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Custom-Made Birthday Gift Winds Up Under Friends' Bed

DEAR ABBY: A couple of years ago, I gave a friend a nice birthday gift that was for the whole family. It was a one-of-a-kind item I thought they would really enjoy. I had researched and read up on it and then had the piece custom designed. They said they loved the item when it arrived, but I have never seen them use it. When I ask where it is, they tell me it's still wrapped up in a box under the bed because they don't have room for it. I believe it, because their apartment is very crowded.

Would it be OK to ask if I could buy it back? I would like to have it since they are not using it. I am willing to pay whatever price they would feel comfortable with. Would this put them in an uncomfortable situation? -- NOT SURE IN NEW YORK

DEAR NOT SURE: Not knowing your friends, I can't predict what their reaction to your proposal would be. However, because the item is not being used, I don't think it would be out of line to ask the question. Go for it.

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