Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I have known one of my friends, “Pam,” for more than 50 years, and at times she has been a very good friend. She and her husband introduced me to my now-ex-husband and were both in my

wedding party.

Last year, I had a disagreement with a mutual friend, “Sharon.” Quite frankly, I thought Sharon was in the wrong, but I decided her friendship was more important than who was right and who was wrong. I apologized to Sharon and took the blame.

When we all had our 50th high school reunion recently, Pam hung out with Sharon and only briefly said hello to me, though her husband came over to talk to me.

More recently, she sent me an email saying that my ex-husband had come to visit her husband and her. She said that he looked badly, and she told me I should speak with my adult children and tell them to visit

him more.

I feel that in both instances, Pam judged me without hearing my side of the story. I would never dream of telling her that her two kids were not assisting her or her husband without knowing more. How should I handle this?

 — Friends Like These

Dear Friends Like These: It is inevitable that people will make assumptions and judgments about one another’s personal business. It’s petty, foolish — and utterly human. Trust yourself and your decisions and put no stock in others’ uninformed opinions of your life. You can’t manage everyone’s perception of you, and you’ll go crazy trying.

Dear Annie: I’ve been told that young people should use a credit card more often so that they can build a good credit history. I’m 24. I’d like to get a credit card that I can use for small recurring expenses. But I don’t really know anything about banking, let alone which of the dozens of option is right for me. Can you provide some clarity on credit cards for beginners? .

 — Credit Confused

Dear Credit Confused: You’ve got the right idea about using a credit card for small recurring expenses, such as utility bills. If you fly a lot, choosing one of the airline cards could be a good option, as you’ll often automatically get perks such as free checked bags. However, no advice I could offer can take the place of advice from a good financial adviser. Financial Counselors work with low- and middle-income clients. You can visit their website ( to learn more and find an accredited counselor.

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