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Advice Goddess



Pillage talk

Recently, my cash has been mysteriously disappearing first, from my pants pocket after my girlfriend did laundry. When I asked, she said she'd found a few bucks in the washer, but I realized most of it was still missing. Okay, maybe that time the underpants gnomes took it. Another time, some cash from my wallet was gone. She denied knowing anything. Then, my change jar got mostly emptied. She finally admitted she cashed it in for stuff she needed. Then there are all those times I've had to pay her portion of the bills. I'm a college student, and she earns more than I do, even though she goes for low-wage jobs then gets fired. I've been waiting and hoping she'd start managing her money better, or look for a better job. Do you think it would help if we didn't live together? I'm thinking that way she'd learn to save some of her OWN money. Dollar Bill

So ... if a guy at a concert picks your pocket, do you chase him and try to tackle him, or sit down and ponder whether he just needs an apartment of his own?

It's bad enough that you have to worry about strangers in Romania phishing your bank account over the Internet. Now you also have to worry that your own girlfriend is phishing your dresser? Of course, you should probably consider yourself lucky if all her larceny is the petty kind. While women typically wait until they marry to take a man's name, your name may already be appearing on credit cards you'll only find out about when the repo man is driving away in your car.

You could be checking your credit report for fraud right now if only you weren't so busy making excuses for your girlfriend: She has a bad job! She doesn't make enough money! There may be demons in the washing machine! Right. There's a reason it's the fruit of your labor disappearing, not your Fruit of the Looms. (Ever try to buy earrings with a fistful of tighty-whities?) Cough it up already: Your girlfriend is a thief. She isn't "finding" money, she isn't borrowing money, she's stealing it, plain and simple. On the bright side, she isn't endangering your life by holding you up at gunpoint, since your gullibility is the only weapon she needs.

Sometimes reality bites, and when it does, the answer isn't reaching down to pet it and give it a biscuit. Sure, you really, really want to believe there's a loving relationship in there somewhere perhaps because you've already put so much time into believing that. Or, perhaps you think admitting your girlfriend doesn't love you means admitting you're unlovable or undeserving of love. The truth is, you might be quite lovable, but you'll never find out as long as you're with a woman whose idea of a 50/50 relationship involves lifting $50 from your wallet, then cashing in another $50 from your change jar.

Getting your girlfriend to move out will change one thing her address. While management companies do give away a lot of amenities to lure new renters, ethics and ambition aren't among them. You can have a woman who shares your values, provided that you keep looking until you actually find one. If it makes you feel better, consider the money this woman filched a course fee of sorts: a lesson to avoid ignoring the disconnect between what you have and what you really want which, presumably, isn't a girlfriend who can't keep her hands off your hard ... earned cash.

Clothing the deal

Your question from the girl who initially dissed the guy with bad hair, ugly polyester shirts and "Cosby sweaters" hit home with me. I know you can't expect a guy to change, but does that mean you have to take a pass on a guy who's otherwise great, and hope he comes around in time (and in style)? Shallow, I Guess

It's unrealistic to expect a man to give up golf, his friends or drug-running, but is it really that big a deal to get him to change his sweater? Sure, some guys are glued to their "look," like a guy who doesn't feel true to his Wisconsin roots during football season unless he's got a big foam slice of cheese on his head. Most guys aren't that picky about how they dress. Where women go wrong is in telling a guy what to wear, instead of telling him how hot he'd look in, say, a blue denim work shirt, then offering to help him shop for one. Is it shallow to want a guy to dress better? No, it's shallow to pretend you can deal when you can't. Clothes don't make the man, but they might make the man somebody you aren't embarrassed to be seen with in broad daylight.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail (

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