DEAR ABBY: Is there a delicate way for me to tell my boyfriend not to use the same online floral delivery service again? The birthday bouquet he had delivered to me arrived with limp, wilted, torn petals and leaves and broken stems. It was one of those box-of-flowers deliveries.
I doubt my boyfriend realized they would not arrive in a vase and arranged by a florist. Instead, they had been packed in a box, without water, with the vase packed alongside, delivered by a regular package courier.
I usually send him a photo of my bouquet along with my heartfelt thanks, and while I thanked him as usual, I did not send a picture of the bouquet because I knew he would feel bad — both about the lackluster arrangement, and the money he had spent on them.
I found what I believe was the intended arrangement on the website, and it was lovely — a far cry from what was delivered to me. I love my twice-a-year flowers (birthday and Christmas), and I don't want to come across as critical or ungrateful. I am blessed to have such a thoughtful partner.
If flowers were just a one-time gift, I would not even consider mentioning it. However, with Valentine's Day (and another flower delivery) approaching, I wonder if I should let my boyfriend know that it might be better to use a local florist to ensure he is getting his money's worth. Or should I just cross my fingers that it was a one-off? — UNGRATEFUL GIRLFRIEND
DEAR "UNGRATEFUL": Tell your boyfriend why you didn't send him a photo of the flowers he sent as you usually do. He has a right to know, and it will not make you appear ungrateful. He may be able to get a refund if the order was mishandled and he had ordered an arrangement in a vase. And if the vendor is not forthcoming, he may choose to deal with a different one next time. Please give him the option.
DEAR ABBY: I'm one half of a female best friend duo in our early 30s. We both live with clinical depression, and my friend also has ADHD. During most of our 20s, neither of us did a good job of coping with these issues, but we were able to laugh it off together. Now, after putting in a lot of work, I'm finally in a healthy place, and I intend to continue getting better from here.
My best friend, however, is managing her own mental health as poorly as ever. She doesn't have the interest or the motivation to help herself the way I have, and she resents when others try to talk to her about it. I sense she wishes I was like I used to be.
I'm starting to feel like being around her is no longer healthy for me, but I don't know what to do. I don't have many other friends. I live out of state from my family, and I still love her dearly. How should I proceed? — SELF-HELPER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SELF-HELPER: Proceed by continuing to move forward. If you seek out new activities, you will meet more people with common interests. Do not drop her. Call her periodically to check in, and make a point of inviting her to join you in some of your new interests. However, if she refuses, do not let it deter you from doing what you must to aid in your healing. I congratulate you for finding the strength to get the help you needed.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)