DEAR ABBY: Yesterday was my 20th birthday. Aren't birthdays supposed to be happy occasions? Well, if you're in jail and on your way to prison like me, maybe not.
"Prisoner in Reno, Nev." thinks she's got it bad at home because her parents won't let her out much. She should remember this: There is always someone who has it worse than she has. Her parents are overprotective because they love her. Even though I'm locked up, my parents still care for me. They're worried sick.
Let me ask you this, "Prisoner" -– do your parents search you before and after you leave your room? Do they make you eat nasty food you wouldn't give your worst enemy? Do they routinely search your room? What I'm trying to say is, count your blessings.
You ended your letter by asking, "What should I do?" Well, I'm on a one-way trip down a road that leads nowhere. Now tell me, what should I do? –- INMATE ON A DEAD END
DEAR INMATE: I don't know what you did to receive a prison sentence, but it's possible that you should feel lucky to be alive.
Since you asked what you should do, I strongly suggest you follow all prison rules to the letter, do not believe everything you hear from the other inmates, and take any classes that are offered to improve yourself.
Even under these difficult circumstances, you still have control over how "happy" your future birthdays can be.