Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Please answer a question that has me perplexed. Why do people collect autographs?

I do not understand the need for a collection of signatures, regardless of how famous &

or infamous &

the person may be. I have never had the need to brag or show proof that I encountered "someone." In fact, I feel it's a breach of a person's privacy to approach and ask for a signature.

I realize that some may collect autographs for their monetary value, but what's the reasoning behind it? Book signings, I get. Movie posters, promotional items, baseball cards and sports memorabilia, I get. But I don't understand adults (and sometimes children) approaching someone famous and asking them to sign something.

Can you explain what's the big deal?

"" NO AUTOGRAPH HOUND, PONTOTOC, MISS.

DEAR NO AUTOGRAPH HOUND: While I can't speak for every autograph collector, I suspect that many people ask for autographs because it provides them an opening to speak to someone whose work they admire or whom they think is attractive. And most celebrities &

although not all &

enjoy having that kind of contact with their fans.

DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing "Kevin" for two years. I love him very much. But when we are at home together I have to beg to make him hug or kiss me.

I know he loves me; he just doesn't like affection. In the past, girlfriends have broken up with him over this. Abby, I need more physical contact! Is this normal, or is there something wrong?

"" CRAVING IN DENVER

DEAR CRAVING: It's not normal. While some men are more affectionate than others, you should not have to "beg" for affection. Eventually Kevin's behavior will make you begin to question your attractiveness.

Please understand that you cannot change another person. If this is how you want to live the rest of your life, keep seeing Kevin. If not, take a clue from his former girlfriends and find someone who can give you the affection you crave.

DEAR ABBY: I have a relative who is spoiled, immature, disrespectful to her parents and has done nothing productive in her life. I have spent time with this person because I had to; however, I do not love her. The fact is, I don't even like her.

My question is, what would I say to someone who asks me if I love that relative? What can I say that is not hurtful &

but not lie either?

"" PERPLEXED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PERPLEXED: Frankly, I find it odd and somewhat intrusive that someone would ask you that question. However, if you are confronted, be honest (up to a point) and say that although you are related, you are not close. Then change the subject.

DEAR ABBY: Your response to "Livonia, Mich., Reader" (April 27) was ALMOST correct. Please allow me to clarify.

Every law school graduate is awarded a J.D. (Juris Doctor) regardless of his/her performance on the bar exam. However, only graduates who PASS the bar exam can be called Esquire (Esq.) Simply put, J.D. is the degree; Esq. is the qualification to practice law.

"" STELLA SALMEN, FORMER LEGAL SECRETARY

DEAR STELLA: I had relied on my dictionary for the answer to that question. Thank you for educating me &

to a "degree."

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.