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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My best friend and I are middle-aged women. Throughout our long friendship, I have been one of the few people in her life who was there for her as she dealt with boyfriend problems, elderly parents, serious illnesses, deaths, etc.

She became engaged for the first time recently, and asked me to go out of town with her to check out a potential wedding venue. While we were there, she looked away (wouldn't even look me in the eye) and announced that only her sister (with whom she doesn't get along) would be in her wedding party.

Although I was deeply disappointed, I said nothing. I was more disappointed about the way she made the announcement.

Since then, she has asked for my advice on everything from invitations to wedding etiquette, etc., instead of asking her sister, who lives out of state. At this point, I just want to be a guest at the wedding and enjoy seeing her get married. How do I bow out of this untitled role she has given me? -- BOWING OUT IN THE WEST

DEAR BOWING OUT: If your friend had felt good about making the announcement, she wouldn't have hesitated to look you in the eye. I suspect that she included her sister -- who she doesn't get along with -- in her wedding party because of pressure from relatives.

Because you feel her questions should more appropriately be answered by the sister, tell your friend -- as kindly as possible -- she should be asking her maid of honor, who is "only a phone call away."

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Holidays & Celebrations | Family & Parenting

Reconnecting With First Crush Rekindles Old Feelings

DEAR ABBY: I fell in love with my first crush 30 years ago. We both felt the same way, but because I was six years younger than him, my parents didn't approve. We lost contact, and over the years, I would sometimes wonder what had happened to him. Last week his cousin found me on Facebook, and I was able to video call him. We were filled with emotion and realized our feelings haven't changed.

We both have families. I'm divorced with two young adults. He's married with three young adults. I don't want to cause him any problems, and yet, I'm willing to let it play out and see what happens. All I want is just to see him again, but I'm afraid of what will happen. Please tell me what to do! -- FULL OF EMOTIONS

DEAR FULL OF EMOTIONS: The problem with making important decisions when we are "full of emotions" is they're usually impulsive and the wrong choice. Consider this: You and this man are adults with responsibilities to others. If you see him and he still feels the same as you stated, it may be the start of an affair and the end of his marriage.

If it's an affair, you will be his side dish and unable to form a meaningful relationship with anyone else for years. If divorce is involved, his wife and children will be collateral damage. Because I'm not sure you have the strength to keep your distance if you meet him, ask him to include his wife and family when you do, and bring along your children.

Read more in: Love & Dating

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)