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 wilted, torn petals 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. While I thanked him as usual, I did not send a picture of the bouquet because I knew he would feel bad.
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.
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If flowers were just a one-time gift, I would not even consider mentioning it. 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.
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. After putting in a lot of work, I'm finally in a healthy place.
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. 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.