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DEAR ABBY: I'm in my early 20s and have a friend, "Logan," who is in his early 30s. We go out to dinner every so often to catch up. When the server asks how the check should be split, Logan quickly says to put it all on one check -- and before I know it, he has already paid for both of our meals.

I have told him before that I'd like to pay for some of our meals or, at least, be allowed to pay for my own -- but his response is always that I'm young and in college and he is working.

I appreciate the gesture and his concern, but I feel a little insulted that someone would think I'm unable to take care of myself. It also makes me feel a little guilty when he always grabs the check. Is there something I can do to assuage my conscience without insulting my friend? -- YOUNG, BUT NOT PENNILESS, CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO

DEAR NOT PENNILESS: Before you go out with Logan again, explain that while you appreciate his generosity, you would prefer that he allow you to pick up the check for two reasons: one, because you are financially able to do so, and two, because the situation is making you uncomfortable.

Alternatively, when you and Logan are seated, rather than waiting for the server to ask how the check should be divided, instruct the server that the check is to be given to you.

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