A new all-around low for Annie Lane!

I’m hopeful today that Annie Lane can tackle the tough issues in today’s column.

Dear Annie: Recently, a friend confronted me about something that I didn’t think was a big deal: Sometimes I forget to respond to texts for a while, and then I reply and say that I just saw the message. Technically, most of the time, it’s a lie; I did see the message, and I just got sidetracked or zoned out or didn’t feel like replying until later. But I just say it to try to make the other person feel better or to smooth things over. I’m certainly not trying to be deceitful. My friend who always tells it like it is, God bless her, called me out for this behavior in front of a group of mutual friends. A few laughed and agreed that I do this. It was brought up in a joking manner, but it still ruffled my feathers a bit. Am I really in the wrong here? Is there a more tactful way to handle things when you take a while to respond to someone? — Delayed

Oh well.

This is seriously a new low. Every day, I wonder how she’s going to put together a new column. This is so easy to give advice to. Uh, technically lying is wrong in this instance, and, uh, blah blah blah. A better response than lying would be to say, Sorry I got sidetracked! Yeah, dinner this weekend sounds great!

It’s a no-brainer because honesty isn’t a problem here. Who’s going to get mad when you’re honest? People get sidetracked. Out of all the easy set-ups for Annie Lane to tackle, geez Louise, this is Advice Giving 101.

Well, let’s see what sort of slop she came up with.

Dear Delayed: Not responding to a text message right away is understandable — even healthy, as we shouldn’t be beholden to our devices 24/7. But lying about the reason for not returning a text is wrong, and it insults your friend’s intelligence. The next time you take a while to respond to a message, simply apologize (if appropriate) for not getting back to the person sooner, and leave it at that. No flimsy excuses necessary.

It’s really appalling that she has her own advice column. Maybe she can redeem herself with the next letter.

Dear Annie: For at least three years now, my neck has hurt on a daily basis. More often than not, it’s stiff, and I need to crack it to get some relief. I’ve heard that changing to a better pillow can help with neck pain. But when I went online to see what pillow I should get, I was overwhelmed by dozens of options, all claiming to have five-star reviews. Now I don’t know what to do! I’m not sure how to make a choice, considering I’m… — Neck-Deep in Options

Okay, first of all, this is a fake letter. Shut the front door. Second, this is way too easy for a respectable advice columnist to tackle. Uh, maybe ask your DOCTOR?! You know, the person you pay to treat your neck?!

I’m not yelling at the letter writer. There isn’ t a letter writer. Annie Lane made this up. Now, if she has any sense, she’ll refer this fictitious letter writer to a doctor. As for the overabundance of positive pillow reviews, no one ever writes to an advice columnist over that. Annie Lane’s offending my intelligence at this point.

Dare we see what advice she gave?

Dear Neck-Deep in Options: A new pillow might help, but what you really need is to talk to your doctor. He or she can refer you to a physical therapist who can help you protect your neck long term. You also might want to consider using a standing desk, if you work at a computer, because unless you have perfect posture, sitting at a desk all day can wreak havoc on your neck and back. As for the pillow, perhaps the doctor or physical therapist could advise you on the right kind.

Gee, I never would’ve thought of that on my own. I feel so enlightened now.

Oh, joy! She has a third letter in today’s column. She must’ve worked extra hard on her column today.

Dear Annie: “Sad in Wisconsin” — the man who wrote that when he and his wife give gifts to his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, they never express gratitude — should examine why they are giving gifts in the first place. If I see a beggar on the street, I don’t give him money because I expect a thank-you. I do it because he needs a helping hand. When I do something nice for my wife, I do it because she deserves it. Not expecting anything back when we give is a wonderful thing. — No Returns

Okay, but here in Louisville, our city is overrun with fake beggars: people who live in posh apartments and drive fancy cars that they hide around the corner before they spray themselves with eau de homeless person and write a sign with intentionally misspelled words. And then they don the wig and go to town. No, really. There have been exposés about it. I’d never give to a beggar.

I’ll bet ten to one that Annie Lane doesn’t know diddly about that.

Dear No Returns: Hear! Hear! May we all aspire toward such selflessness.

Oh, okay. Well, I disagree. An occasional missed thank you might happen, but consistently not thanking a gift-giver is bad, bad form. The issue wasn’t, why didn’t I get thanked? It was, why don’t I EVER get thanked?! It’s rude! In the absense of gratitude, why would you give anything to anyone in the first place? Geez.

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