Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: I just read the letter from "Nearly Smothered in the U.S.A.," who complained that her in-laws visit every two months, call twice a week, constantly mail cards and gifts, and take up precious "family time." I have a very similar situation, but I feel quite differently about it.
Although my husband's parents live more than 1,000 miles away, they consider the family a priority and sacrifice their weekends and hard-earned money to visit us every six weeks. My mother-in-law went back to work part time to finance these trips. We phone each other every two days because our 3-year-old daughter and younger son have developed such a close relationship with their grandparents that they insist on hearing their voices often. My in-laws also mail cards and gifts frequently, and our children love to receive them.
The whole family looks forward to the grandparents' visits because our children get undivided, one-on-one, loving attention from them, and my husband and I are free to spend some much-needed time alone or with our friends.
It's too bad "Smothered" is so ungrateful for her in-laws' attention. Her attitude is selfish, and she is denying her children a wonderful relationship with their grandparents. — Loved and Fortunate in Dallas
Dear Dallas: Your response was a case study in what good family relationships are all about. You are doing a splendid job, and I congratulate you.
Dear Ann Landers: I was intrigued by the essay Rose Mula wrote about the unwelcome old woman who invaded her home. Please tell her that the same old woman has sneaked into my home, as well.
I've noticed that she likes to nap. She started hogging the mattress for 15 minutes a day, and now it's up to an hour. I think it's disgraceful. I dare not leave her alone because she misplaces my datebook and makes me miss meetings. She is also a terrible clutterer. You should see what she has done to my study.
Ask Rose to call this old lady and suggest that she find somebody else to annoy. I've had it. — Mec in Massachusetts
Dear Mec in Mass.: I was surprised at the number of readers who wrote to say the old lady had visited them, as well. She certainly does get around. I hope she sees this column, and will honor your request to find someone else to annoy.
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.