Dear Annie: I'm a 15-year-old girl, and my friend "Kendall" has stolen a ring from me. I've known Kendall for a couple of years, and recently we've become best friends. I invited her over to my house and showed her the ring, and she really liked it. The moment she left, I noticed the ring was missing.

I didn't want to accuse Kendall of stealing, so I asked if she had "borrowed" my ring. She denied it but did so awkwardly and would not look me in the eyes. She is known for getting in trouble, and though I think she is a wonderful friend, I am totally convinced she took the ring.

What is the best way to persuade her to come clean so we can get this behind us without any more damage? I really enjoy her friendship, and it saddens me to have this come between us.—Troubled in California

Dear Troubled: Do you want the friendship or the ring? It's unlikely Kendall will simply return the ring because that means admitting she took it, and as you can see, she didn't take the opportunity to do so when you tried to make it easy for her. If you want to keep the friendship, tell Kendall to let you know if she ever finds the ring — and then forget about it. We also suggest you stop inviting Kendall to peruse your jewelry. She can't be trusted.

Dear Annie: My mother died when I was young. My father is the only family I have, except for my fiance and new baby.

Dad has been seeing "Angel" for two years, and ever since she moved in with him, our relationship has slowly withered. Many times when we go to Dad's, Angel treats us with disrespect, blaring the TV so loud we can't talk without yelling. She doesn't approve of my hugging my father at the end of our visits. We have to call beforehand to make sure seeing us won't upset her. And now she makes us see Dad outside the house. This bothers me a lot because my daughter is less than a year old and in the winter, this is too difficult.

My fiance and I don't like the woman, but we treat her with decency because she is my father's partner and we know he cares about her. Should I talk to my father about how this makes me feel? I have let go of the hard feelings, but I can't seem to forgive the fact that she wants to keep my father from seeing his granddaughter. What should I do? —Upset and Frustrated in Colorado

Dear Colorado: Don't try to come between Dad and Angel. She'll get angry and he will feel obligated to choose between you — and you could lose. Instead, arrange to see your father in your home or at a neutral location, letting him know Angel is always welcome to come along.

Dear Annie: You've printed a lot of letters from husbands and wives who want their spouses to lose weight. My husband did something totally different.

We planned a trip to the Grand Canyon. I was making the arrangements to schedule a simulated skydive and discovered the company had a weight limit and I was way over. My husband signed me up at a fitness center where every time you go, you have a personal trainer. They suggested a meal plan to permanently change my eating habits and taught me how to exercise effectively. I have lost lots of weight, gained muscle and am eating so much healthier now. I also finally went skydiving.

My husband loves me, and this proved he wants me around for a long time. I never would have done this without him giving me such a great gift — a healthy lifestyle. —Healthier in Greensboro, N.C.

Dear Greensboro: You are wise to see this gift as a demonstration of your husband's love. Too many women would consider it a criticism.


Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.


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