Dear Abby:

I need help! I have this friend who insists on buying me gifts that I don't want, like or need. She buys me T-shirts that don't fit me, among other items. She's driving me crazy. She says she does it because I'm her best friend. (She's not my best friend.)

I have told her several times to please stop spending her money on me. She won't listen. Most of the gifts she gives me end up going to charity.

Why does she do this? How can I get her to stop spending and wasting her money? I don't -- and won't -- buy her anything.

Going Crazy in Portland

She does it because she wants to be your best friend and she knows she's not. She thinks that if she keeps on giving, it will persuade you to like her more. You can get her to stop by refusing to accept the gifts. Tell her you like her, but that being on the receiving end all the time makes you feel uncomfortable. A lot of people make that mistake. They give and give and give some more, and when they don't get what they want in return, they feel cheated.

Dear Abby:

During professional meetings or events, people I work with ask me if I'm married or seeing anyone. Since these are not friends, but rather professional associates, I don't feel this question is appropriate. I would never think to ask someone such a personal question.

What is an appropriate response to these individuals that conveys it's none of their business without coming across as rude?

Strictly Business in D.C.

The people who are asking you that question are probably just trying to be friendly or to get to know you better. However, since you prefer not to answer the question directly, reply, "When I know you better, perhaps we can discuss it," and change the subject.

Dear Abby:

I am a 41-year-old gay man who has survived the AIDS virus for almost 19 years. I recently had a bad health scare and realized there was so much I wanted to say to people. It occurred to me that I should write my own eulogy. I'm not sure if that's appropriate or just self- indulgent.

I'd appreciate your thoughts. A positive attitude has been my strength.

"Watch Me Fly" in Palm Springs

If you would like to write your own eulogy, by all means do so. You won't be the first to do it, and it's a surefire way to assure your message gets across -- especially if it's videotaped.

P.S. I hope your "flight" is long delayed and you have many more good years in Palm Springs.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate