DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law recently came for a visit. I have not really trusted "Claire" since I began noticing that every time she would leave, a garment or two of mine was missing.
During this last visit, a day before her scheduled departure, I noticed a shirt I had just washed was missing from the laundry room where I had left it. I mentioned it to my husband, and he found it -- in Claire's suitcase.
My husband wants an apology and to inform her that she's not invited back. Is there a proper way to handle this? We haven't said anything to her yet. -- SICK OF THE STEALING IN PHILADELPHIA
DEAR SICK OF THE STEALING: What a sad situation. Obviously, the time has come to clear the air -- but please try to do it kindly. Your sister-in-law may be a certified kleptomaniac, unable to control her impulse to take things. Or, she could be frustrated with her own life and covetous of the loving relationship you enjoy with her brother, and took the items in an attempt to fill the emptiness she feels inside. In either case, she should be confronted with the evidence and told that you both know what has been going on -- and if it happens again, she'll no longer be your houseguest.