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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman's Small Claim Case Becomes Big Family Quarrel

DEAR ABBY: I received a small settlement because of an injury. My stepdaughter, who works as a teller at my bank, asked if she could borrow $300. I agreed. She took $400 instead and promised to pay me back out of her income tax refund.

Over the next several months, without my consent, she transferred $2,000 from my account to hers. She always had an excuse and promised to repay me.

After a year and a half, I told her if she didn't arrange to pay me back, I would have to take her to court. She and her husband stopped talking to my husband and me, so I filed a claim.

To my amazement, I was invited to present my case on television in a courtroom show.

Well, my husband refuses to go with me. He agrees that I am right, but he will not publicly take my side against his own daughter.

Abby, I need his support. He's the only witness I have. I didn't want things to turn out this way, but they did. What do you think? -- FOOL FOR FAMILY

DEAR FOOL FOR FAMILY: What happened to you was criminal, and frankly, it should have been reported to the police in the first place. Your husband's daughter is an embezzler, and she certainly shouldn't be working in a bank. Now it's time to get a lawyer involved.

Since your husband appears to be camera-shy, ask your lawyer if there's a judge who will hear the case without a camera present. If your husband still refuses to support you, call your local district attorney's office and ask if you can get a victim's advocate to go with you. You have my sympathy.

DEAR ABBY: What is up with all these unfortunate women who have out-of-wedlock pregnancies and bad relationships? Most men don't have these problems and don't mention them if they do.

To these women: If you'd get to know your partners and a little about their past, stuff like this wouldn't happen.

Women are like fish. If you have the right bait, they are easy to lure in. Once you've sampled the goods, then you throw them back.

I'm not saying I'm like this, but I have seen it. If the fish were smart enough to see the hook, then they wouldn't get caught! So, Dear Abby, please tell me why some women think they are so smart?

P.S. By the way, I'm in the ninth grade. -- FISHERMAN IN NEWARK, DEL.

DEAR FISHERMAN: Woman aren't fish, and it isn't a question of intelligence. When people of either sex become emotional about a love interest, they often think with their hearts and not their heads. Have you heard the old saying, "Love is blind"? It's the reason the phrase was coined.

DEAR ABBY: There's an uproar at our office concerning potlucks. Is it acceptable for people who don't contribute to the luncheons to help themselves when the food is served? Some of them even fill a plate to take home! Isn't this inconsiderate and rude? -- POTLUCKS

DEAR POTLUCKS: For someone to knowingly help him- or herself to other people's food without it being offered is not only rude but also presumptuous. I'd say shame on them, but people who do it are shameless.

Perhaps when the announcement of the potluck is issued, it should be clearly stated or written that in order to participate, a person must bring a dish.

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