DEAR ABBY: I am in a terrible bind. Some years ago, I made a Halloween costume for a former roommate, "Connie." The costume was a nun's habit and it came out great. When I showed her the costume, I had a cross with it that had belonged to an aunt of my mother's who had been a nun in a religious order. Connie begged to borrow the cross, and I lent it to her against my better judgment. She then moved to California and I lost touch with her.
Now my mother is asking for the cross, and I'm afraid to tell her that I made a family heirloom part of a Halloween costume. What was I thinking! Connie refuses to return it to me, saying that she returned it "years ago."
I have sent her several e-mails. Now she has changed her e-mail address to avoid me. You are my last hope. I know Connie is a devoted reader of your column and so is her mother -- who also wore the costume. I'm praying they will see themselves and save me from the wrath of my mother. -- DESPERATE DAUGHTER, STATEN ISLAND
DEAR DESPERATE: The cross should have been returned to you the day after Halloween. If it was inconvenient for Connie to bring it to you, you should have made it your business to go and collect it. It's a shame that your former friend is lying about having returned the cross. What she's probably afraid to admit is that she or her mother lost it, and now she's hiding. (Some "friend"!)
Very few people recognize themselves when they are written about in this column, so my advice to you is to level with your mother and start praying that she's forgiving. It's time to face the music.