DEAR ABBY: I'm in quite a dilemma. My 40-year-old daughter is not speaking to me because I'm trying to prevent her from becoming the laughingstock of the century. She's planning to be married for the fourth time. Her first marriage was to escape her abusive father. The second was to provide a father for her child from the first marriage. The third was a stupid mistake.
Now she says she wants the wedding she has never had -- ivory dress, 6-foot train, and God knows what else. I told her she was creating a circus, a humiliation, the embarrassment of all time. I know the bride should have her wishes carried out to the letter on "her" day -- but she has already had three previous "days" that did not work. My daughter falls in and out of love as the wind changes.
I know I shouldn't throw stones because I have been married three times, but my present marriage to a man I thank the Lord for every day has lasted 17 years. I have talked to her fiance. He seems to be level-headed, and he, too, would like to avoid a spectacle. I'm sure he didn't win any Brownie points when he sided with me. It's his first marriage.
Abby, what can I do about my daughter? I don't like being at odds with her. -- OLD-FASHIONED IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: There's nothing you can do. Since your daughter refuses to listen to you and her fiance, I doubt she would be open to any input from me. Of course, you are correct that simplicity should be the keynote for the ceremony and reception, but you can't live your daughter's life for her.
Wish her well and pray that your community has a short memory.