DEAR ABBY: I host many casual backyard parties and invite my family as well as my husband's. My family always declines for one reason or another, even when they are the only ones invited -- so I have quit asking them to most of my gatherings because I'm always rejected.
When they get wind of a barbecue that we have had, they become offended that they weren't invited. I explained that because they always decline, I assumed they wouldn't be interested. Abby, must I continue to invite them so they can reject me? -- OFFENDED AND HURT IN DES MOINES
DEAR OFFENDED AND HURT: Not in my book. You'll have less pain if you accept that you can't please everyone. It appears that with your family you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, and I see no reason why you should continue to invite anyone who continually refuses to come.