Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn • I am married and have a 2-year-old son. Last week, someone sent me two dozen roses with a note that said they wanted to make me smile, because I make them smile. It was signed with a first name only (common, think John or Tom). The flower shop told me they will not release information about the person without a police report, and local police laughed at me and told me I should be happy someone is sending me flowers.
I am very freaked out that someone knows my full name and address. This information is easy to get online with a simple search, but the fact that someone is using it to send roses to my house really scares me. I know the roses themselves are not threatening, but to me, the action is.
What can I do? My husband knows I’m freaked out, but I think in the back of his head he is also wondering if I am hiding something from him.— Very Freaked Out
Answer • That is not not not an acceptable response from the local police. They think stalking is funny? Really? Because that’s the sum of incidents like yours. They see flowers, bahaha, but this anonymous creepy thing multiplied a few times would be enough to encourage me, at least, to consider staying at someone else’s house for a while.
And yes, just the one incident would be creepy enough for me to feel uncomfortable.
So go back to the florist and insist. If that fails, go back to the police. Say you need the report. Take names. Bring your husband if you must, though that’s enraging right there. Next step, attorney.
Anyone who thinks this is an overreaction needs to recall the power of being creeped out. And it’s just a report, just so you can get a name. If it’s harmless, then everyone moves on.
A police report is just a piece of paper that will take them five minutes to fill out. Don’t take no for an answer. — Anon 1
The flowers WERE signed. Freaked just couldn’t figure out who it was. A onetime unwanted gift from a thought-he-had-identified-himself person does not a stalker make. — Anon 2
Answer • This is the same mistake the police made. The recipient feels unsettled, that is real, and is asking for more information so that her response can be an informed one. That’s it. No one has enough information.
I made the point very clearly, stalking is “the sum of incidents” like this. Sum of. More than one. But she has a right to honor her unease even for one bouquet and the right to learn who sent it.
I would tell the florist they are not covered by florist-client privilege and unless they tell me who it is, I am going on Yelp and Facebook and every other social media outlet to explain how this florist entity facilitates stalking. — Anon 3
Answer • Florist-client privilege. Where were you when I needed a wing-person.