DEAR ABBY: I was bicycling through the park when I noticed a young woman dressed in black picking lilies along the side of the path.
I stopped and asked her why she was picking flowers. "I am going to a funeral today," she replied. I told her that while I understood why she was picking the flowers, she was still wrong to do so, because no one else going through the park would be able to enjoy them.
Abby, now I feel guilty that I confronted her. Didn't she have enough to worry about? After all, she was going to a funeral! Although I still feel that I did the right thing, was there another way of handling this? -- CIVIC-MINDED BUT CONFUSED
DEAR CIVIC-MINDED: Your direct approach was appropriate at the time you first noticed her picking the flowers. Black is a popular fashion choice, and you couldn't have known she was on her way to a funeral.
You were right. She should not have been picking the flowers, and your comment should give her food for thought. However, I suspect you'd be feeling less guilty right now if -- once she told you about the funeral -- you had expressed your condolences for her loss and then quietly gone on your way.