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by Abigail Van Buren

Ski Trip Tradition Begins to Wear on Weary Hostess

DEAR ABBY: My father-in-law passed away in 2002 and had a friend I'll call "Roy," who was his skiing buddy. This "friend" now comes to Canada every winter for a 10-day vacation. He expects us to drive him to his destination two hours away, over icy roads and at times blizzard-like conditions, leave him there for a week, return the following weekend at night, stay the weekend and then host him for two to three days.

Abby, this is a busy time of year for me. It is not our vacation time. My husband thinks it's no big deal, but I feel differently. I have tried to get my husband to stop this "chauffeur" duty back and forth each year, to no avail. This year, Roy will be spending an extra two nights at our home. I am too busy to entertain, cook meals, etc. Please advise! -- TRAPPED IN CALGARY

DEAR TRAPPED: Look at it this way. To your husband, Roy is a living link to his deceased father. That may be the reason he does not regard Roy's annual visits as an imposition.

Because you do, and you need to concentrate on your business, encourage your husband to take Roy to the slopes, spend the weekend with him and bring him home. Playing hostess for a night or two shouldn't be too much to ask -- and the bulk of the load will be off your shoulders.