DEAR ABBY: My friend "Natalie" recently called to ask me to be in her wedding. I agreed, of course.
Abby, Natalie is making a huge mistake. They have nothing in common. He drinks a lot and smokes. She doesn't. He puts her down about her weight. She loves children. He doesn't. I could go on and on. She's the nicest person I have ever met, and I think she deserves a lot better.
I think she feels that he's the only man who will marry her. I want her to open her eyes and see this jerk for who he really is, and I don't want her hurt any more, but I'm afraid that if I say anything, it will destroy our friendship.
Abby, Natalie's mother doesn't like her fiance either, but her mother hates Natalie, too. (Her mother has even threatened her life.)
I don't want to be in this wedding because I know the marriage will not last. What can be done to stop Natalie from making the biggest mistake of her life? -- WORRIED ABOUT MY FRIEND
DEAR WORRIED: If Natalie is making serious wedding plans, it's unlikely that she'll listen to what you have to say. Some people have to learn the hard way, and Natalie may be one of them. Be there for her on her big day -- and be around later in case you have to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. That's what friends are for.
DEAR ABBY: Speaking as a visually impaired employee of the LightHouse for the Blind in San Francisco, I was pleased to read the recent letter from the woman who offered helpful suggestions for how one should "behave normally around blind people." The gist of her letter was to treat blind people like everyone else.
I would like to add a simple guideline: If you meet a blind person and you are nervous, pretend you are speaking to him or her on the telephone. When you talk to someone by phone, you don't know if that person is sighted or blind -- green or purple, for that matter -- unless he or she tells you.
Abby, it is truly refreshing when people like you use mainstream media to dispel rather than perpetuate misleading stereotypes about blindness. Thank you. -- DAMIAN PICKERING, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
DEAR DAMIAN: Thank you for the helpful suggestion. It makes sense to me.
DEAR ABBY: I laughed about the woman who tweezed the hairs on her chin in a restaurant. However, I broke into hysterical laughter about the man who whipped out his dentures and swished them in his water goblet, while his companion watched the waves on the shore.
It reminded me of my late, great dad, who had poorly fitting dentures that hurt him when he ate. He finally became so desperate that he took them out in the middle of a meal, laid them on the table and told us, "YOU eat with them, if you can!"
Thanks, Abby, for publishing human stories. It's good to laugh when one is all alone. I appreciate it so much. -- EVELYNE IN HAZEL GREEN, ALA.
DEAR EVELYNE: Your letter reminds me of that old line, "He probably wanted to keep from biting off more than he could chew."
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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