DEAR HARRIETTE: A small group of my friends and I recently got together for one of their birthdays at her apartment. I knew almost everyone there besides a few significant others who attended.
I kept my personal belongings in my friend’s bedroom during the party. When I gathered my things to leave, I noticed my purse kept popping open and wouldn’t close, but I paid it no mind. When I returned home and went through my purse, I realized that my wallet was sitting in my purse upside down. When I opened it, all of my cash was gone. I know how much I had in cash because I had counted it after leaving a nail appointment earlier that day. I called my friend to let her know what happened, and she was alarmed and concerned. We speculated who could have done this, but the only people who went in her room were her, her boyfriend and me. They both swear that they did not steal from me, but there’s no way for me to know if it was one of them or if we missed someone else going into her bedroom. Ever since, I have been uncomfortable being her friend; I have tried not to blame her, but it is that feeling of uncertainty that I cannot seem to move past. How do we continue a friendship when I no longer feel a bond of trust? -- Violated Friend
DEAR VIOLATED FRIEND: You need to trust that your friend is telling the truth. Though you didn’t see anyone else go in the room, it’s likely that some other person at the party was the culprit.
This is a tough situation because many of us put our bags down when among friends. It can seem awkward to hold onto your purse when in the company of close friends. In the future, you may want to hang your bag on your chair or keep it close to you, rather than in another room.