I recently overheard my elderly parents talking about their neighborhood ragman. I’ve never heard of this and can’t seem to find any information on it elsewhere. Do you know what a ragman is? Do these people still exist?

Dear Michael,


I recently overheard my elderly parents talking about their neighborhood ragman. I’ve never heard of this and can’t seem to find any information on it elsewhere. Do you know what a ragman is? Do these people still exist?


Sincerely,


Ragman Cometh


 


Dear Mr. Ragman


From my research (because I also am far too young to remember anything of the sort) I have determined that a ragman is an olden-time type of junkman. They used to collect rags, and people would sell rags to them. What they would do with the rags, I am not sure. I’ve also heard that these ragmen tended to be mean. Maybe some of our readers would be able to shed some light onto this. Do you remember the ragman? Do you have a good story? Share it with us!


Love,


Your Diva Michael


 


Dear Michael,


Recently, my friend asked to show me a photo that he had taken on his cellphone. Well, one picture turned into 50. I hate when people rope you in to looking at a bunch of vacation photos, kid pictures, pet pictures or anything else. If I wanted to see a bunch of pictures of your cat, I’d ask. Next time this happens, how can I politely tell someone that I don’t need to see all of their photos?


Sincerely,


Tired of Pictures


 


Dear Mr. Tired,


I’m with you, honey. Sometimes I get very tired of grandkid and vacation pictures. The way I see it, the people who really want to see your pictures will ask. There is no need to bombard people. Honestly, I’d probably rather put my head in an oven than look at 200 of your vacation photos. If you feel the need to show pictures, bring one or two. Nobody gets annoyed with one good picture, so there’s a good compromise. If someone tries to rope you in to looking at a million pictures, the best way to get out of it is to simply say that you are busy. “I’m pressed for time today so I can’t look at all your pictures, but is there one or two that really stand out?” for instance. No need to sit through pictures ever again!


Love,


Your Diva Michael


 


Dear Michael,


I was recently out to dinner with a friend, and she spent the entire night on her new iPhone. It was very aggravating to try to have a conversation with someone who is more interested in texting and playing with apps on their phone. I’ve noticed this a lot lately with other people, too. Do people not realize how rude it is? How can I tell my friend that I want to spend time with her, not sit there and watch her play on her phone?


Sincerely,


Aggravated


 


Dear Miss Aggravated,


It is rude, and it is everywhere! I think people have just become desensitized to it and aren’t aware that they are being rude. If you are annoyed by your friend’s attachment to her phone, the next time you go out, tell her that you aren’t there to watch her play on her phone. If the problem persists, maybe tell your friend that you aren’t willing to go out with her if she’s not willing to put down the phone. That should get her attention!


Love,


Your Diva Michael


 


Michael Serode is the owner/operator of Salon Serode in Pembroke, Mass., and your divine advice columnist. Send questions to salonserode@gmail.com. And see the collection of Dear Michael videos online in our multimedia and video sections.