DEAR ABBY: I'm throwing a holiday party. About six weeks ago, I told my friend "Shirley" about the party and that I was inviting her ex-fiance, "Tom." She replied that if Tom would be there, she would not.
I sent invitations to both of them. Tom RSVP'd that he and his new girlfriend (the one that came between him and Shirley) would attend. I then informed Shirley that "you know who" was coming. She is now very upset with me and accuses me of choosing him over her. She's questioning my friendship and says I'm purposely tormenting her.
I understand Shirley is upset. But don't you agree that she needs to understand my position? My husband is close friends with Tom, and wants him to attend. Shirley knew I was inviting him. Now, less than a week before party time, she has called me five times to cry and make me feel bad. I want everyone to enjoy the party, but there's bad blood between those two and I'm afraid no one will enjoy anything if they're in the same room. -- TORN IN TWO IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR TORN IN TWO: Shirley should not dictate who's to be invited to and/or excluded from your party. Remind her what she said when you first told her that both she and her ex would be invited. Your husband has a right to include anyone he wishes. Tell Shirley that you'd love to have her there, but if it's too painful for her to see Tom and his new love interest, you'll invite her to another soiree. The choice is hers.
DEAR ABBY: I was recently engaged to "Danny," the man of my dreams. He is everything I have prayed for all my life. The problem is his mother. She constantly barges into our relationship. She was even there when he proposed to me -– so close I could hear her crying.
Because Danny is in the military, our time together is limited. I have been planning a trip to visit him for an awards ceremony. It was booked and paid for three months ago. This will be the first time we have been alone together since we got engaged.
I just learned that Danny's mother plans to "surprise" him by attending the awards ceremony and staying all weekend. Once again, there she is. I understand that she wants to support her son, but is this the way my marriage is going to be –- her always wanting to share in the moment? -- SURROUNDED BY HIS MOTHER
DEAR SURROUNDED: Danny may be "your man," but he is also her little boy. This is the way your marriage will be, until the two of you are able to loosen the apron strings. Perhaps his mother wouldn't hover so much if her son wasn't in the military and therefore in jeopardy.
Please cut her some slack. Also, how Danny reacts to his mother's surprise visit should give you insight into what lies ahead for you.
DEAR ABBY: I am 13 and in seventh grade and I have a big problem. I don't know my multiplication tables. I'm afraid if I tell my teacher, she'll get mad. What should I do? -- AFRAID IN COACHELLA, CALIF.
DEAR AFRAID: Tell your teacher NOW, before you fall further behind. Explain that you need extra drilling, and that you sincerely want to master the problem. The squeaky wheel gets the grease –- and your teacher won't be angry.
Teachers are there to help you learn, including extra help when you have difficulty with a subject.
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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