Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2008 9:48 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 13-year-old girl living a wonderful life. Last year, I started attending a new school and, between the huge amounts of homework and the rudeness of my classmates, it was a terrible experience. But it got better over time, especially this past summer when I had a chance to socialize with my schoolmates. In fact, I got so comfortable with the girls in my class that I invited them to a party at my house on a Friday night.
I was already completely prepared for this party, only to find out the day before that not one of them could make it. When I’m invited to a party, I always call way in advance to tell them if I’m coming or not. Some of these girls didn’t have the common decency to tell me they couldn’t come. The ones who did call said they were “busy.”
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. Since school began, no one’s said anything about it, but I’m still embarrassed. Can you help? — Jumbled in Junior High
Dear Jumbled: Junior high can be tough on the emotions. You were raised to respond promptly to invitations, but many children that age haven’t a clue. And you were a bit optimistic to prepare for a party without knowing if any of the guests were going to be attending. We don’t know why all these girls turned you down at the last minute, but it obviously was quite hurtful. Your best bet is to act is if it was no big deal, but we wouldn’t invite them to another party anytime soon. Get to know them on an individual basis so these friendships can bond a little better, and make the next get-together more casual.
Dear Annie: I just got off the phone with a fundraiser for a charitable organization and was asked if I would give the same amount as last year. I asked how much I gave before and was told $25. (I have since looked up my receipt from last year and I only gave $20.)
I was asked to give the same $25 again this year and when I said I couldn’t afford that because of my current financial situation, the fundraiser suggested $20 or $18. I rejected that also and said the most I could send was $10. I was then informed that the smallest amount they could accept was $15.
This isn’t the first time a charitable agency turned down my offer of a smaller amount. Isn’t $10 better than nothing if they truly want to raise money? Now I’m wondering if this is some sort of scam. Why do these charities turn down money and lie about the previous year’s contribution? — Dumbfounded in Florida
Dear Florida: Not all organizations do this, but professional fundraisers who are hired to make these calls are often instructed to apply pressure to get you to donate more money. You are right, however, that a legitimate organization would accept a smaller amount.
Before agreeing to donate to any organization, you should check it out with the American Institute of Philanthropy (charitywatch.org), P.O. Box 578460, Chicago, IL 60657-8460; Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org), 1200 MacArthur Blvd., Second Floor, Mahwah, NJ 07430; GuideStar (guidestar.org), 4801 Courthouse St., Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188; and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (give.org), listed in your phone book.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Ravenna, Neb.,” who said anyone who wants to lose weight should eat slowly.
I’d like to add a piece of information to her excellent suggestion. Our brain takes about 20 minutes to register that you are full. Imagine how many more calories you can cram into your mouth in 20 minutes if you eat quickly! — San Francisco
Dear San Francisco: Hippocrates once said, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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.
Published in The Messenger 10.09.08