DEAR ABBY: My parents and sister live three hours away, so my family stays with me when they come to town. Over the last few years, I noticed things began to disappear from my home. They are usually small and portable - earrings, in particular.
The idea of someone stealing from me was very upsetting. When I mentioned it to my sister, she suggested that it could be our housekeeper.
After my wedding band vanished, I had a security camera installed. A few months later, two more pairs of earrings went MIA, so I had the surveillance company review the tapes. It turns out the thief is my sister!
When I confronted her, she denied it. She later told my mother that she did take the earrings, but didn't know why I wanted them "because they were so ugly."
Christmas is coming and I can no longer welcome her to my home. Why would she do this to me?
- Trusted My Sister in Raleigh, N.C.
DEAR TRUSTED: Not knowing your sister, I can't say for certain why she would steal from you. She may have kleptomania and be unable to control her impulses. Or, she may resent you for what she perceives you have that she doesn't (a happy life, lovely home, etc.) and has been taking the items to "even things up."
While I don't blame you for being upset, please understand that whatever her reason, she's a troubled woman who needs help. Unless you lock up anything of value, she should not be in your home.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 58-year-old male. My wife divorced me last year after 33 years of marriage. Must I wait the recommended seven years before dating? I heard I must wait one year for every five I was married.
- Ready or Not in Michigan
DEAR READY OR NOT: I wonder where you heard that! The answer is no. At 58, you had better start soon. You're not getting any younger.