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OK to ask for partner's mom's ring?

A few years ago, we bought his mother a beautiful diamond cocktail ring for Mother's Day.

DEAR ABBY: My partner and I have been together 23 years and his parents have embraced me as one of their own. A few years ago, we bought his mother a beautiful diamond cocktail ring for Mother's Day. She's now 84, and when she passes on, I'd like that ring back to have it turned into a ring for my partner. It's a gesture I'm sure would please him, and I hope his mother as well. I believe she's leaving her jewelry to her granddaughter, which is fine. But this particular ring will mean so much if I turn it into a ring for her son.

Would it be tacky for me to request this of Mom if I tell her why? (I'd also like to keep it on the down low so my partner doesn't find out until the ring is given to him.) What do you think, Abby?

- Phil in Pennsylvania

DEAR PHIL: I think what you have in mind is beautiful, and I can't imagine why your partner's mother would object if you raise the subject. If she doesn't wish to change her will, and you think the granddaughter is likely to pawn the ring anyway, you could offer to buy it from the granddaughter when the time comes.

DEAR ABBY: Is it proper to invite men to a bridal shower?

- Curious Guy in Minnesota

DEAR CURIOUS GUY: According to Emily Post: "Today, showers are just as likely to include the groom and his male friends."

The purpose of a shower for a bridal couple (or the expected arrival of a baby) is to celebrate the upcoming event and express good wishes.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 25 years and have never had an argument with my mother-in-law. Never! My mother gave me some valuable advice before my wedding that I'd like to pass along. She said, "Always respect the woman who made the man you love."

My MIL has always been welcome in my home for as long as she wishes. If we had any differences, a respectful dialogue was opened right away - especially if it concerned our kids' education.

The women who made our husbands deserve all the respect we can offer them because if we are happy as wives, it is thanks to all of them.

- Simone in San Francisco

DEAR SIMONE: Your mother is an intelligent lady, and so are you for having taken her advice to heart. Because few people are in total agreement about everything, there is much to be learned when adults can air their opinions respectfully. This is true of all human relationships.

Because tomorrow is Mother's Day, I would like to wish a happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere, be they birth mothers, adoptive and foster mothers, stepmothers or grandmothers who are raising grandchildren. I applaud you all.