DEAR ABBY: I am a bridesmaid for my brother's upcoming wedding. However, his fiancee is throwing out some crazy mandates for the big day.
1. All family members must wear contact lenses. Glasses will not be allowed because they look ugly in pictures. (Both her mom and my parents wear glasses.)
2. She made my father get dental work to "improve his smile."
3. I recently tore my ACL, and she says I can't bring crutches to the ceremony because she doesn't want them in the pictures.
How much more of this should our family put up with? Would it be better to tell them I won't be a bridesmaid? I am afraid to speak up. — AFRAID OF BRIDEZILLA
DEAR AFRAID: Your brother's fiancee appears to have gone off the deep end. Weddings are supposed to be about love, commitment and the joining together of two families, not the photo album.
While I sympathize with her desire for a "perfect" wedding, the idea that your parents and her mother must invest in contact lenses or miss seeing the ceremony and reception because glasses aren't "allowed" is ludicrous. And the suggestion that you leave your crutches and risk further damaging your ACL is off the charts.
Talk to your brother. Perhaps he can make his ladylove see the light. If not, I wouldn't blame you — and your parents and her mother, by the way — if you decided to skip the "show."
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Jason," and I have a 19-year-old daughter, "Laurie," who finished her freshman year of college with a 4.0 GPA. She has always been a great student and is interested in theater, music and dance. She has NEVER given us any trouble.
My husband is very conservative and opinionated about politics. Our daughter has become much more politically liberal over the last couple of years. Jason thinks it is disrespectful of her to not want to listen to him try to influence her to think like he does (he has tried before). I have told Jason she needs to work out her own political beliefs and, as she matures and sees how the business world works, she'll probably become more moderate.
Jason is now insisting that we set a time when "the three of us can talk," which means he will lecture her about where she is wrong. What can I do as a mother and wife to mediate this meeting? I think both of them are pretty dug in. — LOVE THEM BOTH IN ARKANSAS
DEAR LOVE: I see no way that what your husband has in mind will be either pleasant or productive. However, because he is her father, Laurie owes him the respect of hearing him out. When the conversation becomes heated — as it very well may — suggest a timeout until they both cool down. Or leave the room if it becomes too stressful for you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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