Q. My daughter has left her appalling husband and come to live with me while her new house is being made ready. Today a parcel arrived with the usual sort of impenetrable wrapping which needs to be cut through with secateurs. I attacked the packaging with gusto and threw it on to the fire. Only then did I see the delivery note which showed that the parcel was not for me but for my daughter. Inside was a battery-driven ‘erotic aid’. Clearly I cannot mortify my daughter by handing her the device, but nor can I repackage it and put it through the post again as it would then be postmarked from our part of the world — which is quite a remote little pocket of England. What should I do?
Name and address withheld
A. This sort of embarrassment happens all the time with deliveries of erotic aids. The suppliers will be familiar with your plight and sympathetic to it. If you telephone them and announce you will be returning the device, they will agree to dispatch another on receipt of it. You may have to pay new postage and packaging charges, but you can be confident that no office blunderer will include paperwork identifying you as the originator of this new order.
Q. I would welcome your help with a difficult social situation in which I found myself recently. I was attending a meeting that was preceded by a wine reception. On entering the reception room I spied a glamorous and elegant female colleague, went over to greet her and kissed her on the cheek. She was talking to another not instantly recognisable lady whom I quickly ascertained was a contemporary who I know equally well, but who until recently had been, as they say, a woman trapped in a man’s body.