DEAR ABBY: My best friend, "Beth," has finally found her "Mr. Right" after almost 35 years of singlehood. She is being married soon and I am thrilled for her. Over the last 15 years, I have been her sounding board. I have been through every date, every kiss, every heartbreak and every broken engagement with a string of men.
Beth has invited me to the wedding, but she hasn't asked me to stand up for her. Because we live 2,000 miles apart, we talk frequently on the phone and I keep waiting for her to ask, but she never brings up the subject. It's like the elephant in the living room. Beth knows I can afford the trip, so money isn't a concern. Should I tell her my feelings are hurt or ask her who is going to stand up for her? Or should I follow my husband's advice and just "let it go"? -- BROKEN-HEARTED FRIEND IN OREGON
DEAR BROKEN-HEARTED FRIEND: You may be close friends with Beth, but it's presumptuous to expect you have the right to dictate who should be in her wedding party. Please don't lay a guilt trip on her by saying your feelings are hurt. A better way to have your question answered would be to ask who they plan to have in their wedding party. Then once you have your answer, take your husband's advice. Let it go and don't let it destroy a long-term relationship.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Eric," has a fear of heights. He doesn't like glass elevators, never uses hotel balconies or drives on winding mountain roads. His parents were the same way.
The problem is he won't allow our young daughter to stand on the balcony, and he recently cut down our favorite mature tree because he was afraid our little girl would fall out of it. How can I stop my husband from passing on his phobia to our daughter? I have been patient with him, but cutting down the tree told me he has gone off the deep end. Please help. -- RATIONAL WIFE
DEAR RATIONAL WIFE: A phobia is defined as "an inexplicable or illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects or situation." There's nothing illogical about keeping a small child off a balcony or out of a tall tree. However, cutting down the tree was an overreaction.
As much as Eric loves the child, he can't protect her from everything he perceives as a possible danger. He could have accomplished his goal of keeping her safe by impressing upon her that tree-climbing is dangerous -- something that's off-limits -- and explaining exactly why.
DEAR ABBY: I have been working as a waitress for many years. Some of my past employers have had policies regarding discussing our tips. My current job has no such policy.
One of my co-workers likes to let everyone know how much he earns. I don't hear anyone else announcing their tips. Someone will always make less, and won't find it helpful having it confirmed out loud.
I don't know how to let my co-worker know this without seeming like I'm being critical. Your advice would be appreciated. -- WAITRESS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR WAITRESS: It's never a good idea to brag about money because it can create resentment among co-workers. Because your restaurant has no policy regarding this, speak to the manager about establishing one. Or, post this column on the employee bulletin board for all to see.
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.)