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by Abigail Van Buren

Free Spirit Feels Like Wings Are Clipped With Current Beau

DEAR ABBY: I like to host parties for my kids, family events and game nights with friends. I love when my home is filled with loving family and friends. But when we open our home, there always seems to be someone who feels it necessary to point out something wrong with our home or something that should be fixed. It drives me nuts! I find it hard to respond without sounding snotty. When I'm invited to someone's home, I would never walk around and nitpick and point out problem areas. I would love it if you could give me examples of what I can say to deflect those not-so-helpful comments. -- HOST IN ILLINOIS

DEAR HOST: Allow me to offer you a menu. Feel free to pick and choose as you please:

1. "Oh, my! I hadn't noticed."

2. "Thank you for pointing that out. I'll have it fixed before you come back over." (And don't invite the person again.)

3. "The next time you visit, be sure to bring along your wrench."