Hi, Carolyn: I was a co-maid of honor at my friend’s wedding. The other maid of honor, “Kate,” was moody and rude, mainly to me but generally as well, even more so than usual. I just ignored Kate, as it was my friend’s big day.

A few weeks later, the bride told me Kate's dad was dying of cancer and Kate had tried to call my friend, the bride, leading up to the wedding to talk. My friend said she just didn't have time due to wedding planning, and now doesn't want to be friends with Kate anymore because of the way Kate acted at the wedding.

I was kind of floored. Friendship means being there for a friend who is going through one of the worst times of their lives, even if it's just for a phone call, and that should eclipse last-minute wedding details. I wouldn't act out as Kate did but I do understand why she felt that way. By the end of the day Kate seemed to have a great time.

This has made me question my friendship with the bride. If she is willing to write off her best friend for a bad moment, whom she has known for longer and was closer to, how will I be treated in the future?

— Questioning

Questioning: That is a great question to ask The Bride (which is how she will be known to us eternally, poor thing).

But before you wade in, step back. This isn't just a how-will-she-treat-me question, though that's valid; it's a character question. As in, does the bride have any, or is she always me-first?

Per your account, whether Kate is a person of character is an equally valid question entwined with this one, so also make sure beforehand that you aren't just seeking validation for a mind already made up.

Kate was grieving, yes. The bride's dismissing her phone call was callous, yes. “Boy howdy,” I would say, if I were folksy or ironic enough to pull it off. Yet Kate was not just the moody and rude of the grieving; you took the trouble to note she was so “even more so than usual.”

The sum of these creates the blank you hope to fill in, so ask the bride accordingly: “I was taken aback when you said you didn’t have time to talk to Kate before the wedding. I mean, her dad is/was dying. Am I missing something?”

It's a question with a judgy heart and a nosy outfit, so don't pretend otherwise. But don't be deterred by that, either: Questioning the friendship means you're already judging, silently. This way at least you give Bride her say.

So to recap your options: 1. Judge the bride silently on incomplete information and cut her adrift; 2. Judge the bride silently on incomplete information and continue the friendship under a kind of unspoken probation; 3. Admit openly that you might be judging, pending the bride's response to some frank what-the-fluff-did-I-just-witness-type questioning.

Friendship also means giving people a chance to explain themselves.

That is, if you care enough still to stay friends. Nos. 1. and 2. are okay, too, if you’re kind of done with the bride for many reasons beyond this. Just as, perhaps, the bride is done with poor Kate.