Traditional Balsam Wreath, $49.95



Dear Dave,

The good – arrived very fast; smelt fabulous when the box was opened. The bad – I think the smell comes from a spray – it has completely gone now. The wreath is not round but “egg-shaped”! Decorations look cheap. Frankly, it looks ugly. It’s too late for me to return and get another (company arriving). I used to get much cheaper ones from the local chain store, at less than half the price, but thought I’d splurge this year. It will be back to the chain store next year!

Boston48, Boston, MA

Dear Boston48,

What is it with you people and your “wreaths”? People are not seasonal decorations! My dear readers, this is a good reminder to drive in your lane, punch at your weight class, or stay in your socio-economic comfort zone when looking for a partner. Look at what happens when you set your sights too high! Now you’re stuck with your “wreath” and your holiday party will certainly be ruined. Think of what your guests will say about the oval shape of your “purchase”. The thought of a smug LL Bean type is much better than the reality. Those decorations can’t hide the ugly truth once you get close and the perfume wears off. People are people, regardless of where you shop for them. That being said, consider a middle-of-the-road option. No need to drop down into Walmart territory. Avoid the temptation to go slumming for a “wreath” just to piss mom off at Christmas dinner.

Happy Holidays!



Autumn Harvest Wreath, $149.95


Dear Dave,


I have had this wreath for a few weeks on my front door, which is in a covered location due to our large front porch. The other day I noticed some orange droplets in the doorway which had stained the ground below the wreath – turns out my wreath is “bleeding” some weird orange drips onto the ground. The wreath is not wet, and I have no idea what would be making such dark orange drops come off it, but I am going to have to throw it out and am very disappointed.

Sally M, Seattle WA

Dear Sally,

A wreath? Come on! Wreaths don’t bleed. The reason the doorman is bleeding weird fluids onto your porch is because he’s dead! I know it’s hard to get good help to impress your many autumn visitors, but a few weeks on your front door? What did you do, nail him to the door like an ornament so he wouldn’t slouch? Did you even notice his coloring? You are careful to point out that your porch is covered and he was able to stay dry in rainy Seattle. Well, aren’t you are a compassionate lady of the people! My advice: lose the doorman and get a doorbell. Oh, and check your local laws on body disposal. Things are different now. You can’t just throw the body out like an old rug.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Therapeutic Dog Bed, $299.00

Dear Dave is a series in which I address poor reviews of consumer goods in the advice column tradition of Dear Abby or Dear Sugar. Aren’t most online reviews a cry for help, anyway?

Dear Dave,
I bought this bed to keep my hairy beast off the furniture, figuring it was cheaper than replacing the couch. She still prefers the couch, the kitchen floor, the bedroom rug, anything, to this bed. The cat, however, seems to like it. The Extra Large would have probably fit 2 St. Bernards- it’s really big. And it is very very difficult to put together. I’m afraid now to wash it in case I can’t figure out how to put it back together. I’m very sorry I incurred such an expense because it’s not being used.
Western NY

Dear Frustrated,

Married couples are sometimes like citizens in closed countries. Think North Korea. Or the Soviet Union. They have alternate realities. People live there, they walk around, go to work, stand in food lines, fear the police. They do many of the same things that all people do, just in a closed-off parallel world. The citizens don’t know how different they are because their contact with other countries is all rumor and whispers. They suspect there’s something more, but they don’t know what it is. That sounds a little like your marriage, Frustrated. In your marriage country it’s ok to refer to your wife as a dog or “hairy beast”. And maybe she does have quite a bit of hair. However, it sounds like she prefers the floor or the rug instead of the bed because she doesn’t want to sleep with you! Out here, in the wonderfulfilling™ world of internet content and consumerism, she could remove that hair and you could find a therapist for men’s issues. In fact, that’s my recommendation. Seek therapy before you end up married to the cat. On a side note, we also wash our bedding out here in the modern world. Despite our fears of getting the fitted sheet back on the bed.



