DEAR ABBY: My aunt is a perfectionist who loves hosting get-togethers at her house once a week. I love being at home on a day off, so I can get chores done around the house and catch up on rest. I feel like I'm suffocating when she insists on including me, because it is time away from my home on a Sunday or a holiday.
When I attend, I feel like I'm really there to do the behind-the-scenes things, like dishes, trash, etc., and I don't get to relax, visit and enjoy the get-togethers. If I don't attend or I protest in any way, she gets really upset.
I don't know how to achieve a win-win for both of us. My aunt has a big heart and loves entertaining people. I'm an introvert, and I'm definitely not an entertainer. Being around people makes me feel overwhelmed, where it revitalizes her. Please help. -- UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Explain your feelings to your aunt exactly as you have to me. If she's as big-hearted as you say, she should understand and let you off the hook without becoming "really upset." From where I sit, you are being treated less as a guest than as a one-person, free kitchen and cleanup crew. You have the right to spend your holidays and weekends exactly as you wish, just as she does.