DEAR ABBY: My mother calls me all the time. I answer sometimes, but sometimes I don't because I feel she wants to know too much about my life.
I work full time with the public. When I get home, I'm tired. I have talked to people all day long, and I really don't feel like entertaining her.
My mother tends to be negative, snotty and, most of the time, offensive. If there's a storm or an accident on the news, she calls me repeatedly until I call back. Who wants to call someone back who acts that way?
I try to be positive and upbeat. Sometimes she drains my energy. Do you have any advice for me? -- PUT OFF IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
DEAR PUT OFF: Yes. Explain to your mother that at the end of the day you don't have the energy to carry on a lengthy conversation with her. It wouldn't be rude; it's the truth. If she calls because she's worried that the bad news she hears in the media could be about you, tell her that you have her listed as someone to contact if there is an emergency. Continue to be positive and upbeat, and stop hiding from your mother.