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A U G U S T '98

Dear msX
Hi, I really need an outside person to give me some advice. Okay, here's the story.... My boyfriend’s name is Joey. He is a really nice and honest guy, not to mention that he is fun to be around. We've been going out for about 5 months now. And over that period of time the phone calls stopped, the visits stopped. I really do like this guy, I have for a while, but I'm the one who's not holding up my end and it's not fair to him, but I do like him. Whenever I'm around him and we get 'involved' I always feel like I am betraying the guy who I LOVE. Whenever I'm around him I'll find myself thinking random thought that are like this 'Robert wouldn't do it like that.' or 'Robert has a WAY better sense of humor' and 'I wish this was Robert, I wish he was here'. And then after the date, or the next day I'll think 'Robert wouldn't have done it like that.' or 'I wish it was Robert who I was with last night'. You get my point. That is the deal with Joey. Here is the deal with Robert.. I love him, what can I say? We both liked each other at one point in time, the downfall is.. not at the same time. Last year, He asked me out, I didn't like him I said "I like you as a friend and we just done fighting for a little under half of a year and I think we should wait and see what happens later on this year, I also said (for his sake) I won't tell anyone so you won't be embarrassed, let's and you don't have to say anything. He said fine, I think he was crying in French class, though, usually were goofing around , throwing spitballs at each other and making faces at people, totally not paying attention to francais!! We had a really good time. I think he still liked me though. Him and my crush would try to make me smile and give them a hard time by doing random stupid things, Robert would be telling a funny story of how he made fun of someone, I would give him a face that said "you are so mean" then start cracking up, because of the expression on his face. And when I would get up to sharpen a pencil, or talk to the teacher I sank even lower, I lost Brian, I lost Robert, I lost my dad, and just to think that 3 months earlier I had them all, made me sink even lower. Then after my best friends dad died 3 months later I knew I had to be their for her, so I managed to half-assed pull myself out of my depression and help her,. She still doesn't know that. And by that time, Brian was going out with a different girl, and Robert found another girl to take my place, my best friend and I stuck together like glue. Then 3 months later, I started to go out with Joey. That lifted my spirits and I started to flirt with guys more often, soon I wanted Robert back to flirt with, he started but I was that last one of his list, I thought I was making progress, I asked him out with one of my friends by my side when he was alone, he was bending down at the rime, he looked up, looked me DEAD STRAIGHT in the eye and said no, to cover my ass, I said it was a dare, he bought it. So I saved myself, but deep down I think he was paying me back for last year. And now that the school year is coming up right about now, I need to know what I should do, I still like Brian, Robert, and Joey, what should I do???
Thanks, Autumn

Dear Autumn,
Let me see if I understand your dilemma...You're dating Joey, who is good and kind, but seems to not be putting too much into the relationship now. You like Robert, who you've had a crush on before, and he has liked you, but you have never liked each other at the same time. Then there's Brian, who you like, but "gave" to your girlfriend, and he is a little insulted that you didn't want him for yourself. You think Robert has rejected you to get even for you rejecting him. And, you are still mourning for your dad on top of it all.

Did I get it?

Right now you're at a very trying time in your life, made even more difficult due to the death of your father. You need emotional support and the warm cocoon of close friends now much more than you need boyfriends. This flirting, game-playing and switching partners is a normal pre-mating dance that happens when you're young and trying out grownup behavior. It is fun to flirt and have crushes, but these are not the relationships that are going to sustain you when you need a shoulder to lean on. You cannot fill the void made by the loss of your dad with serial boyfriends, these guys, however wonderful they may be, do not have the maturity or emotional equipment to fill that void. Surround yourself with friends. If Joey or Robert or Brian are meant to be, it will happen without any manipulation, if and when they are ready to commit to you.
Take care,

Dear msX
My boyfriend and I have been going together for a year on August 10. I cant think of anything romantic to do on that day to surprise him!"
signed Anniversary Girl

Dear Anniversary Girl,
Congratulations! That's a milestone that should be commemorated, but you didn't say what your budget was. The most romantic gestures don't need to cost much, however, and I have some ideas that aren't expensive. Something that he can stash away in his memory drawer for future trips down memory lane is always treasured. Send him an electronic anniversary card if he has a computer. Make him a card and write it from your heart. Make a list, 10 Reasons Why I Love Spending Time With You, and give it to him. Frame a photo of the two of you together, if you're artistic draw a picture, and sign it with a romantic message. Make a collage of photos of your year together. Bake heart-shaped cookies or make him chocolate. Make him a tape of songs that remind you of him and your year together.

