DEAR ABBY: My daughter is being married soon, and I need some guidance about inviting my aunt and uncle to the wedding. They live about 30 miles from us. We moved to this area four years ago, and we've had them over for dinner once and invited them another time. They declined because they were going to be out of town.
Abby, they didn't reciprocate, and in fact, didn't even invite us to their daughter's wedding, which hurt us very much. I had always considered myself close to these relatives before we moved here, so their treatment of my family and me has been painful.
My mother is telling me to turn the other cheek despite everything and invite them to my daughter's wedding. My daughter doesn't want them to attend and neither does my husband, but Mom is emphatic about inviting them "because they're family."
I would appreciate your opinion on this, Abby, because I'm between a rock and a hard place, and my emotions are pulling me apart. -- BETWIXT AND BETWEEN
DEAR BETWIXT: The bride's wishes should prevail. Her happiness on her wedding day is more important than the feelings of relatives who don't bother with you, her and your family. I have always said that one should never invite guests to a wedding hoping they won't show up, because they usually do.
DEAR ABBY: I have an older friend who is 70. She doesn't have much money. She was having blood pressure problems, so I ordered a deluxe blood pressure machine for her that cost $160. It wasn't a birthday gift; I was seriously concerned for her.
I learned this week that she "loaned" it to a friend. I wrote her a note and asked her nicely to please get it back because I didn't buy it for her friend (who has plenty of money), but because I was worried about her health. She is now not speaking to me, and MY blood pressure is going up by the minute because I'm so angry. Was I out of line or is she? -- HYPER-FURIOUS IN ARIZONA
DEAR HYPER-FURIOUS: Relax. Breathe. What you did was a beautiful and generous gesture, but the blood pressure machine was a GIFT. Once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient to do with as she (or he) wishes. For you to tell her to ask for it back may have been well-intentioned, but it was the wrong thing to do.
DEAR ABBY: I'm an average 17-year-old guy. I love basketball, football and girls. The problem is I'm a player, and girls say I "use" them.
I'm not ready to settle down, and I end up hurting girls and breaking many hearts. How can I cure my player habits and heal some of the hearts I've broken? -- TIRED OF PLAYING
DEAR TIRED OF PLAYING: Apologize to any young woman you have misled. Then ask yourself, "How would I feel if I had been treated this way?" If you practice the Golden Rule -- "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" -- it will serve you well in most situations. If everyone did this, we could change the name of our planet from Earth to Paradise, and wouldn't that be heavenly?
CONFIDENTIAL TO "STUCK IN DULLSVILLE": Because you're convinced your job is a dead end, start sending out resumes. Jack London had this to say about stagnating lives: "I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong time. I shall use my time. ... The proper function of man is to live, not to exist."
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