DEAR ABBY: I sent my wedding invitations several weeks ago. This is the policy I followed: If a guest was married, engaged or living with someone, I invited the couple. If the guest was single but had dated someone for a long time, I invited both. About one-quarter of my guest list was made up of single, unattached adults who received invitations for themselves alone. I consulted several etiquette books, and not one said I was required to provide "and guest" invitations for singles. (Some authors clearly stated that it's presumptuous for a single guest to expect to bring a date.)
I've been planning this wedding for over a year, and my friends seemed enthusiastic about attending. Yesterday, however, I received "regrets" from three women who had previously accepted. "Alice" had only recently started seeing someone. "Betty" had just ended a relationship, and "Carla" is married, but a close friend of both Alice and Betty. I can only surmise that Alice was offended because she couldn't bring a date, and decided not to come -- so Betty and Carla declined also.
If they had a problem with the invitations, they should have spoken to me. I feel they have ended their relationships with me. Am I overreacting? -- HURT IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR HURT: I don't think so. Evidently Betty and Carla feel closer to Alice than they do to you. Be happy that you didn't invest more time and energy in cultivating these three insensitive women. A friend you can't count on is no friend at all. Celebrate without them.