DEAR ABBY: My friend "Nan" is planning her wedding. Fast-forward a few months: The bride-to-be is now pregnant. We're having our first get-together as a bridal party, and she wants us to serve only nonalcoholic "mocktails" for our girls' night in. I asked the maid of honor if we could have alcohol, and she said no because that's what the bride wants.
Is it rude to drink in front of a pregnant bride? I will honor Nan's wishes, but I'd like a second opinion. Should this no-alcohol policy be in effect for all pre-wedding events? I feel we're all adults and should be able to make our own choices. It's not as if we're going to get wasted at these things. Your thoughts, please? — PERPLEXED BRIDESMAID
DEAR BRIDESMAID: It is not considered rude to consume alcohol in front of someone who is abstaining, although many people choose to refrain. In this case, the bride would not have specified that she wanted no alcohol served if she was comfortable with her bridal party drinking when she couldn't. Her wishes should take precedence.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is disabled and hasn't worked in nearly 20 years. I have been the sole support of our family.
My issue is, my husband seems to have serious problems with people he perceives as rich. The fact that some people have more money than we do rankles him no end. It has reached the point where the kids and I are really disturbed by his vitriol. In his eyes, no rich person can be a good person, and most of them don't deserve what they have. What can I do? — WEARY OF LISTENING IN MAINE
DEAR WEARY: Your husband may be venting his frustration at his inability to work and provide for the family, and misdirecting his anger toward people he perceives as rich. Has he always been this way, or is this recent? If it's recent, his physician may want to see and evaluate him. If it's not, then it may be time to point out that money, while it can make the gears of life mesh more smoothly, is no guarantee of happiness, and nobody — regardless of income — has everything. Then tell him to stop.
DEAR ABBY: My wife has a terrible habit of always being early — whether it's for a party, football game, picnic, reunion, etc. It has reached a point where friends and family no longer tell her the correct time they want us to arrive because they don't want her there early. Her family started it, and friends are following suit. Now she's upset because when she arrives she isn't the first, but everybody else is happy because she's arriving when she is supposed to.
Abby, most hosts don't want guests showing up early because they're still preparing, and early arrivals get in the way. Please advise my wife to respect that! — EARLY BIRD GETS THE SCORN
DEAR BIRD: If, having been given the wrong time to arrive by multiple hosts, it hasn't dawned on your wife that what she's doing hasn't been appreciated, she isn't going to heed anything that I could write. POLITE people show up on time. If they arrive at the location early, they do what they need to do to "waste" time until the appointed hour. In her zeal to make an entrance, she is being rude and intrusive, and if she shows up early, the host should put her to work.
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.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)