Oh no he di-int

Joey Garcia

My niece cleaned my house while she was home from college this summer. A few times, I let her know what she could have done better and had her redo things before paying her generously in cash. She’s back at college, and I just noticed that some of my jewelry and my husband’s gold coins are missing. I spoke to my sister about this, and she accused me of harassing her daughter (my niece). My niece told her I was difficult to work for, so my sister thinks I’m lying. I’ve been sick over this. Is there any way to help my sister face the truth?

Can I tell you a story? The first time I heard a nun swear, I was in elementary school. Sister was giving one of my classmates a tongue lashing that included the word “ass,” as in, “When you assume something, you make an ass out of you and me.” (Get it? Ass-u-me? Clever, eh?) Not one of us wiggling fourth graders wanted to make Sister look foolish. I would recommend that you make the same choice when it comes to your sister. Consider this: You don’t know who took the jewelry or coins, right? You do know that these items are missing. But unless you personally observed your niece helping herself to your bling, you have no evidence that she was the thief.

If there was a thief at all. Is it possible that you or another member of your household moved the items and forgot? Or that someone with access to your home found the hidden booty and absconded with it? If there is even a graphene-thin possibility that you are wrong in your assumption, back away from the accusation. Apologize for blaming your niece and ask your sister for help in figuring out what happened. You need her on your side.

I don’t understand why you did not ask your niece about the missing items, but do it now while apologizing for blaming her. Ask if she knows who took your treasure (perhaps a friend was over while your niece cleaned?). Be clear that you welcome the return of your bling with a simple explanation of what happened. Take care to admit the possibility that you misplaced the jewelry and coins yourself. Remain assumption-avoidant until this situation resolves itself.

My almost fiancée is amazing, but I met her parents for the first time, and now I am not so sure about our future. You will probably think that I am completely superficial, but my girlfriend’s mom is fat and ugly. From the pictures hanging in the house, it’s obvious that my girlfriend looks like her mother did at 23 years old. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with a fat pig. How can I get out of this?

By realizing that you don’t really love your girlfriend and don’t really want to get married. If you did, you wouldn’t be focused on something so random and trivial. Think of it this way: What if you married your girlfriend and then you became disfigured in an automobile accident? Should she leave because you are not as physically attractive as you were? Or would you hope that the deeper attraction that drew you together, the passion that held you together, the friendship that is the foundation of your relationship, sustain you both? Hey, I believe that physical attraction is important. And I’m an advocate of taking good care of the body. But I also know that genuine love looks beyond the physical and you should, too.

Meditation of the week
“Put all excuses aside and remember this: You are capable,” says motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. When do you plan to start believing the truth about yourself?

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