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DEAR ABBY: My darling mother-in-law passed away recently. She was a wonderful woman, a caring and loving role model to her children and grandchildren. In her will she left a diamond ring to her daughter, "Mimi," a diamond ring to me, and the remainder of her jewelry to her grandchildren. Her house and its contents were to be divided equally between her son and daughter.
My children received a box from Mimi filled with Mom's costume jewelry. All of her expensive jewelry was missing. When I asked about the missing items, Mimi said they were in the box, and she had taken photos to prove it. My husband noticed that many valuable items were missing from the family home as well.
Recently my daughter and I ran into my sister-in-law in a restaurant and saw she was wearing one of the pieces of jewelry that had been intended for my children. When I asked Mimi to please take it off and give it to my daughter, she replied that she couldn't because she was "still grieving." Any advice on how to handle this?
- Heartbroken in Washington
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: What a shame. Who was the executor of your mother-in-law's will? That person should have been overseeing the disposition of her property, and that is the person you should contact now to see the deceased's wishes are complied with. If Mimi WAS the executor, then your next step should be to contact an attorney.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old male who is still a virgin. It bugs me knowing that uglier, disgusting, less intelligent guys are having sex, while I - compassionate, smart, educated and good-looking - am not. What am I supposed to do? What is the secret to finally losing my virginity?
This has been bothering me lately because I have lost a lot of weight and feel better about myself, but it still isn't happening. I used to be extremely shy, but the confidence I gained from the weight loss has helped me in talking to strangers.
I don't get it. I feel like life is playing a cruel joke on me. I feel like the only virgin in the room. Please give me some advice.
- Ready for more
DEAR READY: Please take a moment and re-read the second sentence of your letter. If you do, you will realize that while you have lost the weight, you have not lost the anger you must have felt when, for years, you went unnoticed. The chances of losing your virginity - and more important, having a RELATIONSHIP - will improve if you talk to a psychologist. Unless you do, as smart, educated and good-looking as you now are, the "vibe" you emit may continue to repel women. I have seen this happen, so please give my advice serious consideration.
DEAR ABBY: Our son and daughter-in-law live out of state. They have a 1-year-old daughter. For their anniversary, we sent them a gift certificate saying that we would pay for a night out on the town, including a hotel of their choice in the city where they live. We offered to watch our granddaughter and their dogs while they enjoyed themselves.
Their response was a resounding NO! They said that it was the most selfish gift we had ever given them because it wasn't for them; it was so we could baby-sit. What do you think?
- Grandma Gayle
DEAR GRANDMA GAYLE: I think their manners are atrocious. How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.