DEAR ABBY: My sister calls me a "party pooper" because I seldom attend our family's social gatherings, of which there are many. If a fly dies, they throw a party.
My family think of themselves as "fun people," but the truth is, they'll use any excuse to drink. This is their choice, but it's not mine.
I don't enjoy Mom and Dad's slurred attempts at conversation during these get-togethers. Nor do I like watching Aunt Millie trip over herself on the dance floor, Uncle Jim telling off-color jokes or his wife laughing like a hyena.
It was bad enough when I had to observe this behavior when I was growing up, but I have drawn the line at having my children witness this disgraceful conduct.
Am I wrong in trying to protect my children from these scenes? -- EMBARRASSED IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR EMBARRASSED: No. Not only are you protecting your children, you are also sparing your relatives from embarrassing themselves in front of the children, with whom they may wish to have a relationship in the future. Should any of them sober up someday, they may thank you.