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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: A good fibbing

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: Is lying something that is just more acceptable these days, or is it particular to my family?

I try to be an honest person. I am beginning to feel as though that is a fault in my character. I don’t “mis-recall” events of the past. I don’t make up someone else’s words or attitudes to make my narrative more interesting to my listener. I don’t invent some past wrongdoing to excuse my behavior. I think it is a grave sin to outright tell a lie about someone. But I have family members who do all of the above.

Is there a recessive gene in my family? Or do I just see this because they ARE family? Sometimes I think no one values honesty anymore or puts importance on accuracy when talking. At times, I have had to confront family members about what they have said. I am then called self-righteous. Other times, I have just curtailed contact to avoid hearing the tales they tell. They seem to feel that if you can’t prove what they say to be a lie, then it is as good as truth. OK, so everyone has told a white lie or perhaps lied if backed into a corner, but this seems to be beyond that. Is lying more acceptable in today’s culture? Am I an “honesty freak” or self-righteous? – Still Believing Honesty Is the Best Policy

Dear Still Believing: Freak? No. Self-righteous? Well…

I won’t deny you your props for always telling the truth and encouraging others to do so. Honesty is a virtue. But so are patience and humility.

Look, I don’t know exactly what your family members are lying about. If your aunt exaggerates the number of hours her flight was delayed because she wants sympathy, let her have her pity party. Sometimes people take artistic license to make their anecdotes into more dramatic stories, and that’s fine (as long as it’s not a lie that could end up hurting someone).

The fact is that everybody has faults, and keeping tally of other people’s transgressions doesn’t make you any happier or them any better. It just makes you more judgmental.

Dear Annie: Perhaps this is an odd letter to send to you, but you have such a huge readership that I am hoping I can get an answer to my query.

I am extremely allergic to shellfish (a very common allergy) and was surprised to find out restaurants fry shellfish, chicken, potatoes, etc., in the same oil. Can this create a dangerous situation for those allergic to shellfish? Thanks for your help. – Hoping Not to Be ”Shell-Shocked”

Dear Shell-Shocked: It’s dangerous for those with allergies to consume food cooked in the same oil as shellfish. The Food Allergy Research & Education organization ( offers a template to create a chef card – a wallet-sized breakdown of your allergies you can present to servers to make everyone’s life easier (and you safer) when you’re eating out. FARE also offers a searchable database of allergy-aware restaurants. Be careful of sitting near kitchens in restaurants, too, as shellfish protein can become airborne in the steam released during cooking.

Because allergic reactions to shellfish often constrict breathing, it’s advised that you carry an epinephrine auto-injector at all times.

People who aren’t sure whether they have food allergies should visit an allergist. About 60 percent of people who are allergic to shellfish experience their first reactions as adults.

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