well, maybe you say something like, Oh, the cat ran away and the next time I call you say now the cat is high up in the tree and won't come down and the next time I call you tell me the cat is higher up in the tree and looks sick and then the next time I call you tell me that the cat fell from the tree and doesn't look good. You break bad news to someone incrementally and gently."
Then he says, "Well listen, enough of all that, onto something else - how's mom doing?"
The sister pauses "Oh, well Mom's up in the tree."
The moral of the story intends to be obvious and I'm sure we've all been in situations where we had to gently tell someone harsh news.
Me - I don't like it so much. My first appointment with an RE last January I walked in and said "I will be using donor eggs," to which the doctor replied "Whoa! that's not something I hear every day from a 41 year old with functioning ovaries."
No, I'm not immune to being jolted by harsh news but if it's between a jolt of bad news or a cat in the tree, give it to me straight the first time. Fortunately, I have been innately blessed with the ability to accept things I don't like and make the best of them. I don't define myself as a positive or a negative person but as a realist. I would prefer to face a bad reality over a delusional one under the guise of being "positive."
I told the doctor I didn't think it would serve me well to spend $60K on one failed IVF after another only to wind up with no baby and then having no funds to pursue donor eggs or adoption. To each their own but I don't play big money at the Blackjack table and the odds there are FAR BETTER than the odds of a 41 year old woman with a 12.8 FSH of getting pregnant with her own eggs.
Whatever the truth is, however harsh the stats - give them to me, 'cause I can handle the truth if it's going to save me agony later on down the road!