DEAR ABBY: My friend is planning a wedding for next May. Under any other circumstances I would be happy for her, but she isn't engaged and has not yet been proposed to by her boyfriend!
Apparently, she has simply decided that now would be a good time to get married. She has always thought that 26 to 28 is a good age to marry, and she's not considering any other factors. She and her boyfriend are both 26, but he's not at all responsible. He tried college several times without success, then worked for a while to pay off his student loans, and is now enrolled in a technical college. He does not seem mature enough for marriage, and frankly, neither does she.
Abby, I don't know what to do. My friend has gone as far as talking to a priest about the wedding (without her boyfriend present), and is about to put money down on a hall. I feel like I can't just stand back and let all this happen. Should I say something? Please don't use my name. Just sign me ... WORRIED ABOUT THE WEDDING
DEAR WORRIED: Someone must inject a note of reality in this fantasy. Tell your friend that tradition dictates that it is necessary to have a fiance and set the date together before you plan a wedding, and that you don't want her to get hurt and lose deposit money she can't afford.
She may not follow your advice, but at least your conscience will be clear.
DEAR ABBY: I work in a small office, and every two weeks an e-mail is sent to solicit money to buy cards and gifts for fellow employees for birthdays, new babies, funerals, etc.
Recently, we were asked to contribute to a get-well card and gift for an employee who had elective cosmetic surgery.
Abby, is there a limit to what is appropriate to solicit for office contributions? For those of us on a tight budget, it is embarrassing and uncomfortable to be put on the spot this way. How should I handle this? -- PENNY-WISE IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
DEAR PENNY-WISE: You should discuss this problem with your supervisor and suggest changing the card and gift policy. This is a delicate situation. The directive should come from management -– otherwise, it could create resentment.
P.S. The get-well gift for the employee who had elective cosmetic surgery is truly a "new wrinkle" in gift giving!
DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship for two years. My boyfriend makes nearly twice my salary, yet I often find that I am paying for myself when we go out. We currently live together, and he pays $720 to my $505.
I have always been accustomed to the man paying for the majority of our times together, and therefore I'm taken aback at being expected to shell out any money. Would you consider me a gold digger, or have times changed that much? -- SECOND THOUGHTS IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
DEAR SECOND THOUGHTS: You are not a gold digger, just a bit behind the times. Times have changed since the days when men paid for everything, and many women today do pay their own way.
Since this has become a problem between you, you are overdue for a serious discussion to clear the air about the division of financial responsibilities. Unless you can come to a comfortable agreement, he is not the man for you.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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