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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am being married in October and asked my best friend of 19 years to be my maid of honor. "Brianna" likes to dye the bottom of her hair red. I asked her to take the red out of her hair for the wedding, but she flat-out refused! When I told her that it is MY wedding and I don't want any red hair because it won't match my color scheme, her exact words were, "I don't care."

Am I wrong for asking Brianna to remove the dye? How do I get her to realize this is my wedding and I don't want to be upstaged! Please help me. -- SEEING RED IN MARYLAND

DEAR SEEING RED: I'll try. When you picked your best friend of 19 years to stand up with you at your wedding, you knew what she looked like. Either you should have picked another color scheme for the production, or chosen a cast member who was suitably mousy that she wouldn't dim your spotlight. Please note that I am using theatrical terms because you have lost sight of what a wedding really should be. What a shame.

DEAR ABBY: I am 20, and my life seems to be going nowhere. I graduated from high school two years ago and have put off going to college. I am obese and have no willpower to exercise to get healthy. I'm constantly thinking about the past. In high school I had few friends, none of whom keep in touch with me.

I recently bumped into a former guy friend at a store. We were close during my junior year, but he ignored me in my senior year. At the store, he didn't speak to me, which was hurtful. It reminded me of the pain I felt back in school. I always felt so alone.

My dream is to be an actress, go back to school and lose weight. But I can't actually see myself accomplishing any of it. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. Can you offer me some guidance? -- GOING CRAZY IN PHOENIX

DEAR GOING CRAZY: I'm glad you wrote, because you may suffer from long-term depression. Please schedule an appointment with a doctor and tell him or her exactly what you have described to me. With help, you may be able to stop needing to comfort yourself with food and find the energy you need to become more active.

If you want to be an actress, see what acting classes are available in Phoenix and if there is any regional theater. Not all actresses have to be skinny.

And one more thing. The former classmate you saw in the store may not have seen you, which is why he didn't say hello, or he may not have matured since graduation. This is not a reflection of what you are worth -- it's a reflection on him.

DEAR ABBY: It is picnic and barbecue season, and I would like to inform you of a disturbing trend that seems to be growing. When guests arrive at gatherings, they tend to prepare "to go" plates as soon as they arrive, take the plates to their cars, and then return to eat as if they had just arrived.

My mother-in-law thinks this practice is just fine. I think it is tasteless, to say the least. Will you please settle this disagreement between us? -- APPALLED IN CHICAGO

DEAR APPALLED: If this is a "trend," this is the first time I have heard about it. You may feel that taking food from a party to a hot car and returning to attend the gathering is "tasteless." I think it's downright dangerous because it could lead to food poisoning. The time to take leftovers is at the END of the party.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)