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Dear Abby: Bothering pro athlete for freebies

Dear Abby: I have a dilemma. Last year, my son became a professional in his sport, and he has recently become famous.

Since then, everyone is asking for tickets to games. I treated one relative who lives near me to a game with her son; now, her sister is saying she follows the games and would love to attend.

My son gets tickets, but they are not free to him. It’s becoming very stressful for him. Friends and family from all over now ask him for tickets. How do I tactfully tell these people that I won’t ask? I don’t want it to sound as if he doesn’t want to do it.

– Professional Dilemma

Dear P.D.: These people may not realize they are being presumptuous. Tell them frankly, the same way you explained it to me, that the tickets aren’t free to the players. These people may not be aware of it, and it should bring them back to reality.

Impact of emotional wreck

Dear Abby: A good friend of mine began having trouble in her marriage of 16 years. She has been coming to me for advice. Her husband has grown distant and refuses physical interaction. He speaks to her as if he is always irritated with her.

The reason she seeks my advice is because I’m going through a divorce and my husband exhibited the same signs. Now, she’s implying that her husband is attracted to me! It makes me very uncomfortable since I haven’t done anything wrong. What should I do?

– Walking on Eggshells

Dear Walking: Your friend is an emotional wreck right now. Because her husband hasn’t given her the reason he is emotionally abusing her, she’s desperately looking for a reason. A step in the right direction would be to assure her that you are not, never were, and never will be attracted to her husband. Then suggest that she may need more support than you can give her and she might find it helpful to talk to a professional counselor.

Putting a bigot in his place

Dear Abby: I was an invited guest at a dinner party along with a few other couples. During conversation, one of the guests mean-spiritedly used the N-word twice. I was appalled. Because it was not my home, I said nothing.

Please tell me how I could have handled this to let the bigot know that this wasn’t acceptable and that he was just plain wrong.

– Should Have Spoken Up

Dear Should: If you choose to avoid him, that’s your privilege, and it’s fine with me. There’s a saying, “All that’s needed for evil to flourish is for good people to say nothing.” It would not have been rude to have said, “Please don’t use that word around me, because I find it offensive.”