Dear Ann: This may seem like an odd thing to write to you about, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder how many others have had the same baffling experience.
Here's my story: A few years ago, my brother had a jacket dry cleaned. The jacket was a gift from a friend in Alaska, made especially for him. The buttons were hand-carved, and each button depicted a tiny scene of Eskimo village life. When my brother picked up his jacket a week later, the fabulous buttons were missing. When he asked about it, they said the buttons had been removed so they wouldn't be damaged. No one in the shop knew what had happened to the buttons, but my brother was instructed to check back in a week because they would surely turn up. Well, Ann, they never did "turn up."
Recently, my daughter's friend lost her grandmother. Grandma was in her 90s and never threw anything away. Among the things she left to this granddaughter was a beautiful dress with hand-carved buttons. It must have cost a fortune in its day. Those buttons would be worth a lot to a collector. The granddaughter decided to have the dress dry-cleaned at the same local cleaners. And guess what? They lost the buttons!
What do you think, Ann? Is this just a coincidence, or is something odd going on in the dry-cleaning business? I'd like to know if this has happened to anyone else. Portland, Ore.
Dear Portland: It sounds as if some folks in your local dry-cleaning establishment know a good thing when they see it and those buttons looked pretty good to someone. You should find another dry-cleaner immediately. Those who have valuable buttons on their garments and want to be 100 percent safe should snip them off before they send them to the dry cleaners.
Dear Ann: I have been dating "Rick" for a year and do not consider myself a jealous person. However, one of his ex-girlfriends (I'll call her "Megan") is driving me crazy. She was Rick's first love.
Rick apparently still feels guilty for breaking Megan's heart. He says he wants to spare her the pain of meeting me, which means I can never attend any functions that take place in his hometown. Rick once asked Megan to come to our city for a visit, and while she was here, he said he couldn't see me.
What's worse, Megan knows Rick's family and gets invited to many family events. A friend was recently married, and Rick went back home to attend the wedding. Of course, Megan was there, too. I offered to pay my own way to go with him, but he said it would hurt Megan to see me as his date.
I am angry and confused. Is he just a sensitive guy or am I missing something? His Ex Lives in Texas
Dear Texas: You're missing something all right a few dozen brain cells if you can't figure this one out.
Rick is working both sides of the street and getting away with it. Let Megan have this double-dealing two-timer, and go find yourself someone who will play fair with you.
Dear Readers: My daughter, Margo Howard, found this on the Internet and sent it my way. I thought it was funny:
Romeo and Juliet
'Twas at a restaurant they met,
His cash, it seems, he did forget,
So Romie owed
What Julie et.