Mary Killen Mary Killen

Dear Mary | 9 February 2017

Also in Dear Mary: I was bullied into buying a horrible hat; why gift vouchers make a terrible present

Q. A (very attractive) man I knew at university invited me to a party given by him and his girlfriend. When I got there I found the girlfriend has reinvented herself as a hat designer and there was a pop-up shop at the party. I was bullied into buying one even though, patently, none of them suited me. Because of the social nature of the event I was embarrassed into pretending
I thought it was wonderful and I shelled out a lot of money. What should I do now?
— Name and address withheld

A. Offer the hat to a pushy and aggressive friend. If she says she doesn’t like it, urge her to make an appointment at the pop-up shop and see if she can exchange this unsuitable present. The result will be either that your friend will walk out with a hat she likes, or she may even achieve a refund.

Q. Mary, have you any tips for what singleton girls should do on Valentine’s night? There’s so much marketing around it now, it’s not as though my friends and I can forget it’s happening, particularly when three of us work together for a glossy magazine company. We don’t want to be depressed while smug couples are sending each other flowers and pants. How can we make the best of the night?
PS: please don’t suggest Tinder.
— Name withheld, London W1

A. Find premises fit for around 50 and ask 25 amiable singleton friends to a Valentine’s night party. The proviso is that each must bring a Plus One of the opposite sex in the form of another single person to whom they are not attached.

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