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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My best friend is being married this summer, and she has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. We have been friends since the third grade. My parents have always treated her like one of their own children. We see her only a couple of times a year now, because she moved 800 miles away.

Abby, I recently learned that my parents are not invited to the wedding. Am I wrong to feel hurt that they are excluded? If she had to limit the number of guests, why didn't she just omit my sisters and make room for my parents, who have always been so good to her?

I always thought that proper etiquette requires the parents of wedding attendants to be invited to the wedding. Am I wrong? -- NETTLED IN NANTUCKET

DEAR NETTLED: Although most etiquette experts say the parents of attendants should be invited to the wedding, Emily Post explains that it is a nice gesture when feasible, but not necessary. It's possible that budget constraints caused your friend to limit her guest list. Please give her the benefit of the doubt. Don't take this personally or allow it to sour a lifelong friendship.

DEAR ABBY: Enclosed is a poem my late father wrote in 1951 for Mother's Day. I thought you might like to print it. -- PAT KIRKLAND, RENTON, WASH.

DEAR PAT: Absolutely! Your father's poem carries a strong message for children who live at a distance from their mothers. If the message is taken to heart, it should brighten Mother's Day for many a mother. Read on:


If you have a gray-haired mother

In the old home, far away,

Sit down and write the letter

You've put off from day to day.

Don't wait until your weary steps

Have reached the pearly gate,

But let her know you think of her

Before it is too late.

If you have a tender message --

A loving word to say --

Don't wait till you forget it,

But whisper it today.

Who knows what bitter memories

May haunt you if you wait;

So make your loved ones happy

Before it is too late.

The tender words unspoken,

The letters never sent,

The long forgotten messages,

The wealth of love unspent --

For those, some hearts are breaking.

For those, some loved ones wait --

So make your mother happy

Before it is too late.


What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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