DEAR ABBY: I was married recently, but I am extremely embarrassed about the wedding. My husband and I are recently out of college and have no money. The wedding was done on a shoestring, and it looked it. It was certainly not the fantasy I had envisioned.
We are now trying to buy a house and, coincidentally, using the same mortgage company my parents have used for years. During a chat with our loan officer, she let it slip that "the wedding must have been gorgeous" because my parents took out a huge loan to pay for it. Well, they didn't pay for anything but the food. It was barbecue and not expensive.
I am very hurt that my parents used me as an excuse to get a large loan and didn't even offer to help. I never expected anything from them. I worked my way through college. Now that I'm aware of their lie, I want to talk to them about it. Should I? -- UPSET IN IDAHO
DEAR UPSET: The loan officer was wrong to have revealed confidential information. However, rather than being hurt by the news, perhaps you should be concerned. It's possible your parents took out the loan to help with the wedding but needed the money for some emergency. By all means discuss it with them, but don't do it with a chip on your shoulder.
DEAR ABBY: I am 23 years old and in the Navy. I am in the medical field, and the chances of my going to Iraq are very high. Lately, all I can think about is when I die what song I want my parents to play at my funeral. I have the song already picked out. My problem is, how do I bring this up to my parents without freaking them out? -- CONFUSED CORPSMAN IN ILLINOIS
DEAR CONFUSED: Write your parents a letter "to be opened in the event of my death." In that letter, outline whatever wishes you have regarding your funeral — should you need one –- and the disposition of your property. (I am surprised that the subject of a last will has not been raised already by the command of your unit.)
It is not necessary to discuss this with your parents right now. Hold a good thought and keep in mind that most members of the military come back alive after their tours of duty. Leave the letter with your attorney or your parents — or a trusted friend, to be delivered if you do not return.
P.S. Please do not think negatively. It will only distract you. Your safe return is in the prayers of many people today and every day.
DEAR READERS: Today marks the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a martyr of the civil rights movement, who was shot to death at the age of 39 in 1968.
Dr. King rose to prominence because of his eloquence in pleading for social justice and his persistence in the face of violent opposition. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His words of wisdom ring as true today as when they were spoken during his acceptance speech:
"Nonviolence," he said, "is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence.
"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
God bless America. May we as Americans learn from Dr. King's example.