Dear Annie: Over the summer, I had a falling out with my best friend, “Alicia.” I had invited all of our friends to a party, and one of them brought along a boy, “Andrew,” whom she specifically wanted me to meet. I liked him. But Alicia literally pushed me out of the way so she could talk to him and made a point of diverting his attention away from me. I didn’t get too upset about it.
The girls slept over, and Alicia and I were both texting Andrew. I also texted Alicia, asking her to please back off, but saying if she really liked him, I’d back off instead. She threw her phone down, screamed at me and ran off crying. We had a huge argument, and she told me I am ugly, fat and stupid and everyone hates me.
Earlier in the year, Alicia had a friends-with-benefits relationship with my boyfriend. It took a while for me to forgive her, and I never forgot. After that fight, I’d had enough. She was constantly criticizing me, making mean jokes about me and ditching me for other people.
But, Annie, she’s driven away all of my friends. I feel so alone at school. Alicia has already found a new group, and they make fun of me and draw mean pictures of me. While I don’t miss Alicia, I do miss the friendship. Any advice?
— Lost and Lonely
Dear Lost: You are the victim of “mean girl” bullying. Alicia must have been terribly jealous to go after whatever boy was interested in you. We know it’s small comfort, but in time, you will be stronger for this experience and will understand what true friendship is. In the meantime, talk to your school counselor about the bullying, which should stop. Also, look to make friendships with others, both in and out of school. And hold your head up. This, too, shall pass. We promise.
Dear Annie: We have two groups of friends with whom we dine about every other month in restaurants. There is always someone who suggests separate checks. I find this to be poor manners, since all of these people have been to our home for lunch, dinner or holidays at some point during the year. I also believe it is a burden on the server. And I almost forgot to mention that the host of these restaurant dinners brings the wine. What is your opinion?
Dear RLS: We aren’t sure what you object to. Are these restaurant dinners supposed to be a way of reciprocating for your home meals? If so, they are not doing the job. But in general, it is neither poor manners nor a burden to ask for separate checks, provided you do so when you order.
Dear Annie: I understand “Concerned Grandpa’s” pain. He noticed things on his granddaughter’s Facebook page that disturbed him, and his subsequent comments created a rift.
I’m 50 and have two kids in college. All four of their grandparents are in their mid-70s and on Facebook. We have found that sometimes it is best for our kids to block not only Grandma and Grandpa, but also us, from their posts. This is easy to do and saves a lot of minor grief for everyone.
No one wants to see their child or grandchild at a party playing beer pong, doing shots, dirty dancing or taking off clothing. Honestly, they are not doing anything much different from what their mother and I did when we were in college 30 years ago. But thankfully, that was before the digital age and social media, and we weren’t broadcasting our behavior to the entire world.
— Scott in Northern California
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.