DEAR ABBY: Recently, my cousin-in-law, "Carrie," attended a family party. I was happy to see her because I like her and haven't seen her since my wedding in 2011. Carrie has been going through a difficult time because of her mother's death two years ago and her father's remarriage plans.
I know people are prone to do odd things when under stress, but this has me concerned. During the evening, I went to retrieve an item from my handbag. Carrie was with me, and mentioned she loved my purse and then announced she was "stealing it." I realized it wasn't a joke when she dumped the contents of my bag on the kitchen counter in front of several family members. She then handed me $10 and put my purse in her car!
I was flabbergasted and didn't know how to react. Although I had mentioned that I bought the bag at a thrift store for less than Carrie gave me, I liked it because it is a vintage item. I don't think a replacement will easily be found.
While I was always excited to see Carrie before, I am now leery of seeing her again for fear of a repeat of what she did. Am I wrong to feel offended? Do I have any hope of getting my purse back? -- STUPEFIED IN NEW YORK
DEAR STUPEFIED: Carrie's behavior was outrageous and may indicate that she has emotional problems that should be addressed.
That you would be offended is understandable. That you would be so shocked you didn't immediately object is also understandable. The only hope of getting your purse back would be to pay this woman a visit, return her money and tell her it's time to return it. If you're up to the challenge, she may agree. But don't count on it.