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by Abigail Van Buren

Curious Boyfriend Gets More Information Than He Wanted

DEAR ABBY: Ever since I was a child, when my mother gave me a gift, as I opened it she would always say that she had bought a bigger, better or prettier gift for me -- but liked it so much she decided to keep it for herself.

Once she told me that she had purchased a jacket for me, but kept it even though she is several sizes smaller than I am. After wearing it a few times, she offered it to me because it was "too big for her."

My mother was the oldest of six children, and I am her only child. Why do you think she behaves as she does? -- WOUNDED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR WOUNDED: That your mother feels the need on every special occasion to tell you that she comes first indicates that something within herself is missing. As the oldest of six children, was her childhood deprived in some way? Is this her only eccentricity, and is she an ideal mother the rest of the year? I find it sad that your mother is unable to give with a generous heart. If she's this way with a gift, it follows that she must be this way about other things, too.