DEAR ABBY: I am a 46-year-old female being married for the second time. My first marriage took place 28 years ago and didn't cost my parents a penny because there was no wedding.
I would like to ask them to contribute financially this time to help with the cost of a small, intimate ceremony and dinner for fewer than 20 people. Am I asking too much? -- SECOND TIME AROUND IN ORLANDO, FLA.
DEAR SECOND TIME AROUND: Yes. Couples on their "second bounce" pay for their own weddings. And by the way, there is no obligation on the part of the bride's parents to pay for her wedding even the first time around. A wedding is a gift, and to solicit a gift is inappropriate. If your parents volunteer to chip in for your wedding, then it's fine to accept. But don't ask them to do it. That you didn't have a wedding the first time around does not obligate them to pay for one now.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 38-year-old woman who has moved around my whole life. Because of this, I have no childhood friends who have carried over to adulthood. I am friendless and lonely for companionship. I have a husband and a son, but I long for a female friend I can chat with, shop with or just sit with and be around.
I have tried meeting new people at the park with my son, and I felt like I hit it off with a few people, but they all (at this age) already have dear friends and don't seem interested in changing their circles. Am I destined to be lonely? -- JUST ME IN TENNESSEE
DEAR JUST ME: I don't know how much free time you have on your hands, but you need to meet more people than the women at the park. If you have become isolated waiting for someone to rescue you from your loneliness, please understand that the cure for loneliness is to do something.
Volunteer at a school, museum, hospital, library or food bank. Join a garden club, bridge club or book club. Look around and see if you can find any other lonely people and turn them into friends. If you pick up the phone, you will find it rings on both ends.
DEAR ABBY: My dad and I were very close. He would tease me about being a tightwad and I'd tease him about being a spendthrift. When he passed away last year, I was -- and still am -- devastated.
I recently visited the library and, while looking at some books for sale, I found one by an author I like. I said to myself that if I had the correct amount of change in my purse, I could buy it guilt-free. Unfortunately, I was a few cents short.
As I turned to put the book back on the shelf, I spotted a dime on the floor. Like the writers of the "pennies from heaven" letters you have shared, I am certain that the dime was from my dad, who was essentially buying the book for me. I purchased it and will treasure it always. -- GRATEFUL DAUGHTER
DEAR GRATEFUL: What a sweet letter. I hope you will enjoy the book for years to come. It speaks "volumes" about your relationship with your dad.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)