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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Tall Tale Leads to a Very Short Marriage

DEAR ABBY: You were right in your advice to "No Guts," who had given his fiancee a three-carat cubic zirconia. (You told him to find the guts because it would be better if she got the news from him.) I only wish he had written his letter a year ago. Here is the female point of view:

My fiance gave me a two-carat "diamond," saying he had inherited it from his grandfather. He said the jeweler that mounted it had told him its value was "between $8,000 and $10,000 dollars." When I asked if he'd ever had it appraised or insured, he said he hadn't -- because he didn't want to pay an inheritance tax. His mother didn't even know he had it, he said, and I could never tell her because it would cause a family feud!

Of course, being in love and blinded by this gorgeous "rock," I fell for the whole story, and proudly showed it off at work and to friends and family. Imagine my embarrassment (yes, after the wedding!) when I took it to a jeweler to have it appraised, and he told me it was not a diamond!

When I confronted my husband, he gave me another string of lies, saying that either one of his previous roommates had found the ring in the apartment and replaced the stone with a fake, or that when he took it to the jeweler for engraving, the jeweler must have switched the stones. Then he said that he knew when he said "I do" that it wasn't a diamond, but planned to replace it (without my knowledge) on our first anniversary.

Needless to say, eight months before our first anniversary, I divorced this con artist.

I learned my lesson the hard way -- and my sympathies go out to his next victim. "No Guts" should heed your sound advice, Abby, but I would also advise women to be wary of and question any diamond that is over one-half carat if it has no papers. -- E.Z. DECEIVEE

DEAR DECEIVEE: It's discouraging to contemplate a world where a bride-to-be must see in black and white that her fiance is on the up and up. Not all that glitters is gold, nor is all that sparkles a genuine diamond.

DEAR ABBY: A few months back I sent for your booklet on "How to Be Popular." It did me so much good, I'm a different person. I read it several times, and then passed it on to family and friends. It may never get back to me, so will you please send me another copy -- along with "How to Write Letters for All Occasions" and "How to Have a Lovely Wedding"?

I read your column every day -- and it makes such good sense. God bless you. -- HELEN LEWIS, OOLOGAH, OKLA.

DEAR ABBY: Do you happen to know George Bernard Shaw's very witty definition of love? -- JAMES K. IN MIAMI

DEAR JAMES: Yes. "Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else."

"How to Be Popular" is an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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