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by Abigail Van Buren

Two Would Be a Crowd for Two Mothers in Law

DEAR ABBY: My mother recently moved into a senior housing complex, which she loves. Now my mother-in-law, "Irene," has decided she wants to move there, too. The problem is, my mother does not want to live near Irene. Although Mom has always been nice to her, she has never liked her.

There are fewer than 50 apartments in the complex and only one dining area. Moving Mother elsewhere is out of the question because she signed a lease. Both Mom and Irene are in their 80s. I don't want to hurt my husband of 46 years or his mother. I feel like I'm ... IN A REAL PICKLE IN MICHIGAN

DEAR IN A PICKLE: Irene is eager to move into the complex because she has no doubt heard how much your mother loves living there and she probably doesn't know about any others. Your husband should encourage his mother to start looking around for an "even better" place. Surely after all these years, the fact that your mother isn't crazy about his won't devastate him. My advice is help Irene by scouting other locations right away.

P.S. She might be more open to the idea if your mother stopped bragging and started doing some complaining.