Dear Miss Emily: About 6 months ago my mother gave me a dining room table. I already had one, so I set it in the garage. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law live together and close to us. They saw the table and continuously asked for it. Finally I gave in, because I have a hard time saying no. Well, the guilt and sadness was burning up inside so I asked for it back. They made no effort and blew me off. When I asked them, I plead my case even offering to help them find another one. They asked me why I needed it since I already had one. My mother and I have always had a strained relationship, but now we are great! It was extremely sentimental to her and me. So I asked again, and explained my feelings and my mother-in-law flipped out. Meanwhile, they bought a new entertainement center, new bedroom set, new computer, new living room sets and never once thought to buy a dining room table and do the right thing. I have been disowned. She used her religion against me and said a bunch of hurtful things that had nothing to do with the subject at hand. I, to, am a Christian, but how does someone act this way and disown you over something like this? I don't know how to feel or what to do, Any advice on how to get through this. I have two of her grandchildren and one on the way, and I am the wife of her son. Why has she chosen to be this hostile??? Praying It Will Go Away ----------Miss Emily's advice------------ Dear Praying: Whether the table was re-gifted to your mother-in-law, or a loan, she is being unreasonable knowing how you feel. In fact, she's being petty, selfish, and childish. But being Christian, to some people, is more a label than a determination to do what Jesus would do. That said, you made a big mistake by giving in to her request, because you had every right to tell her this was a gift from your mother and it was not something that was negotiable -- end of discussion. Apparently, your husband has let you take the heat on this, and that is typical of some men who refuse to get involved with troubles in the world of the "little women." I see no need to apologize to your mother-in-law (nor her sidekick daughter), but I'd let it be known that you are unhappy with this estrangement from them, and let the table be theirs to keep. No apologies -- and no butt kissing -- just an extended olive branch in order to make peace, if possible. Take responsibility for your lack of judgment, and don't continue to be mushy about a table that really didn't seem like a valued sentimental object at the time you gave it away; although I wouldn't doubt that your mother is giving you some flack about this, and that puts you back in the "trouble zone" with her. If you take my advice, and your mother-in-law still holds a grudge, it's her loss. Remember, you hold the cards -- her grandchildren. When you keep your cool and take the high road, it's just bugs the hell out out of the self-righteous. If you don't believe me, just sit back and watch.