Abby: Mother-in-law’s prayer just one of many ‘keepers’

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I recently lost my address book in which I kept a copy of your “Keepers” booklet that I had sent away for a few years ago. I love the memorable poems and essays in it and I’d like to replace the booklet if it is available. I read through it so many times and now feel lost without it.

Penny in Eureka, Mo.

Dear Penny: I’m glad you enjoyed my “Keepers” booklet, and yes, it is available. It is light reading and contains poems and essays collected by my mother that have appeared in this column. So many readers requested reprints on humorous and inspirational items that hold special meaning for them that Mom decided to compile them into a booklet. To order a replacement for yours, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Allow me to share one of the gems that always makes me smile:

A Mother-In-Law’s Prayer

“O, Lord, help me to be glad when my son (or daughter) picks a mate. If he brings home a girl with two heads, let me love both of them equally. And when my son says, ‘Mom, I want to get married,’ forbid that I should blurt out, ‘How far along is she?’

“And please, Lord, help me to get through the wedding preparations without a squabble with the ‘other side.’ And drive from my mind the belief that had my child waited awhile, he or she could have done better.

“Dear Lord, remind me daily that when I become a grandmother, my children don’t want advice on how to raise their children any more than I did when I was raising mine.

“If you will help me to do these things, perhaps my children will find me a joy to be around, and maybe I won’t have to write a ‘Dear Abby’ letter complaining about my children neglecting me. Amen.”

Dear Abby: A friend from high school has invited me to her wedding in September. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the bachelorette party I was also invited to.

Even though I sent my regrets to the organizer of the party, she has tried to solicit gifts from me twice. This seems extremely tacky, and it has made me feel I was invited only for the gifts I could bring.

Abby, I don’t want this to reflect poorly on my friend. Should I tell someone in the wedding party so they can fix this faux pas, or am I wrong about wedding etiquette?

Perplexed in The Midwest

Dear Perplexed: You’re not wrong. That the party organizer is trying to extort gifts from you is extremely rude. The person to inform is the mother of the bride. She should be able to put a stop to it before anyone else is embarrassed.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.