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Mom-in-Law with sticky fingers

Dear Annie: Shortly after I met my mother-in-law, she sat me down, showed me her wallet and told me that she always kept a “hundred dollar bill” in the little outside pocket, as well as a blank check folded up inside one of the credit card slots. She said she did this just in case she got mugged in big ‘ole Houston. She sounded like a smart lady, and I was tempted to do the same, but she was too keen every time we visited to see my wallet. She was grooming me so she could steal from me!

I began observing better hygiene with my bags and used a little lock on my purse, just when we visited her. The gloves came off very quickly when my mother-in-law couldn’t get into my bag for swag. She began tripping me and hitting me “accidentally.” My husband and I have much more to lose to identity theft now, so I had to quit visiting. — Suspicious Daughter-in-Law

Dear Daughter-in-Law: Your mother-in-law sounds like a con artist. You were smart to trust your instincts and lock your purse. Keeping a distance from her is wise; however, you should have a frank conversation with your husband about encouraging his mother to seek professional counseling for her stealing before she ends up in jail.

Dear Annie: Several days ago, you printed a letter from a person who was worried about becoming 40. She was concerned about the way her life was going.

I didn’t have trouble with 40. My problem was with turning 30.

I had been married for five years and had two children. I realized my marriage had been a mistake. I chose to stay because the children were small, and I felt it would be hard to find a job and child care. I decided to wait and see what would happen. The marriage lasted 16 years.

If I had it to do over again, I would not have married. At least not to this man. — Older and Wiser

Dear Older and Wiser: I am sorry that your marriage didn’t work out. The blessing in all of this is the two children that you had as a result of your marriage. May you find happiness.

(Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. Visit the website at www.creators.com.)

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