DEAR ABBY: As a treat to myself, every two weeks for the past several years I have gone to "Natasha," a professional massage therapist. Like my hairdresser, Natasha has become not so much a business acquaintance as a friend. That's why I need your advice.
Natasha constantly talks and tries to engage me in conversation during my massage. I don't want to be rude, but I would get more out of the massage if she talked less and allowed me to relax in peace and quiet. How can I tell her without hurting her feelings?
The massage costs me $90 a session. The way things are now, I don't feel I'm getting my money's worth. -- TIED IN KNOTS IN TEXAS
DEAR TIED IN KNOTS: Stiffen your spine and level with your masseuse. As a paying customer, you have a right to relax and not be distracted during the session. As a professional, she should understand.
However, since you and Natasha are friends, make it clear that you and she can enjoy a lunch or dinner together for social conversation between appointments.