Q. I went shopping with my two little nieces and their mother recently, and I bought each one of my nieces a pretty little Easter Dress, and the plan was they were going to wear them to church on Easter Sunday. I was also invited to go to church with them, and I was really excited.
That all changed when I received a call from their mother this past week, telling me they were not going to be going to church after all. My invitation to join them for church was therefore also cancelled. She then asks me for the receipts for the dresses since they were not going to wear them. She said she wanted to get them some new play clothes instead.
In addition to being disappointed about not going to church with them, I felt my gifts were not appreciated. I told her I would mail her the receipts, but after thinking about it for awhile, I called her back and told her I wanted the girls to keep the dresses, and I would set up a date soon to take them out for tea, and they could wear them then. I don’t think she was too happy, but she didn’t say so. My question is: Was it improper for me to call her back and change my mind?
A. No, it definitely was not improper of you to change your mind to ask that the girls keep the lovely dresses you bought for them. You turned “lemons into lemonade” because these little girls will love getting dressed up and going to tea with you. What a great idea, and what a special memory you will create for all of you.
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Q. Call me old-fashioned, but if I can’t attend the wake or funeral of a colleague, friend or loved one, I still think it is better to send a sympathy card rather than go to the funeral home’s website and “leave a note of sympathy.” I know it is part of the the wave of modern technology, but somehow that note on the website seems so impersonal. Trying to do what I prefer has its problems, however. With so many people using only cell phones, if you don’t already have the deceased’s family member’s address, what choice do you have other than going online to leave a message?
A. I understand. I, too, feel a sympathy card with a note inside is more appropriate than putting my personal note on the funeral home’s website, along with comments from other people. You do have another option available to you: You can send your sympathy card and note to the funeral home and ask that it be forwarded to the deceased’s family. This is another thoughtful and caring service the funeral home provides for the deceased’s family members.
Address the envelope as follows: To the family of John Doe
c/o The So and So Funeral Home
Street address, city, state, ZIP code
Upon receipt, the funeral home will forward it to the family, without opening it.
Send questions to Dianne Isbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.