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."