DEAR HARRIETTE: I lost one of my mom’s earrings, which she let me borrow for a party. I know that she is going to be so mad at me if I tell her I lost the earring. She told me to put them in a plastic bag when I took them off so I wouldn’t lose them. I skipped that step. Should I wait until she asks for the earrings or just tell her that I lost one of them? -- One Earring Left, Portland, Oregon
DEAR ONE EARRING LEFT: Have you retraced your steps carefully? Did you go back to the party and look around? If it was at someone’s home, did you check with the family? Earrings often show up.
Same for when you got home: Did you look outside your front door? The path to your room? Around and under your bed? After you have exhausted all possibilities, confess to your mom. Do not wait until she asks. Admit to her that you forgot the most important step that she recommended, to put her earrings in a bag, and you lost one of them. Apologize profusely both for losing the earring and for not following her directions. Offer to replace them.
By being up-front about what happened, you will show your mother that you are working to be responsible. Whatever punishment she offers, accept with humility.