Q. My boyfriend broke up with me after Christmas. We had been dating for a year. He still calls to "check in" with me, as he puts it, but we haven't been going out. I still care about him and wish we would get back together.
One of my girlfriends suggested I send flowers to his office for Valentine's Day. I'm rather shy and not very assertive, so I'm not too sure I should. I think it would be too forward. I know if my mom and grandma were still alive, their eyes would fly open in shock at such a suggestion. What should I do?
A.Yes, "too forward" is my opinion. Follow the wisdom of your mother and grandmother. Allow your former boyfriend to take the initiative and be a "valentine" to you, if he so chooses.
Besides, receiving flowers at the office from a former girlfriend might prove to be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for him. The end result could be that he curtails any further communication with you.
Q.I have a dear friend who is pregnant with her third child, and it has not been an easy pregnancy. I know it is not proper to give her a baby shower. She has all the baby items she needs anyway because her last child is only 2 years old and the same sex as the one she is going to have.
But I also know she's been really tired lately, and I think she needs some cheering up. I was thinking of hosting a "personal" shower for her, either at my house, a restaurant or even a spa with just her closest girlfriends. I know you can hire pedicurists and manicurists to come to your home for an evening. My friend might like that.
Is this idea inappropriate? Do I need to ask my friend if it is OK first? I think possible gifts could include perfume, a pretty nightgown or gift certificates for a pedicure, manicure, massage, hair styling, facial or shopping at her favorite boutique. What's your opinion?
A. What a dear friend you are! Your idea is very thoughtful, personal and not at all inappropriate. It sounds like a lot of fun for everyone. I do feel it appropriate to coordinate a date with your friend to make certain she does not have a conflict. Besides, surprising a woman who is pregnant could be a little too exciting. You would not want her to have to head to the hospital.
Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Lifestyle Editor Patrick Kuhl, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.