Dear Amy: I am getting married this summer and was looking forward to having my best friend be my matron of honor. I was maid of honor in her wedding.
Right after I got engaged, she got pregnant with her first child, and her baby is due in late spring.
She initially said she would be able to make this work, but recently told me she decided to decline, because she does not want to travel across the country with a newborn.
I respect her decision and appreciate the advance notice.
She has scheduled her future child’s baptism for two weeks after my wedding, and she has invited me to attend the ceremony (not as a godparent).
I’d like to see her and be there on this important day, but I am also sad that my best friend won’t be there for me on my wedding day.
I’m also hesitant to commit to non-honeymoon travel (several hours by plane) so soon after my wedding.
Is this selfish of me? Is there a way I can still show my support for her new family without attending?
— Bewildered Bride
Dear Bewildered: I’d like to acknowledge and celebrate your optimism. We are still in the midst of the pandemic, and you are immersed in your wedding planning, assuming that the wedding will happen, more or less as planned, and that family and friends will travel to be with you on your special day.
For me, this is a moving reminder that, as people, we will always want what we want, and will work very hard to get it. I hope that we will all be able to spend time together very soon.
Your friend has given you plenty of advance notice, stepping out of her matron-of-honor role for a very good reason. The only thing harder than flying for several hours with an infant, would be to do so while perhaps wearing a mask and trying to maintain distance from others.
You two are very close friends. This means that you will naturally include and involve one another in these important lifetime events. Doing so is how you acknowledge and celebrate your friendship.
These invitations do not shackle you to attendance, however. I assume your friend doesn’t expect you to attend her child’s baptism; she is inviting you because she cannot imagine not inviting you.
That’s the way you feel about her, too, and these mutual invitations are an expression of your closeness. That’s something to celebrate.
Dear Amy: My sister and I have been close throughout our lives. We are in our 70s.
She lives alone now, and I think the isolation of COVID has contributed to her lack of interest in being in touch with me more often.
Whereas for me, this isolation has made me want to be in touch with her more often.
Should I just leave her alone, or should I continue to reach out to her regardless of her unresponsiveness?
I feel our sisterhood is being abandoned.
— Solitary Sister
Dear Sister: You should continue to reach out to your sister, but do so with sensitivity.
If your contact feels like pressure for her, it may cause her to pull further inward. Then neither of you will get what you need.
You could ask her if she would be willing to have a weekly phone call on a set schedule. Anticipating this regular contact might work well for both of you. If she doesn’t want this, or doesn’t respond, you should continue to contact — but not bombard — her with messages. Ask her only to promise to let you know if she is not well or needs help.
If you are spending time during the pandemic going through old family photos, as many of us are, sharing some of these might be a way in.
Definitely reach out to others in your circle. This extended period of isolation requires that we each find personal ports in the storm, and I hope that you and your sister each find yours.
Dear Amy: “Concerned” claimed to be worried about her sister’s struggle with obesity. Thank you for calling out her judgmental attitude.
I think it is also important that people realize that not all obesity is caused by overeating!
I am currently being treated for a metabolic disorder which has resulted in obesity. I do not overeat, and I am quite fit.
Dear Struggling: Thank you for pointing this out. Other readers have responded that obesity should not define anyone – and I completely agree.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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