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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old woman with a college degree. I am intelligent, friendly, drink moderately and have never touched drugs. You would think my mother would be satisfied to have a daughter with these attributes; however, she is not. I am single, and that isn't good enough for her.

Mother is constantly mentioning to me about this guy or that guy she met at the grocery store, or a nephew of someone she works with or met at a wedding. She goes on and on, even though I have no interest (and tell her so). Recently I went to a store and a young salesman knew my name. My mother had been in and told him all about me and even showed him my picture. I have told her repeatedly that I do not want her to set me up or talk to men about me, but she continues to do so.

A month ago, she placed an ad in a singles magazine with my information. Doing this required her to forge my signature. I was mystified when I began receiving biographies of "interested" men in the mail. Although I was extremely upset, I haven't confronted her about it. I'm not sure what to say because nothing has ever gotten through to her before.

She has no respect for my privacy or my right to live my own life. She obviously thinks it's necessary for me to land a man, but I live at home and haven't completed my education, so I'm in no hurry to do that. How can I make it clear to my mother that this is not her business? -- AT MY WIT'S END IN MILWAUKEE

DEAR WIT'S END: Showing your picture to strangers and placing an ad in a singles magazine without your knowledge are beyond the realm of normal parental concern, and could actually be dangerous. However, since you have talked to her in the past and asked her to stop, and it hasn't helped, there is nothing you can do to stop your obsessive parent.

My advice: Grit your teeth, complete your education, and then move as far away from her as you can. It's the only way you'll be able to live your own life.

DEAR ABBY: One of my best and oldest friends became engaged to be married five months ago. "Sarah" has put a deposit down on a location, bought her gown and picked out dresses for her three bridesmaids, including me. The problem is that Sarah has yet to pick a maid of honor or even to say she doesn't want one at all.

Whenever anyone asks her who the maid of honor is going to be, she shrugs off the question by saying something like, "I haven't even gone there yet."

Abby, I'm trying to be there for her because I'm her friend, but it seems as if she's trying to avoid the issue, possibly to avoid picking one friend over another. I would like to host a bridal shower for her, but isn't that the responsibility of the maid of honor? I wouldn't be offended if she didn't choose me, but it's difficult to assess my role without knowing for certain what it is. -- JUST A BRIDESMAID?

DEAR JUST A BRIDESMAID: You are a wonderfully supportive friend, but this is a decision the bride must make, and she must make it in her own time. Entertaining for the bride is not solely a privilege of the maid of honor. Bridesmaids may entertain for the bride singly, or as a group.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600