Thank you all for the excellent advice!
Hey everyone, I've been lurking and have gotten some *excellent* advice here. So I figured I'd jump in and start trying to give something back to the community. I'm in my late 40s and have a mother who's nearly 80 and - get this - she has SEVEN sisters. All of whom but one are older than she is and they spend all day long calling each other to whine and complain about how poorly they feel and how awful it is that their children are doing too much/not enough/the wrong things. Luckily my cousins and I are in close touch with each other and can short circuit some of this - they have no idea we're in cahoots with each other - and in a way it's been a good thing b/c it's brought us closer together. Anyway, just wanted to say 'hi' and again, thanks! I'm really working on my attitude when my mom calls and wants to dump on me for hours about how worried she is about one of her sisters, to whom she's the closest and who has the worst health problems (just out of chemo and with heart failure). Both of them have made terrible financial decisions for decades and are living off social security - it's been awesome! to read others experiences, I'm going to try to head off having to be my mom's full time nurse in another decade... my great grandmother lived to be over 100 and there's a good chance at least a couple of these women will be too... nothing like saving not one red penny when you know your family tends toward longevity and expecting your child *ahem* to step in and "save" you from the consequences of your actions. I know a lot of us here are in the same boat.