DEAR READERS: I'll be on vacation between Aug. 18 and Aug. 31. Don't panic -- I've selected some of my favorite letters from past years to fill the gap. I hope you enjoy them.
DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I were married 31 years ago, he gave me the smallest diamond I had ever seen. I was glad to get any diamond at the time, but as the years passed, my husband became more prosperous and I kept hoping he would replace it with a larger one. He never did.
On my 25th wedding anniversary, I gave him a fine piece of jewelry with money I had saved out of my household allowance. He gave me 25 roses.
Soon after, I lost the diamond out of my ring. My husband promised to buy me another one, but he didn't. When we passed a jewelry store, I'd stop to look in the window, but my husband would walk away.
Last year on our 30th anniversary, my husband handed me a tiny box. When I opened it, I found my old ring with the tiny diamond replaced. I tried to put it on my finger, but I had gained some weight and it wouldn't fit. I put it back in the box, where it's been ever since.
What should I do? Have my ring made larger and wear it?
My husband could well afford a bigger diamond, and I feel like a poor relative among my friends who have lovely jewelry. -- LIKES DIAMONDS (BIG)
DEAR LIKES: Face it. Your husband is not likely to buy you a bigger diamond unless you ask for one. If it's that important to you and he can afford it, ask him. Besides, diamonds are not only a girl's best friend, they're also a good investment.
DEAR ABBY: Please help settle a disagreement we are having in our family. My grandson sent out his high school graduation announcements before he knew that he didn't have enough credits to graduate.
He received many lovely graduation gifts, including some nice checks from relatives. I say all the gifts (and of course the checks) should be returned because he didn't really graduate. His mother (my daughter) insists that he is entitled to keep the gifts because he completed 12 years of schooling.
Do you think my daughter is right, and I should butt out? -- ILLINOIS GRANNY
DEAR GRANNY: Your grandson should keep the gifts and send thank-you notes explaining that he did not graduate with his class, but he plans to make up the deficient credits and earn his diploma eventually -- if indeed he intends to do so. Otherwise, he should return the gifts.
DEAR ABBY: Yesterday my boss showed me a picture of an elegant sofa in a current magazine, and said if I could guess the price of it within $200 he would give me the $200. (He had seen this sofa in a Beverly Hills store.)
When I guessed $2,800, he looked as though he'd been shot. He said the price of the sofa was $3,000, but he refused to give me the $200, saying that my guess was just $1 low!
According to my calculation, $2,800 is within $200 of $3,000. Please answer in your column. If I am wrong, I will throw in the towel and be a good sport.
I have been my boss's faithful Girl Friday for four years. Please don't mention his name or mine. -- LAKEWOOD, CALIF.
DEAR LAKEWOOD: I don't know how your boss figures, but I figure he owes you $200.
(P.S. And he should throw in a $50 bonus for protecting his identity.)
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law and her husband celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary last August. Because of my sister-in-law's poor health, her daughter is planning a party to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next month, which is premature by nearly a whole year.
I am reluctant to accept the invitation because I don't think it's proper to celebrate an occasion that has not yet occurred.
I grew up under the old moral code and still believe in it. Right or wrong? -- PUZZLED IN ELMHURST, ILL.
DEAR PUZZLED: Wrong! I think it's more "moral" to be kind and prematurely generous than to go by the book and risk being too late.
DEAR READERS: If you would like your letter considered for publication, please include your name, area code and telephone number.
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