DEAR ABBY: My nephew is being married in a few months and has asked my 7-year-old daughter, "Shelley," to be the flower girl in his wedding. He is her godfather.
I also have a 5-year-old daughter, "Ruthie." My wife thinks it is unfair that Ruthie wasn't asked to be in the wedding because "it's every little girl's dream" to be a flower girl. The truth is, Ruthie did not feel slighted in the least when she heard Shelley was asked. However, my wife, her mother, two sisters and a couple of her friends think it is wrong and mean-spirited for Ruthie not to be included.
This argument has caused a great deal of strain between my wife and me. She has even stated that rather than attending the wedding, she may stay home with Ruthie. Abby, do you think I am being an insensitive father for not telling my nephew that he must ask BOTH girls to be flower girls? -- BEWILDERED IN TEXAS
DEAR BEWILDERED: Certainly not. Being a flower girl isn't "every little girl's dream" unless someone has planted the notion. Tell your wife and the meddling in-laws to stop interfering with your nephew's wedding plans. If your wife prefers to stay home with your 5-year-old, that's her choice.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating my father's heart surgeon. He is extremely busy and calls less and less often as the weeks go by. He makes very little time to see me, although he claims he will make more time for me in the future. I know he has a lot of pressure, but I'm sure he doesn't do heart surgery 24 hours a day.
Every time I decide to give up on him, he calls, apologizes, and promises to see me "soon." He also pays me lavish compliments. I really like him a lot, but the relationship is going nowhere.
What must I do to resolve the situation? I don't have the strength to say no. -- HEARTBROKEN OKLAHOMAN
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Don't let this cardiologist break your heart, and don't burn your bridges. Accept his compliments, issue no ultimatums, and make it a priority to meet and date other eligible men. He may, indeed, have an extremely full schedule. However, until he's willing to place you higher on his list of priorities, make sure your social calendar is as full as you want it to be.
DEAR ABBY: I thought you and your readers might enjoy these announcements from actual church bulletins. Get ready to chuckle! -- LOIS IN HELLERTOWN, PA.
DEAR LOIS: Although these have appeared in my column before, I'm sure many people would welcome a chuckle. Read on:
1. Don't let worry kill you. Let the church help.
2. This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Jenny Palmer to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
3. The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and may be seen in the fellowship hall all day Friday.
4. This afternoon, there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
5. Tonight's sermon will be "What is Hell?" Come early and hear our choir practice.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600