Posted: April 10, 2013 at 2:56 a.m.

DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: When our son asked to borrow $5,000 for an engagement ring, we were thrilled, because his girlfriend is wonderful. But after we lent him the money, months went by without any word of the engagement. Finally we asked what was up, and our son said he wasn’t going to propose until his girlfriend proved herself financially responsible by paying off her credit card. More months passed, so we asked again, only to learn that our son had bought a big-screen TV with our money instead of a ring. He assured us that he’d since saved enough to pay for a ring once his girlfriend has paid off her debt. Still, we’re shocked. How to handle this situation constructively? — Perplexed DEAR PERPLEXED: You shouldn’t be too shocked. Studies report, and we’re not kidding, that men put wide-screen TVs on their wish lists ahead of sex.

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Family, Pages 35 on 04/10/2013