DEAR ABBY: During college I had a great friend, "Julia." We were roommates and had several classes together. When I became engaged, Julia was my obvious pick for maid of honor. She did a very nice job, and I will be forever grateful.
After college, Julia met "Dirk." This man is a spoiled child who has kept Julia away from me and her other friends. Dirk controls their social calendar and is generally a jerk who complains if he doesn't get his way. Since meeting him, Julia has become distant and her warm personality has changed.
Julia and Dirk are being married, and I am Julia's matron of honor. I accepted because I felt forced to reciprocate and because Julia has alienated herself from all of her other friends. I feel awful for not being excited about my former close friend's wedding, but this isn't the girl I knew in college. She doesn't communicate with me often and is currently no longer on speaking terms with one particular bridesmaid.
Abby, how should I act at a wedding I don't agree with, celebrating a fair-weather friend and her jerk fiance? -- DREADING IT IN N.Y.
DEAR DREADING IT: Has it occurred to you that Julia's personality has changed because she's involved with a control freak who has cut her off from everyone but you? You are calling her a fair-weather friend, but what kind of friend are you?
If you care at all about her, have a frank talk with her NOW. Tell her you are concerned because she has become isolated from all her friends and has distanced herself from you to such a degree that you're no longer comfortable participating in her wedding. It would be better than plastering on a smile and taking part in something you think is a charade.
As for reciprocity -- you can stand up for her at her next wedding, because if her fiance is the jerk you describe him to be, this marriage won't last.