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Ask Anyone

watch it there, detectives

Around Christmastime my girlfriend and I threw a party at our apartment. A lot of people showed up because we made it pretty much open for our friends to invite people they knew. It really went well, aside from the spilled drink here and there. There was a lot of cleaning up to do the next day, and the only major casualty was a crystal wine glass. Nothing too special—if we weren’t prepared for it to be broken, we wouldn’t have let it be used.

But then my girlfriend discovered that her favorite necklace had disappeared from her dresser. We didn’t want to think that someone at the party would have stolen anything, but it was irritating to remember we had let people pile their coats on the bed. It wasn’t a priceless piece, but it was cool, and she was really bummed because we’d bought it while we were in Mexico. It had a lot of sentimental value.

Last weekend, we were at an event, and we bumped into someone—a friend of a friend who had come to our party. We both freaked out because she was wearing the necklace! It had to be! But we couldn’t be sure. My girlfriend asked her where she’d gotten it. “Um, I can’t remember. I’ve had it a long time.” she said. To which my girlfriend replied, “That’s so weird, because I used to have one just like it.”

“Yeah, that is weird,” the woman agreed. Then her phone rang and she walked off to talk. My girlfriend and I were about to confront her when she suddenly left, while still talking on the phone.

Like I said, we have mutual friends. Do we bring this up with them? Or are we crazy? It could be an honest coincidence, but then again, what are the odds?

Suspicious Minds

The Practical Cogitator says: This is an interesting situation. I went to Mexico a few years back and I bought a whole bunch of really cool jewelry and other accessories while I was there. I thought the pieces were really unique—I was in another country after all! I came back home to Buffalo and waited for the spring/summer warm weather, all excited to cop a tan and wear my new stuff around. Funny thing happened, though. It was really cold here for a long time, and the first really warm days of the year happened to be for the Allentown Art Festival. Well, I was walking around looking at all the booths and I saw my exact same unique Mexico finds at not just one booth but at two separate vendors who had the same kind of stuff! I was extra-bummed out. After talking to one of the vendors, they explained that stuff is mostly mass-produced and sold in tourist resort areas and festivals. I still wear most of the items, but not with the same gusto. I’d say your friend is innocent until proven guilty.

The Omniscient One says: If you bought the necklace in Mexico, it is just as likely it was made in China as Mexico. I know that sounds odd, but it’s often the case. I bought some beautiful Spanish-style items in Spain and after close examination saw they were made in China. Oddly enough, I also bought an abacus in China that was made in Thailand. In short, locale has no meaning. That being the case, the girl may very well have a similar necklace. Even if she has your necklace, she didn’t steal it, and I doubt someone gave it to her and said, “I’d like to give you this necklace I stole at a Christmas party.” If you can press the girl to remember and she remembers your guest gave it to her, then you have something. If she either can’t remember, or invents something because she suspects it’s yours and wants to keep it, then you’re out of luck. Your only option if you’re convinced it’s yours is to find a way to tell her how much it means to you and hope she finds it in herself to hand it back.

The Sales Guy says: If in fact she was at your party and it was a unique piece, the odds of this being some sort of coincidence are remote. I say call the skanky thief what she is and demand it back. If she doesn’t comply, just tell everybody in town what happened and what she is. Getting an invite to a party and stealing from you? Yikes!

Strictly Classified says: The simplest answer is the most likely answer. It seems odd that your friend’s friend would have the same piece of jewelry as your girlfriend—not impossible, but definitely odd. I can’t think of much you can do, but you might want to be more careful who you welcome into your home in the future (or secure any easily pocketed valuables before your guests arrive).

Smart Money says: The odds that it’s the same necklace are good. There is no one I despise more than a thief. Tell your mutual friend. In fact, tell all your mutual friends. This person should not be allowed to socialize. If I could, I would have her publicly flogged for you. Call her out, the bitch.

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