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by Abigail Van Buren

Lonely Man Ready to Make Music With Bluegrass Fan

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful guy for four years, and I'm fortunate to have nice and caring in-laws. My only issue with them is the personal questions they ask -- like how much money people make.

Abby, they know exactly how much their children make, as well as the amount of their son-in-law's salary. Once I'm out of graduate school and settled into my career, I know they will ask me.

I feel my finances are my personal business and no one else's -- especially if my husband and I are living comfortably. How do I handle the situation when my in-laws ask me about my income? I don't want to be rude, but I think it's intrusive and too personal. -- NOT QUOTING FIGURES

DEAR NOT QUOTING: Start now and tell your husband -- if you haven't already -- how you feel about questions about how much people earn. That way he'll be less inclined to "spill" when his parents start pumping him for the information. When they ask you, say that you are not comfortable with that question because you feel it is too personal. Smile when you say it, and remember you are not obligated to answer every question someone asks of you.