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by Abigail Van Buren

Age Is a Barrier to Daughter Joining Mom's Social Club

DEAR ABBY: I am part of a small social ladies group. The eight of us range in age from mid-50s to late-60s. We get together once a month for lunch, a movie, dinner, shopping, etc. I look forward to it, and we always have a good time.

Recently, we lost a few members due to relocating, and the subject came up about trying to get a few more women interested in joining us. When I mentioned it to my daughter, who is in her early 30s, she got very excited and wants to join. When I approached the group about it, they were dead set against it, which surprised me. They feel it would change the atmosphere of the group because of the age difference.

I haven't told my daughter yet because I know her feelings will be hurt. Now I'm torn about whether to continue with this group of ladies, since I'm upset that my daughter will be excluded for a reason I consider to be trivial. Some of the ladies have never even met her. There have never been any "rules" discussed about who wouldn't be accepted.

I don't know how to proceed with this. Our next get-together is coming up soon, and I'm stressed as to how to handle it. Help! -- SOCIAL LADY IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SOCIAL LADY: The way to handle it is to explain to your daughter that the other members of the group prefer socializing with women their own age, which is why she won't be invited to join them. Explain that it isn't personal, that they might not feel comfortable discussing issues in front of her that she has yet to face.

Because your daughter has time on her hands, encourage her to consider volunteering or joining a social group of contemporaries, and if you still feel as upset as you do about this group, ask if she'd mind if you joined her.

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