My 81 year old mother is widowed for 5 years. She depends on me to be her best friend. Complains I don't do enough with her. I'm frustrat

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ed. She's jealous of the time I spend with friends and other family members.

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Needy people = entrapment. Mom needs a social setting where she can make friends, preferably in the neighborhood where you can keep an eye on her -- from a distance. How about the occasional bingo or a senior citizen center where she can go on small trips?

Remember: just because you get the monkey off your back it doesn't mean the circus is out of town. Set a few hours every now and then to spend with her. After all, she's your mother and you are -- whether you like it or not -- her best friend, confidante, and safety net. There's no bingo or senior citizen center in the world that can top that.

-- ED
She is one of those people who think bingo and senior citizen centers are 'too old' for her. As she ages, she is getting very controlling and selfish. I just don't know where to draw the line.

Well, she's either in denial or wants to recapture her youth somehow. I once suggested to my mother Botox, plastic surgery, and a few go-go boys clubs. She tried all three. (Almost started receiving her mail at Chippendale's and cradle-snatched a few 20-something y/o guys for a while.) They worked at first, but she eventually realized you can't keep running from Mother Nature. There's just no place to hide.

It's time to set aside the mother-daughter thing and have a woman to woman chat; and don't be afraid to tell it like it is. She might not be aware of it, but let her know she's controlling and selfish and give plenty of examples in case she tries to play the victim and flip the script on you. If that's the case, stand firm. That's pretty much all you need to draw the line.

-- ED

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