DEAR AMY: I'm a 15-year-old girl.
Recently, my best friend turned 15. Her family is from Spain, so they held a quinceanera party for her.
I was invited to be in her "court," a very important part of the ceremony.
Just before the party, after we had picked out gowns together (which cost more than $200), taken dance lessons and found escorts, she told me I could no longer attend because the quinceanera was just for family members.
I was upset about this, but kept my feelings to myself. I didn't want to upset her.
Later, after the celebration, I was on a social networking site when I saw that many of our classmates had gone to the ceremony. A girl she barely knew had taken my place in the court.
I am deeply hurt. I thought she was my best friend.
I don't know if I can ever forgive her for lying to me. I've lost sleep over this and my grades have slipped. I'm trying to figure out what I've done that was so rotten that she doesn't want to be friends with me anymore.
Should I confront her about this situation?
— Broken Hearted
DEAR BROKEN: You should definitely speak to your former friend about this. What she did is unkind — it's also just plain wrong.
You will feel better if you speak to her — in person — about how her actions affected you.
Wait for a time when you are calm (it will help to practice what you are going to say). You could start with, "Wow — I can't believe how you treated me. It has really hurt my feelings and I think you owe me an apology."
You should prepare yourself for the probability that the girl will not apologize or do anything to make things right with you — but you will have done the right thing by being honest. Consider her a former friend and do your best to develop new friendships with people who will treat you as you deserve to be treated.
DEAR AMY: There is tension between my sister and me over our college debt.
We were told that we would be responsible for any college costs that exceeded the amount in our college fund. Our parents saved a modest amount for both of us, which allowed me to graduate owing only a few thousand dollars.
Our parents got divorced shortly after I graduated, and my loans were considered part of the family debt and paid for outright.
My sister, who is five years younger, did not get her college loans forgiven.
Our parents contributed the same in the college fund, but her bill after graduation is near $30,000 because she went to a private school (I went to a state school).
Now the payments have started, and she has begun dropping comments about how unfair it is. She recently mentioned that I should feel some responsibility and help her pay down the debt because I didn't have to pay for mine.
Amy, I'm in graduate school and have no extra money to even pay for a pizza. With the holidays coming up, I know she'll mention it again, so what's the best way to handle this without having a family blowout?
— Big Sister
DEAR SISTER: You were fortunate to have your debt paid, but you don't owe your sister money. If anyone should assist her to help pay down her college debt and even the score between you, it is your parents (though they don't "owe" this to her, either). You could offer to help advocate on her behalf to both of your parents. They can explain their position to her — and leave you out of it.
DEAR AMY: My family has had a rough year. It's sort of hard to get in the holiday spirit because it doesn't seem we have all that much to celebrate. I can't figure out if we should even send Christmas cards this year because there just isn't much to say.
— Holiday on Ice
DEAR HOLIDAY: Fix yourself a cup of "instacomocha" (a mixture of coffee and instant cocoa), put on your favorite cheesy Christmas CD and go for it. I bet your friends and family will be happy to read a version of, "The holiday is here, there isn't much cheer, but at least we're still here!"
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org