DEAR READERS: Happy New Year. For those who make new year’s resolutions, make sure you set yourself for success by setting reasonable and healthy resolutions that make your life more manageable, not more stressful. Thank you to all those who take time to read Teen Talk and those who take time to write in and share their thoughts. Wishing each of you a healthy, happy and blessed 2017. Here is feedback from some of last year’s columns:
KELLY: Regarding the Sept. 13 column about a cousin’s friend being a thief: As a former prosecutor, my advice is much more direct. Since the sunglasses owner’s “friend” is no longer a friend, your writer should report the matter to the local law enforcement agency. I did a quick Google search for Dior sunglasses, and although the article does give the exact type, Dior sunglasses could cost $500 or $600 or more. I can see why your writer was upset.
Once your writer files a detailed report (attaching a photo of the sunglasses and her purchase receipt), the law enforcement agency can take the necessary steps to contact both the “friend” and her cousin to gather information from the suspect as to the brand she has and when and where she claims to have purchased them, together with any supporting receipts. If I were the detective, I would not accept any sunglasses she produces without a dated receipt because she could have gone out later and purchased a pair to set up an alibi.
If the evidence supports a theft charge, and once the prosecutor files a complaint and the person charged is aware of such filing, it, is likely the suspect will want to return the sunglasses and ask to have the charges dismissed. Whether the prosecutor would then be willing to dismiss the charges is solely within the prosecutor’s discretion.
KELLY: Your thoughts and comments on the presidential election were calming and gives us all – old folks like me (75) and young people, especially – something upon which to focus. I especially appreciated your “challenge.” Now, we all have homework! Within my social group – neighbors, family and friends – I have had to watch my tongue. After all, as you mentioned, not everyone thinks alike. Our neighbors (children and adults) are planning a get-together in the aftermath of the election. We are angry, frightened, bewildered, feeling hopeless and helpless. These are not healthy emotions. We want to replace these with something positive, a new foundation upon which to build. You have offered us a format. I plan to share your article with as many folks as I can because you offer us a healthy pathway. Thank you so much.
HI, KELLY: I just read the story of the Barbie dilemma and am reminded of a similar story.
When I married in 1982, my mother-in-law gave us her old pan set. Years later, her grandson, my husband’s nephew, moved into his first home. We were all together for a holiday dinner when she told her grandson he could have her old pan set. I was thinking she was already getting a third set and referring to the ones that replaced my set. She wasn’t. He said that would be great and thanked her for them.
She asked me to get them, as we were at my house. I said, “Well, after I do the dinner dishes tonight, maybe I can scrape some funds together to go buy myself a replacement set.” Nephew was embarrassed when he realized the dinner we had just enjoyed was cooked in the pans she had just told him he could have. I was embarrassed, thinking she was taking them from me after 10 years as if they were her property. Nephew scrambled and thanked his grandma for the thought, but that Aunt Caree needed them more than he did, since he didn’t cook.
Why do people try to “gift” things that are not theirs to give? It just makes everyone uncomfortable.
The woman in your column should absolutely not give away her dolls. Her mom should apologize, not her. Thank you for your column.
KELLY: Your answer to the girl that was down about the value of her boyfriend’s gifts relative to her friend’s was good, but I think you missed one of the most important and compelling points. While her friend’s boyfriend’s gifts may have been more extravagant, they represented no effort or sacrifice on the boyfriend’s part because his parents covered the cost. Her boyfriend, on the other hand, spent his own hard-earned and saved money that he could have used for himself. The other guy didn’t have to do anything except hand his parents the bill.
This is a concept I’ve expressed in my many years working with nonprofit organizations in terms of donations. A $10 donation from a senior citizen on a fixed income is probably much more of a hardship than a $10,000 donation from a multimillionaire. The same principle applies to the gift.