Dear Carson: A local florist sent us a diseased bromeliad plant at my father's recent funeral. The customers were elderly relatives who could not attend the funeral. This bromeliad was the sickliest plant I have ever seen. I feel hurt and angry that my great aunt and uncle (who can no longer drive) spent part of their fixed income to send a plant that arrived in this condition. I can just imagine how horrified they would be! Do I take it back and politely ask for a healthier plant or just let it go? - Daughter's Dilemma
Dear Daughter: Your local florist should be ashamed to think they could get away with foisting off such a plant when they had an out-of-town order. My suggestion is that you call or go to them, perhaps taking the bromeliad with you. Ask them to replace the plant, saying you do not want to distress your elderly relatives. They will most likely get the message and comply with your request.
Dear Carson: There should be rules of some sort to keep people from airing their personal business in public. There is nothing more annoying than being seated near people talking on their cell phone about what they did last night. The only exception should be for people in business for themselves who rely heavily on contact with their clients. - Cell Phone Chatting
Dear Cell: I agree with you wholeheartedly. However, there are some exceptions: Young parents with a baby sitter at home and doctors on call who might need to be reached in case of emergency, to name just a few. If people should get a call in such an instant, they should excuse themselves or at least speak briefly and in quiet tones. However, even they should put their phones on vibrate so as not to annoy others. One should not have to have long chatty conversations in restaurants, meetings, doctor's waiting rooms or any other public place where others will be disturbed. Such people are inconsiderate of others and are getting their needs met at the expense of others.
Dear Carson: Please inform me as to the proper placement of a monogram on place mats. My mats are white, hem-stitched linen. - Monogram Muddle
Dear MM: There is no set rule, but my suggestion is for the monogram to be in the middle of the top side or vertically down the left-hand edge of the mat.
Dear Carson: Is it wrong to have more than one real estate agent help me in my search for a home? Should I let one go, and then enlist another? - Perplexed in California
Dear Perplexed: You may use more than one agent, but you should let them both know that they are not your exclusive agent. Remember, they are paid on commission, so try to be open and fair.