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Thu, July 18

Dear Annie: Odd woman out

Dear Annie: I was recently placed in a very troubling situation that I think really exemplifies the struggles of practicing what you preach. I am part of a large group of friends that formed a giant group-text chain that we all communicate in; it’s a nice and easy way to stay in touch while we’re in different places, and having the comfort of a dozen other girls be just the push of a few keys away is great. Obviously, some in the group are closer than others, but it’s nice for all of us to be able to feel as if we belong to something.

One of the girls, “Priscilla,” is much more on the outside than the others. Recently, a few of us were together, and one of the girls, “Gabby,” decided she was going to remove this “odd woman out” from the phone group. I was uncomfortable with the situation, but instead of arguing, I turned my head and kept my mouth shut, wanting to claim no part in it.

Priscilla reached out to all of us the next day, asking whether she had been removed. Gabby told her that we had gotten rid of the conversation altogether.

Annie, Priscilla must know that she was removed. I have been bullied before and have always been very vocal about standing up for what is right, and now I realize that I had the opportunity to stop this from happening but I kept my mouth shut. As a result of this mess, the group chat actually did come to an end, most likely out of everyone else’s guilt. The hard part is that these people are all my friends. I want to reach out to Priscilla, but I know she will ask me what the truth is, and I can’t rat out another friend. I don’t want to have to pick between people I care about or cause problems among friends. I’m disappointed in myself, but more importantly, I want to make it right. What do you think the right thing is to do here? -- Fraidy-Cat Friend

Dear Fraidy-Cat: Though the technology is new, the dilemma is timeless. Being part of a group feels great — but that very feeling so often relies on keeping others out. Gabby is being shortsighted and selfish. And to be a true friend to her, you ought to tell her as much. We all need friends to yank us back down to earth occasionally. Encourage her to apologize to Priscilla. If she refuses or makes excuses, then it’s time to step in and talk to Priscilla yourself, empathize and reconsider your friendship with Gabby.

Dear Annie: This is in response to the person who wrote in wondering about the “normal” way to put on socks and shoes. The person asked whether one should put on both socks first or put on a sock and a shoe on one foot first.

It really does not matter much if you do the sock-and-a-shoe, sock-and-a-shoe method or the both-socks-then-shoes method. Both end up with the same result. However, it’s the wrong result.

Personally, I put on both of my shoes and then put both of my socks on over them. My shoes stay clean and can slide across a smooth surface with little effort. The only downside is, as you might expect, I do spend a lot of money on new socks. -- The Guam Guy

Dear Guam: I knew I could count on my readers for some creative responses to this one. So far, they’ve not disappointed.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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