- Advice for your Everyday Life
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Section: money, manners 

Dear Ann Landers,
I was invited to the wedding of a close friend last fall. Instead of giving my friend and her husband money, I commissioned a local artist to make a gift for the couple. The artist told me it would take about a month for the work to be completed. I wrote my friend a note apologizing for the delay and explained that I was having something special made for them. It has been three months, and the work is still not finished. I spoke to the artist, but he won't give me any answers. Should I give the couple a check, apologize again and tell the artist to forget it? Please tell me what to do. -- West Orange, N.J.

Dear W.O.,
Write a letter to the artist giving him a two-week deadline to complete the picture or the deal is off. Send a copy of the letter to the newlyweds. If "Rembrandt" doesn't make the deadline, ask him to return your deposit. Then, buy the couple a gift.

"Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat."
-Ann Landers