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by Abigail Van Buren

Gifted Student Feels Alone Among Her Average Friends

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law bought me a pair of shoes while we were out shopping one afternoon. The boutique was pricey, but she insisted I get them. The next day I got a phone call from her saying she had "borrowing rights" because they cost more than she had expected. I was shocked about the price, too.

Now I'm embarrassed and wonder if I should reimburse her for half the cost, which I'm willing to do. What should I do? -- STEPPING OUT IN SAN ANTONIO

DEAR STEPPING OUT: Your mother-in-law bought WHOM a pair of shoes? Unless her feet are the same size or smaller than yours, I do not recommend sharing them. Once you do they will be stretched and will no longer fit you properly.

Because she has let you know she covets the shoes, consider giving them to her. Alternatively, if they have never been worn, consider returning them to the shop where they were purchased. That way your impulsive M.I.L. can get her money back or a store credit.