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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Version of Friendship Is a Long Way From Love

DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I have a problem on our hands. Saturday night we invited a couple and their two kids over for dinner. The husband/father works with my fiance.

The kids (girls 11 and 15) were upstairs watching TV in our bedroom a good portion of the evening, while the adults were downstairs visiting.

Last night I was about to run to the market and asked my fiance for some cash. He told me to take some out of his wallet. I came back saying, "Since you have only $5, I'll cash a check while I'm out." He immediately replied that there should be at least $60 in there.

Apparently three 20s were removed from his wallet, which had been sitting on our dresser in the bedroom the night the kids were there. We also discovered a diamond ring and pair of earrings were missing from my jewelry box.

Since my fiance works closely with the father of those girls, we're not sure if and how we should approach him. We're afraid if one or both of the kids were brazen enough to take things, they won't be forthcoming about admitting it to their parents if we call them on it.

Please tell us what to do, Abby. We are very upset. -- RIPPED-OFF IN PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y.

DEAR RIPPED-OFF: The father of the girls should be told by your fiance about the missing items and money. It may not be pleasant, but it will be better for all concerned.

Explain that unless the items are returned, you will have to make a police report in order to be reimbursed for the jewelry by your insurance company. And if the items aren't forthcoming, that's exactly what you should do.