DEAR ABBY: Last year I gave my new (at that time) girlfriend, “Alyssa,” a pair of earrings for her birthday. They were in a box from a department store marked “fine jewelry.” She loved them and became emotional in expressing her gratitude. I thought it was because it was the first piece of jewelry I had ever bought for her.
When she opened the box I explained that they were her birthstone — sapphires — but WHITE sapphires. In her excitement she must have missed that part. The earrings are large, maybe one carat apiece.
Yesterday I overheard my granddaughter ask Alyssa if they were real diamonds, and Alyssa told her yes! I kept my mouth shut when she said it, but now I understand why she was so excited when she first saw them. She cherishes the earrings and has told me numerous times she will never take them off.
I want to make this right, but I’m afraid she’ll feel embarrassed because she must have told her girlfriends and family I gave her diamond earrings — which I didn’t. Abby, what do I do? — LOVING BOYFRIEND IN VIRGINIA
DEAR BOYFRIEND: You should straighten this out with your girlfriend, but do it privately. After that, let her disclose the fact that her diamond earrings are really sapphires at her discretion — or not.
DEAR ABBY: My husband’s daughter and her husband are in their early 40s. When they invite us to visit them, there is never any preparation or advance planning. They provide no clean sheets or towels. If they order out, they expect us to pay.
When they visit us, they leave beer cans in the bookcases, devour all snacks without asking, etc. Their house smells strongly of pet odors. If we opt to stay in a hotel, they are offended. Every occasion revolves around drinking alcohol, and lots of it. I’ll have one drink, so they won’t say I am uptight and feel uncomfortable around me.
My husband is intimidated by his strong-willed daughter, and wishes this just would all go away. There have been many, many more incidents and overall generally narcissistic and rude behavior. My husband wants a relationship with his daughter. What to do? — JUST WANTS TO RELAX
DEAR JUST WANTS: You either grin and bear it — and that includes laundering your own sheets and towels when you visit — or send your husband to visit his daughter alone.
DEAR ABBY: A very good friend of mine had a facelift. I’m out of the country, so I have only seen pictures of her. I don’t think it looks good at all. It looks fake and, in my opinion, has ruined her looks. What should I say when I see her or when she asks me directly what I think of it? I hate to lie, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. — HONEST FRIEND
DEAR HONEST: Sometimes people can be “too” honest, so be diplomatic if you are asked directly. Tell her you always thought she was beautiful — inside and out — and thought she looked great before, but if she’s happy with the result, that’s what’s important.
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