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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Let ex-friendships gently fizzle out

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: Five years ago, my husband and I lost our business. In an effort to keep it going, he did some illegal things and spent six months in prison. After he was released, we moved to a modest home in a modest neighborhood, and I went back to work. The problem is our so-called “best friends.” Those country-club couples dropped us like hot potatoes when this happened.

Since the economy has tanked, a lot of these same people are having money problems of their own. They now call to ask how I was able to downsize. One woman in particular wants to meet for lunch. I have no desire to renew a friendship with these people and do not miss a single one of them. How do I tell this woman I’m not interested without being too blunt? Any ideas? – Happy Living on the Wrong Side of Town

Dear Happy: Sometimes the shoe has to be on the other foot before a person can appreciate your problems. Your ex-friends would probably welcome your support, the same way you would have. If, however, you cannot manage quite that much compassion, the nice way to end a friendship is to let it drift away. Keep making excuses. You’ll be consistently polite while sounding sincere, and they’ll eventually stop asking.

Dear Annie: For the past year, every time I swallow, my throat clicks. I am a nervous wreck about this. My ENT said he’d never heard of such a symptom.

I was wondering if any of your readers have suggestions. In the beginning it was painful, but now it is tolerable. Still, I’d like to fix it because I am – Desperate in Pennsylvania

Dear Desperate: This is not as uncommon as you might think, but the reason is sometimes difficult to assess. One theory is that the hyoid bone in the throat presses against cartilage and causes a clicking sound. It’s harmless, but truly annoying.

Meanwhile, if any of our readers have the solution, we will be happy to print it.

Please e-mail your questions to annies
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