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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My best friend is getting married. She left me a message asking me to be a bridesmaid. Of course I'm honored, but I don't know what to do. I dislike her fiance. He is disrespectful and mean to her and to their son.

I can't stand up with them and pretend to be happy for her when I think she's making a terrible mistake. I want her to marry someone who will be nice to her. Help! -- CONFLICTED IN MINNESOTA

DEAR CONFLICTED: If standing up with her will make you feel like a hypocrite, then don't do it. But recognize that if you don't, it will distance you from her. If your friend's relationship is dysfunctional now, just wait until after she and her fiance are married, because it isn't going to magically get better. This young woman is going to need all the support she can get from her friends in the years ahead.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors

DEAR ABBY: Every year, my children choose to attend Thanksgiving with their in-laws or friends rather than come to our home. Then they ask me to prepare a celebration the day after or another day.

My husband and I feel left out. It's plain that we are considered "second" and the kids come only because they feel guilty. Preparing a meal is expensive and time-consuming. We would like to celebrate on the actual holiday.

I think we should be treated with more respect. I also feel like telling these ingrates to stay home this year because we have decided to donate our time to a homeless shelter. Your thoughts? -- LEFT OUT IN LEXINGTON

DEAR LEFT OUT: I can see why your feelings are hurt. In fairness, I think your children should alternate with which in-laws they spend the holidays.

If you would prefer to make or serve Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, you should do it. Many people volunteer their time during the holidays, and at other times during the year, and find it gratifying. However, when you inform your children about your plans, try to keep the anger out of the tone of your message.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Family & Parenting

DEAR ABBY: I'm 11 and my dad is a drug addict. I'm not allowed to have contact with him because of his past choices. People would look down on me if they knew -- like my own teacher. She was being snoopy at the beginning of the year and asked me a bunch of questions about my family, and now I feel like she doesn't treat me the same. -- DISTURBED IN SPOKANE

DEAR DISTURBED: Your father's "past choices" are not your fault, and you should not be blamed or judged for them. If you haven't already told your mother that your teacher questioned you about your family at the beginning of the year, that you answered her honestly and now you feel you are being treated differently because of it, you definitely should. And your mother should discuss this with the teacher because the questions she was asking may have been appropriate.

Read more in: Addiction | Work & School

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.)