Dear Abby: My father recently passed away. I wanted to be sure I was appropriately dressed for his funeral, so I shopped for the most conservative outfit I could find. When I arrived at the service, I was taken aback by what my sister-in-law was wearing. I told her I didn’t think her dress was appropriate for the occasion. It was skintight and all lace. I told her what she was wearing looked like something worn at a cocktail party.
Once the words were out of my mouth I knew I shouldn’t have said anything. I immediately apologized and said she looked really good in the dress, and it was flattering and rather sexy. My brother called the next day. He was furious and said that he had chosen it.
I feel like at a funeral the dress should be like what you’d wear at church or a business meeting. I may be wrong. I know I should have kept my opinion to myself and regret the comment I made. Should I just let time heal this? She and my brother are extremely upset.
Said No to the Dress
Dear Said No: When people are grieving, they sometimes make comments they wouldn’t otherwise. Apologize to both of them for your thoughtlessness and insensitivity, and hope they forgive you.
Many years ago, I attended the funeral of a friend in his early 30s who had died in a tragic accident. “John’s” mother was friendly with mine, and we went to support her. John’s fiancee, “Linda,” was someone I also knew. When she showed up wearing an orange mini-dress, his mother was appalled. She told me she thought it was highly disrespectful. When I asked Linda later why she had chosen that particular dress, her response made me want to cry. She said she had worn it because it was John’s favorite dress, and he loved seeing her in it. I learned a lesson that day: Someone’s attire at a funeral is far less important than what’s in the person’s heart.
Dear Abby: I am an avid reader. Whenever I find an interesting article or story that I believe someone will enjoy, I cut out the article or copy the link and send it to that person. My issue is, I don’t think they ever read what I send them.
When I bring it up during casual conversation because I think it would be nice to discuss, I find that the person hasn’t read it and says, “Oh, yes, I’m going to read it,” but I don’t think they ever do. Is sharing pushy? Do people read anymore? Should I stop sending articles and stories?
Passing It On in New York
Dear Passing: You may be overdoing it in your desire to share. If someone tells you twice that they didn’t get around to reading what you sent, stop.
Dear Abby: Graduation is fast approaching, and the pressure is on. I am doing good in school, but work and school are draining all of my energy. How can I not be so tired? I can’t stop work, and I definitely need school and college. Can you give me some advice for managing time so I won’t be so tired?
Tired in South Carolina
Dear Tired: Recognize that you are running a kind of marathon. Establish an ironclad schedule that allows you to get the rest you need, and don’t deviate from it. I’m not saying it will be fun, but it will get you through and allow you to reach your goal without making yourself sick.
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.