DEAR ABBY: My friend "Barbara" and I decided to see a play, so she charged her (nonrefundable) ticket to her credit card. Two days later, Barbara realized she had to cancel, and asked me if I knew anyone who wanted to purchase her ticket.
Another friend (I'll call her Linda) said she'd love to go. We agreed she would pay me the night of the play, so I could give Barbara the money. To simplify matters, I went ahead and paid Barbara when she delivered the ticket.
The day before the play, Linda called and announced that she had to go out of town and couldn't attend the play after all. She said there was plenty of time left for me to sell the ticket, and she didn't think she should pay for it. She said that Barbara should return my money and find her own replacement. Barbara, on the other hand, felt that her obligation was over when she sold me the ticket, and is, therefore, out of the picture.
To make a long story short, it was too late to find a replacement for Linda. Each of us feels put out, but I'm also out the money. What should have happened? -- CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR CAUGHT: Linda canceled very late in the game. She should have made an effort to find someone to purchase her ticket instead of placing the burden on you.
Since you were unable to find someone to replace her, Linda should reimburse you the money you advanced on her behalf.
P.S. Watch out for Linda. Although you may consider her to be one, she hasn't treated you like a friend.