Downing Tote, $168.00

Dear Dave is a series in which I address poor reviews of consumer goods in the advice column tradition of Dear Abby or Dear Sugar. Aren’t most online reviews a cry for help, anyway?


Dear Dave,

I read over the description of this tote several times and didn’t realize there was no inside pocket. I was disappointed because the leather is so soft and the flat bottom makes this tote useful. There is an attached wallet but that is just too inconvenient for cellphones, etc. The strap length is good — can be easily put over shoulder but also comfy to carry with the handles over the arm. The quality is good. Just one pocket inside would make it perfect.

Love the leather

Louisiana, USA

Dear Love the Leather,

Guess what? Totes, (a strange word for boyfriends, but curiously accurate in many cases), do not always come as advertised. I know you love that so-soft leather. (We usually refer to that as skin.) Flat bottoms are nice, too. (You said “useful” but I’ll leave the utility of a flat bottom to the reader’s imagination.) You may be a little too interested in that attached wallet, however. Chasing the money is not always a good idea. Why do you want to keep your cellphone in his wallet anyway? You certainly have no problem with imagination, Love the Leather, and that’s why I chose your letter out of the thousands I receive. Imagination can be good. Or, not so good. Sometimes we need a mini-vacation from our daily lives in which imagination plays a vital role. I fully support those daily flights of fancy that rejuvenate a tired soul. Maybe a walk in the woods or some quiet time just sitting and daydreaming. Maybe even a little reverie in which our loved ones are our handbags. A little consumerish, maybe, but it’s your fantasy! So, your boyfriend is of good quality and easy to haul around but he won’t hold your cellphone, etc.? I suggest next time he’s draped on your arm to go shopping or see some vapid Rom-Com, you consider his imagination. He may be thinking of something supple with a good bottom as well. And, I guarantee you, strap length is not that important to him. My suggestion: direct your imagination to who he is and away from what he can carry. Oh, and men are not beach bags either. Or clutches. Before you go there.



Pumping Heart Model, $39.99

Dear Dave is a series in which I address poor reviews of consumer goods in the advice column tradition of Dear Abby or Dear Sugar.  Aren’t most online reviews a cry for help, anyway?



Dear Dave,

Please DO NOT Purchase this product for demonstrating pumping of blood in heart. You may use it just to show a 3D diagram of heart and lungs connection_ but the pumping model does not show the difference in oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood nor does it show how the blood is pumped from one chamber to another and then to the lungs and back accurately (not even remotely accurate). The simulated blood (red-colored water) just flows erratically with NO resemblance to how a heart pumps blood. I wonder who designed, tested and recommended this product!

Heartbroken, Edina, Minnesota

Dear Heart Broken,

Was she really that cold? Could she really have been that heartless? Is she nothing more than a 3D diagram? Methinks you are a bit too…empirical?  Relationships are not science experiments.  No one wants to talk about oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood. That’s a conversation killer, like comparing tree species, describing your school project on tapeworms, or championing the benefits of bleach. When we point the finger at someone, we are really pointing three back at ourselves. Annoying adage, yes. But go ahead and try it. Test that hypothesis. See?  Now, isn’t it YOUR blood that feels like red-colored water? Isn’t it YOUR blood that flows erratically? (Normally, I would assume you’re talking metaphorically, except for your letter. If it’s really flowing erratically then go to the hospital. Immediately.) As for who designed and tested that “product”. God did! Duh… Gotcha! Ha! You were ready to start in about evolution and apes and natural selection and Quest for Fire (your favorite movie) and the fertile crescent, weren’t you? Dude, you must lighten up. Here’s your assignment: Set a timer for 15 minutes then sit in a chair and put your hand over your heart. Keep it there and breath in and out slowly. Focus on breathing and the feeling of your heart beating beneath you hand. When thoughts occur, just observe them, and keep still. At the end of 15 minutes say out loud, “I am human. I am alive. And so are the others.”

Or just drink heavily once a week and go act out.  Good luck!