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by Abigail Van Buren

In Laws' Close Friendship Puts Strain on Family Ties

DEAR ABBY: One of my friends asks to borrow my discount card (that I pay for) every time we go shopping together. She recently asked me to let her know the next time I plan to go to a particular membership store, so she can tag along and get my discount.

Until now, I have always agreed, but it's beginning to bother me. Am I wrong to feel this way? Am I being selfish? If not, is there a tactful way to let her know how I feel? -- WISE SHOPPER, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.

DEAR WISE SHOPPER: Not knowing your friend, it's hard to determine whether she's a mooch or someone who needs a break. Because you feel your generosity is being taken advantage of, a way to handle it would be to tell her that you sometimes decide to shop at the last minute and therefore can't always include her. Another would be to "forget" to mention you're going. Of course there is a third way, and that would be to tell her how you feel -- but it's risky because while true, it's not tactful.