DEAR ABBY: I was recently asked to be a "hostess" in a wedding. When I asked the bride what exactly my duties would be, she said I would pass out programs and make sure that all the wedding guests signed the guestbook. The bride also requested that I buy a $200 matching bridesmaid dress -- which I did. With hotel and travel, the weekend cost me more than $1,000.
On the morning of the wedding, I was immediately put to work assembling plastic champagne flutes and placing favors and name cards on tables, etc. While I was doing this, the wedding party was having their pictures taken. I was not invited to be in a single photo. I also missed the entire wedding ceremony because I was assigned the job of arranging flowers in the reception hall. I was the only member of the wedding party who was expected to work in this manner.
At the reception, I was instructed to escort the bride and groom and the others to their tables. It was a task I found insulting. I was also asked, via a typed "task list" handed to me by the bride's aunt, to pour cider for the 300 guests. I was so upset, I left the reception before any cider pouring.
Do you think the bride was out of line -- or am I out of tune with what is expected of a "hostess"? (I have rescinded my invitation for her to be a member of my wedding. Too rash?) -- FEELING USED IN STOW, OHIO
DEAR FEELING USED: I don't blame you for feeling used. You were treated shamefully. You were a victim of "bait and switch." Your duties should have ended when the ceremony began. Instead, you paid $1,000 to be treated like a caterer.
I don't blame you for not wanting to be reminded of this incident at the time of your own wedding. So don't second-guess yourself about your decision to uninvite this "blushing bride."
DEAR ABBY: I am a happy-go-lucky 15-year-old girl. My parents have a good marriage, and for the most part we enjoy a great home life. I'm an only child. My problem is my dad. He insists that I go on a diet, and until I do, he won't let me participate in my favorite activity in the world -- ice skating.
I am 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh 135 pounds. I don't feel or look overweight, and I am not an overeater. I don't understand my dad's reasoning. It seems to me that exercise is the one thing I need most, and maybe to eat less of those carbs I love.
At the same time, I want to be a normal teen who can occasionally enjoy a sundae or banana split when I'm with friends. I don't want to have to worry about what to tell Dad when he asks me what I ate -- which he always does.
Abby, I need to know how to handle this so I can please my dad and still have fun with my friends. Sign me ... NOT CHUBBY IN LOGAN, UTAH
DEAR NOT CHUBBY: I don't know what has caused your father to fixate on your weight, but before this power struggle goes any further, both of you should schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss the importance of a balanced diet AND healthy exercise. Please don't wait. Clip this column and show it to your dad.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, 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.)
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