Have a wonderful anniversary,


Dear msX,

I have a problem (well, duh, we've gotten past that already) all the guys I've ever met think I'm the ugliest person alive, and make jokes about me and make fun of me, and the such. A lot of other people out of my school say I'm really pretty. I don't know what to think. All my friends have had dates, and I haven't, and it makes me feel kinda pathetic. Ho hum. Thanks for listening :)

Dear Triangle
I have to assume that these boys are of the adolescent variety and haven't seen all that many people in their short and shallow lives. At that stage, boys often tease, sometimes very hurtfully, the very girls they are intrigued by, kind of a primitive flirting ritual. How you react to that teasing determines whether or not it continues. I would choose not to engage in any back and forth insulting, it only provides them with silly entertainment.

Most kids do not see their own beauty. They feel they're too fat, too skinny, their hair is too curly or too straight, their eyes are too big or too small, girls feel they're either too flat or too busty, boys feel they're to short or too tall. This is what is known as The Awkward Stage. At this stage, your flaws are magnified and you are blind to your good points. Everyone (even the REAL ugliest person in the world) has some feature that is beautiful. Ask someone objective from out of your group what feature they think is your best...then capitalize on it. If you have beautiful hair, make sure it's clean and shiny and nicely styled. If you have beautiful eyes, wear colors that complement them. Work with what is beautiful and the rest will fall into place.

And, of course, you know the story of the ugly duckling who transformed into a beautiful swan. There is a swan in you that is waiting for the right moment to emerge.


P.S. Any boys who have engaged in this kind of teasing want to tell us how to diffuse it? What would have stopped you from picking on someone like this?

Dear ms X
My friends want me to drink and I don't want to. What can I do? I don't want to lose them as friends.

signed Non-Drinker

Dear Non-Drinker
I imagine you are still a little too young to volunteer to be the designated driver in order to take the focus over your not drinking. Your problem is one I share, as I don't often drink alcohol either and I am well over the legal age. My reasons for not drinking are various. One, alcoholic drinks have lots of calories and I would rather spend my calories on Ben & Jerry's than on Jack Daniels. Two, my body never feels right after I've drank, so over the years I've gotten the message that it's not good for me. Three, I don't need alcohol to have a good time. I can be as silly and as loose as the next one without a drink.

What I've noticed myself is that drinkers don't like being around someone who doesn't drink..."what are you afraid of, it's only a beer?" And, vegetarians have to defend themselves from meat-serving mothers and the like..."just a little piece of chicken won't kill you, will it?" For whatever reason, being disciplined enough to choose what you put into your body is sometimes a threat to others. They sense an edge you have on them and want to bring you down to their level. Don't let them. If you choose not to drink, firmly say so. You can add that it doesn't affect your ability to have a good time or be a good friend. Just make sure you are clear in saying that this is YOUR choice for YOU. Don't be openly judgmental about someone else's habits. That is the way to surely lose friends.

Remember if you're underage, it's still not legal to drink. That is a reason in itself. And, once you're a little older, you'll be in much demand as a designated driver.

ms. X

Dear ms X
My best friend changing into another person and I don't know what to do. She and I are like brother and sister. We act alike, think alike, and have the same values in life. Okay so maybe we're more like twins. She's starting to want to hang around the types of people in our school that we are totally against. You know, the preppy, materialistic, and social class oriented ones- in layman's terms, the snobs. By doing this, she is losing alot of true friends in the process. I respect her enough not to tell her who to be friends with because that is no one's place in life, but her 'betrayal' seems to be THE topic of conversation every time I talk to my friends. I love my friend, and no matter what she does or who she chooses to hang out with, I'll be her friend. I still feel like she is changing into another person and I don't know how long it will be before she is someone totally different. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on what to say to her, or if I should say anything at all. Also, should I do or say anything to my other friends that see her attitude as a betrayal to them?

signed, Soon Forgotten Friend

Dear Soon Forgotten Friend
People change. Sometimes they embrace things and people that make their old friends uncomfortable. Often they are just "trying on" a new image, seeing if it fits, expanding their horizons, but usually their inner self remains true. Now, a true old friend can recognize this inner person as their buddy, even though outward appearances might be flashing other signs. A true friend allows the other to grow, even if the growing up seems to be growing away at the moment. It seems to me that you recognize that true friendship is unconditional -- you love your friend no matter what, even if you don't condone her present behavior. Stick by her without giving in to changing your own values. You may lose her for a while (and that could be painful), but if you stay non-judgmental you have more of a shot of preserving this friendship. You might want to expand your own horizons during this break. Do not defend her to others, she might not want to be defended, your loyalty will speak for itself. BTW, friends do not have to be so alike to take joy in each other. Sometimes the differences and changes make for more interesting relationships.

ms. X




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