DEAR ABBY: My daughter "Melanie" is very close with a cousin she grew up with. This cousin is getting married in five months, and Melanie will be a bridesmaid. The shower date was announced. Then my son-in-law's best friend from childhood announced his wedding date. The wedding is on the same date as my niece's shower.
The events are about four hours apart, so it isn't possible for Melanie to go to both. She told her cousin she was sorry but she felt she needed to attend the wedding with her husband, who is in his friend's wedding party. Melanie will attend the bachelorette party in Vegas and all the other events for her cousin.
The bride's sister is giving my daughter a hard time, saying she "can't believe" Melanie would miss the shower. Melanie is now afraid she's jeopardizing her relationship with her cousins, as they have told her how upset they are. I support her decision to attend the wedding and skip the shower. There are four other bridesmaids, and another one is also unable to attend. What would you do, and how can I be helpful to my daughter without causing a bigger rift in the family? -- WEDDING DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA
DEAR W.D.D.D.: The pressure your daughter is receiving from her cousins is inappropriate. She isn't obligated to attend any event she doesn't wish to, and her reason for skipping the shower is a valid one. She should choose a gift for her cousin, have it delivered and apologize once for being unable to be there in person. Continuing to provide emotional support to your daughter is the best way you can be helpful to her.