laplumeDear Ms. Plume,

I recently attended a memorial service for a friend who passed away unexpectedly at a young (to us spring chickens) age. She was a dearly loved wife, mother, grandmother, friend and was very active in the community. The church was completely packed. From my perch in the balcony, I noticed that black was the predominant color of dress. But not for everyone. What’s kosher these days for funeral attire? 


The Lady in Turquoise

Dear Lady in Turquoise,

It is not necessary to wear black to funerals these days unless, for some reason, the funeral is a formal affair. You should, however, dress reasonably conservatively and tastefully. Black is the traditional color of mourning and is usually appropriate to wear to a funeral, but depending on your relationship to the family, the nature of the funeral service itself (church, graveside, etc.), or the religion, colors are acceptable. 

L. A. Plume

Dear L. A.,

1.How come I go for weeks without any invitations anywhere and then I get a bunch of them for the same weekend?  

2.Do I really have to make dinner for my husband for as long as he shall live?  Or lunch?

3.Why do people think Birkenstocks are attractive?  Or even acceptable?

4.Is it okay to wear a color other than black to a funeral?


Dear Confused,

  1. Have you ever heard of the expression, “When it rains, it pours?” What does that mean, exactly? If you can figure that out, you may also understand the mystery of why your invitation list fluctuates.
  2. Apparently only if you want him to live. Have you tried leaving a loaf of bread and some peanut butter and jelly on the counter and seeing what happens?
  3. I ask myself the same question about all sorts of attire when I’m in an airport, for instance. Why would I want to sit next to the man who is wearing nylon running shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt and spilling into my seat, on an airplane for five hours?
  4. See the above question/answer re: Lady in Turquoise 

L. A. Plume

Dear Ms. Plume,

We have a group of women who meet, on occasion, for lunch, or cocktails. It takes a little bit of doing to choose the time and place, send the (personal email) invitations, keep track of the responses, and make the reservations. Obviously if someone doesn’t respond at all on more than one occasion, they are off the list, but what about those who always regret, or those who accept and don’t show up? How many times do we keep inviting people whose interest we can’t determine?

Miss Fussy

Dear Miss Fussy,

Well, some people work and can’t do lunch, but you should know who they are; some women don’t leave their husbands at home to join other women for cocktails, but they will advise you of that also. It’s your party so it’s your choice to keep inviting people or not; you could ask if they wish to be kept on the list. But if people accept and just don’t show up without letting you know, unless they have a really good reason for not informing you, I’d say it’s their turn to do the inviting.

L. A. Plume

Dear Ms. Plume,

Could you please ask your readers to observe the following request? If someone is pregnant and you’re discussing baby names with them, don’t make a face, or a negative comment, if you don’t like the names they’re in the process of trying to choose. Yes, we may know that Pepper Jack is also the name of a cheese, and that although Esme is difficult to pronounce and spell, and regained popularity from the book/movie Twilight, these are still our choices that are under consideration. 


Dear Mom,

Consider it done.

L. A. Plume