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No Gifts, Please

Dear Sugar
Ever since I got my first job when I was 16, I started buying myself what I wanted. Since then I haven't asked my parents for anything, and even found it difficult to ask for birthday presents. Then, a few days ago my mom and I were walking through the mall and I stopped at a jewelry case to visit a diamond and sapphire ring that I've been in love with for close to a year - but its so expensive that I would never actually buy it for myself.

I didn't mean to "show" it to my mom, but today she mentioned buying it for me. My parents are retired, and we are not rich, so I don't want them wasting their money on an expensive gift for me - it would make me feel so badly. I don't deserve such a beautiful gift. How can I stop them without insulting them since I don't think they can afford it? Guilty Gretta

Dear Guilty Gretta
All you can do is express to your parents that you don't want them to spend their money on something materialistic for you - you'd rather they save. Then just leave it alone. If they decide to treat you to something, then graciously accept your gift and wear it happily. You do deserve nice things, so don't feel like you're not worth it. It seems like a gift from your folks is a long time coming. If they decide to go ahead and purchase jewelry for you, it's not going to be because you guilted them into it, it's because they love you and they want to. I am sure they've stashed away some cash for a "rainy day." You're their little girl; let them indulge just this once if they can.

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