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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother Protecting Daughter Provokes Ugly Family Fight

DEAR ABBY: I was recently asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. Flattered, I gladly accepted. When I was told that the dress she selected would cost me $240, I was shocked. I told the bride that I couldn't afford to spend that much for a dress, but I would be happy to go shopping with her to find something less expensive. When she informed me that changing the dress was not an option, I told her that I would be unable to participate in the wedding.

She did not protest my decision, or try to come up with an alternate solution such as paying for half of the dress. Instead, she asked another girl to take my place in the wedding.

Abby, this has been bothering me for weeks. I feel like she chose a dress over her friendship with me. Am I overreacting? What do you think? -- OUSTED IN OREGON

DEAR OUSTED: Obviously it was more important for your friend to have the bridesmaid dresses that she preferred than to have you as a bridesmaid.

Are you overreacting? Only if you let this end your friendship. The bride was insensitive to your financial situation, but releasing you from an obligation to be in a wedding you couldn't afford to participate in is not an issue great enough to lose a friendship over.