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by Abigail Van Buren

Bride's Witching Hour Has Family Bothered, Bewildered

DEAR ABBY: My sister is planning her wedding, which will take place next month. It will be a midnight wedding under a full autumn moon, surrounded by candlelight. She and her fiance will exchange their vows at the stroke of midnight, followed by cake and dancing.

While I respect my sister's individuality and her decision to make her wedding exactly as she wants it to be, I have some questions. My sister is a self-proclaimed witch and practices paganism. Her decision to have a midnight wedding is based on her witchcraft and paganistic beliefs.

Abby, I love my sister, although we're not close and do not share the same religious beliefs. My mother feels exactly the same as I do. My sister wants no family participation in the planning of her wedding or the ceremony. Instead of my mother taking the honored place of "mother of the bride," my sister has asked her to be the clean-up crew! We feel she has not considered anyone else's feelings or the hardship that a midnight wedding will put on her guests.

Should Mother and I overlook our hurt feelings and attend my sister's wedding? (Our husbands refuse to.) Or should we simply send a lovely wedding gift in lieu of our attendance? -- BE-WITCHED SISTER IN SACRAMENTO

DEAR SISTER: First of all, your mother should decline the "invitation" to be the clean-up crew. Your sister appears to be in a world of her own.

I don't know how serious her interest in witchcraft is, or how long it will last. However, if you and your mother are curious about what the ceremony will be like, I think you should attend. It will demonstrate to your sister -- and her friends -- that you care about her and wish her well.

Take an afternoon nap on the big day -- and if you start to get sleepy around midnight, then stay for only a short spell.

DEAR ABBY: My pastor's wife has a big mouth. She's very sweet, and I sincerely believe she's not intentionally being malicious, but she tells me things about people who are seeing her husband for counseling.

I know who is having serious medical problems, drinking problems, marital problems, etc. If she's telling me these things, I can only imagine what she talks about to other women. I'm afraid her actions will ultimately bring down the church. It happened once before. Should I confront her? Tell an elder? What should I do? -- MYSTIFIED IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR MYSTIFIED: Confession may be good for the soul, but not if it's being broadcast. By all means confront the pastor's wife. Tell her that what she is doing could end her husband's career. If more rumors reach you, warn the pastor that his wife is leaking confidential information. He needs to know.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old male who is very confused. For the past year, I've been attending business school in El Paso, Texas. However, I'm thinking about dropping out and enrolling in truck-driving school. Becoming a truck driver has always been my dream, but my family doesn't give me the emotional support I need. When I've tried to talk to them about it, they don't listen.

What should I do, Abby? Go for my dreams or do what my family wants me to do? -- TORN IN TEXAS

DEAR TORN: Why not do both? Finish business school and then become a truck driver. You might want to own a trucking company one day -- and a business education would come in very handy.

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 $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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