Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To or­der “How to Write

Fam­ily pet-sit­ter helps her­self to home­owner’s pos­ses­sions.

DEAR ABBY: A trusted and beloved fam­ily mem­ber who takes care of my cats — and there­fore has a key to my house — has been steal­ing things like clean­ing sup­plies, knick­knacks, fam­ily pic­tures, etc.

Most of them have lit­tle mon­e­tary value. But imag­ine my sur­prise when I spot­ted some of my miss­ing seashell col­lec­tion in her fish tank!

Nat­u­rally, I can’t ac­cuse her of tak­ing things like seashells that any­one can pick up free on the beach, but I se­lect ones with dis­tinct mark­ings, which is why I know they are mine. It’s frus­trat­ing to run out of tooth­paste and find that the spare tube I just bought is miss­ing. It’s not like she doesn’t have the money to buy her own.

She does so much for me and my kids. Should I just con­tinue to ig­nore it? — SEASHELLS BY THE SEASHORE

DEAR S.B.T.S.: Your fam­ily mem­ber may have a touch of klep­to­ma­nia — a com­pul­sion to steal — or per­haps she takes the items be­cause she feels en­ti­tled to “pay­ment” for the favours she does for you.

If you con­front her, she will prob­a­bly deny it. This is not to im­ply that you must con­tinue putting up with it un­til she takes some­thing with greater sen­ti­men­tal (or tan­gi­ble) value. Ask her to re­turn your key “be­cause you have made other ar­range­ments to care for your cats,” or change your locks. Then fol­low through with some­one who won’t take ad­van­tage of your trust.

DEAR ABBY: My wife is a big woman (not fat). She’s an ath­lete and quite strong. We both en­joy wrestling. We are evenly matched and do it of­ten.

Many times she’ll pin me down with me on my back, shoul­ders to the ground. Other times, I do the same to her. The loser takes the win­ner out to din­ner. We en­joy it greatly.

Are we crazy? Are we weird? And most of all, are we alone in this ac­tiv­ity? — HAPPY HUS­BAND IN FLORIDA

DEAR HAPPY HUS­BAND: As long as no one gets hurt, what two con­sent­ing adults do is their busi­ness. I don’t think you are ei­ther crazy or weird, nor are you alone in this ac­tiv­ity. What you have de­scribed as “wrestling” some peo­ple call “fore­play.”

DEAR ABBY: Can you ad­vise me on how to re­spond to com­ments from younger men when I am at din­ner or out with friends? I of­ten get “Wow, you are re­ally good look­ing for an older woman!” which I find vaguely in­sult­ing even though they may think it’s a com­pli­ment. I’m in good shape for my age (48), but my hus­band agrees it’s rude.

I’m at a loss for a snappy come­back and usu­ally so em­bar­rassed that I just turn away and pre­tend that I didn’t hear. Am I overly sen­si­tive? Should I be thank­ing them? That doesn’t feel right. Any witty re­sponses you think would be good? — SPEECH­LESS IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR SPEECH­LESS: A left­handed com­pli­ment is one that has two mean­ings — one of which is not flat­ter­ing to the re­cip­i­ent. Be­cause you find it of­fen­sive, say, “I may look ‘older’ to you, but I’m not so old I con­sider that to be a com­pli­ment.”

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