DEAR ABBY: I recently found out that my husband of 20 years bought diamond earrings and something from Victoria's Secret for another woman. His explanation? "She's just a friend, and she's married to a jerk." He has told me many different stories about her. I checked them out and found they were all lies.
Someone once told me that when a man buys diamond earrings or a bracelet, it means he's already slept with her. What do you think? -- WANTS THE TRUTH IN MINNESOTA
DEAR WANTS THE TRUTH: Diamond earrings? That's quite an investment. When a man gives diamonds to a woman, it's a good bet that he's getting plenty in return -- or hoping to.
DEAR ABBY: Some friends of ours, "Rhonda" and "Mike," planned to be married. They have two small children together. Mike is a longtime childhood friend of my husband's; we met Rhonda through Mike. Mike and Rhonda are no longer together. It was a messy breakup. They no longer speak to each other, and they even have relatives intercede in the exchange of their children so they do not have to see each other.
My husband and I gave Rhonda $100 as a down payment on the wedding dress that she just "had" to have. Mike and Rhonda both thanked us, and said not to buy a wedding gift, that the money was gift enough. Rhonda bought the dress and now plans to sell it.
My husband and I are not well-off, and we would like our money back. We feel that now the wedding has been canceled, the money should be returned. Rhonda has not offered to do it. Should we confront her and tell her that when she sells the dress that we'd like the $100 back? How should we handle this? -- WANTS OUR MONEY IN WASHINGTON
DEAR WANTS: Rather than "confront" Rhonda, remind her that when she sells the dress, you would like her to return the money. But don't hold your breath. Since your friendship was based on your longstanding friendship with Mike, she may assume that her relationship with you is history -- and not feel inclined to do so.
DEAR ABBY: I have fallen in love with a wonderful man I'll call "Hank." Hank is everything I want in a man. We have been together for five months, and he is always very well-dressed -- which is important to me. I take pride in the way I look and want my partner to do the same.
Hank and I went out yesterday. It was cold outside and Hank said he would wear a sweater. Well, Abby, the sweater looked like something he found in a trash bin! It was stained, dirty and faded. How do I tell Hank that sweater has to go without hurting his feelings? I felt embarrassed to be with him, which I hated to admit to myself. How can I tell him not to wear it again? -- EMBARRASSED IN ILLINOIS
DEAR EMBARRASSED: Do NOT tell him not to wear it again, or that you felt embarrassed to be seen with him in it. When an otherwise spiffy dresser wears a garment that is "old, stained, faded," etc., it is safe to assume that the item has sentimental value. Since you prefer that he wear something nicer, buy him a sweater or two -- and as the weather grows colder, let him know how much it would please you to see him in something you selected especially for him.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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