DEAR ABBY: My mother is very hard to talk to, but she reads your column faithfully, so maybe she will recognize herself. Mother wonders why I enjoy spending so much time with my in-laws. Here are a few reasons:
My in-laws do not criticize me every time they see me. They don't say I look fat, my clothes are not appropriate or my hairstyle is outdated. My in-laws don't point out everything I do wrong with my children; they say I'm doing a good job and I should be proud of myself. (I am.)
My in-laws understand when I have to split holidays between them and my parents. They actually enjoy spending time with their grandchildren -- attending ball games, school plays and kids' birthday parties, and they don't act like it's a burden or an annoyance to baby-sit. Most of all, they listen when I talk.
Abby, I would give anything to have a good relationship with my parents. Believe me, I've tried, but they are so self-righteous and set in their own ways, they really don't know me. Even though we live very close to them and see them often, I still feel like I'm a million miles away.
Thanks for listening, Abby. I just thought instead of crying this time, I'd share my thoughts with you. Maybe other readers have gone through this, too. -- DEPRESSED DAUGHTER
DEAR DEPRESSED: On the chance that your mother misses this column, it might be a good idea for you to READ it to her. She needs to hear from you how hurt you are ... and why.