DEAR ABBY: I don't know where to start so I will just plunge in: I have five kids by five different men. I am not a terrible person. I have a job, take care of my babies and am working toward a degree. But sometimes I feel like the ultimate loser. I get judged all the time. I'm so ashamed of the choices I have made in life. Will it ever be better? - 5 Kids, 5 Dads in Oregon
DEAR 5-5: You will see an improvement as soon as you stop beating yourself up over the choices you have made. No one can change the past. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and make a conscious decision not to repeat them. And as to those who judge you, they should judge not, lest they, too, be judged.
DEAR ABBY: My best friend is getting married and asked me to be maid of honor. She has also asked me to buy an expensive dress, host a lavish shower I can't afford and plan a destination bachelorette party. The cost will be exorbitant.
On top of this, she has asked me to be her "cover" when she lies to her fiance about where she is. She has cheated on him, and I think she's doing it again.
I know it's not my place to question her or tell her what to do, but this has made me hesitant to commit financially to her wedding. I don't want to lose my best friend, but I also don't want to put my money on the line for someone who isn't being honest.
- Dragging My Heels in New York
DEAR DRAGGING YOUR HEELS: Do not question your friend or tell her what to do, but do convey to her that you can't function as her maid of honor because you can't afford the cost. And the next time she asks you to cover for her, tell her you no longer want to be a party to deceiving her fiance because you're having trouble looking him in the eye.
Your best friend sounds like a piece of work, and if it costs you the friendship you won't have lost much. This girl lacks both judgment and character, and you'll be better off to distance yourself. Both of you should mingle with people with whom you have more in common.