Wed­ding date forces dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for maid of honour

The Western Star - - Life - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www. or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend is get­ting mar­ried next year and I am sup­posed to be the maid of honour. I am Jewish, and she sched­uled her wed­ding on the first day of Passover. This also means her re­hearsal din­ner will be dur­ing my fam­ily’s first Seder.

How do I ex­plain to her that for the first time in my life, she has bro­ken my heart? It seems her fam­ily doesn’t un­der­stand that Jewish hol­i­days are as im­por­tant as theirs. She is ask­ing me to choose be­tween my be­liefs, my fam­ily and our friend­ship.

What do I say to her, or should I just de­cline to be in her wed­ding? With 52 week­ends in a year, I feel like she could have found an­other day. — BRO­KEN­HEARTED IN BOS­TON

DEAR BRO­KEN­HEARTED: Your friend was un­der no obli­ga­tion to time her wed­ding date to avoid con­flict­ing with your reli­gious rit­ual. If you are wise, you will put aside the temp­ta­tion to lay a guilt trip on her. Ex­plain that you will be un­able to be part of her wed­ding party the same way you ex­plained it to me. Be­cause you are strictly ob­ser­vant, you should make clear to her why this reli­gious ob­ser­vance takes prece­dence over her wed­ding.

DEAR ABBY: As my chil­dren have grown older, I have re­garded my­self as ma­tri­arch of the fam­ily, giv­ing ad­vice and help where I think it’s needed. Lately, though, I’m afraid my re­la­tion­ship with them may have taken a turn for the worse. I can’t seem to stop crit­i­ciz­ing. Re­cently they sat down with me and told me they dread com­ing to visit, are sick of my “moth­erin-law” treat­ment of their spouses and col­lec­tively wish I’d check my tongue. I meant well, but my kids are right. The prob­lem is, I’m afraid I can’t stop. Try­ing to hold my opin­ions back leaves me anx­ious and de­pressed.

My fam­ily is pretty nor­mal, and I don’t want to alien­ate any­one. But I am hav­ing dif­fi­culty di­al­ing back th­ese habits and don’t know where to turn. — CRIT­I­CAL MA­TRI­ARCH IN UTAH

DEAR MA­TRI­ARCH: When the urge to crit­i­cize be­comes over­whelm­ing, bite your tongue or leave the room. The only ex­cep­tion would be if you see an im­pend­ing dis­as­ter.

I’ll share with you some ad­vice my mother gave me years ago: The most un­wel­come ad­vice in the world is that which is unasked for. Take it to heart and your re­la­tion­ship with your adult chil­dren and their spouses may im­prove.

DEAR ABBY: I’m plan­ning to travel to an­other state in Septem­ber and try­ing to save up for the plane ticket. The is­sue is, I’m go­ing dur­ing my birth­day. I’d like my fam­ily to help me with the cost of the trip, even if it’s only $5 to $10, in­stead of buy­ing me gifts. How do I go about telling them that, in­stead of gifts, I’d pre­fer money with­out sound­ing un­grate­ful or pushy? I just would re­ally like help pay­ing for my trip. — FAM­ILY HELP

DEAR FAM­ILY HELP: Be­cause you would pre­fer cash to tan­gi­ble gifts, a way to ap­proach this would be to con­fide your pref­er­ence in your mother or an­other close rel­a­tive and let that per­son spread the word. Good luck!

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