SUPER SUMMER ADVICE BLOG

August 20th, 2004

Yay! My good friend Dr. Michele Jaffe, through the extreme goodness of her heart, took time out of her busy book-writing and fringe boot-shopping schedule to answer some of the pleas for advice that have been piling up in my Inbox.

So if you've written in during the last few months, asking for advice, Dr. Jaffe just MIGHT have your answer here.

(SPECIAL NOTE: due the volume of requests for advice we receive, it is not possible to answer ALL of them. However—not to make light of your problems in ANY way—many of you seem to have very similar problems, so reading Dr. Jaffe's answers to the problems of others just MIGHT help you with your own).

So read on for some advice from a woman who possesses an actual Harvard PhD, in addition to many Prada ensembles, and who has also worked as a sex ed counselor, a charm school teacher, and, for a short time, the guardian of a lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair:

(Note: Names and some incidents in letters have been changed to protect the sender's identity and spare her the embarrassment of having the whole world find out the name of her crush, etc)

*********
Dear Meg and Michele,

I need help! I have this friend, “G,” who continually ditches us for whatever guy she is going out with at the time, and she always feels a need to be going to out with someone, and she frankly doesn't like them in a Special Way, but she has never turned anyone down! Now (this is my best friend by the way) she has recieved a very long leter from my other best friend, and now they are totally making me pick sides. and unfourtunatley I can't ignore it, because I have 5 classes with “G'” and 1 with the other best friend. Plus, people have started to talk about G because she is totally acting like a slut, like, she dumps one guy then goes out with another the next day. Oh yeah, and she just told another friend, “A”, “B” (another friend) 's deepest darkest secret, and A told “C,” the school gossip. I feel like I'm in a soap opera. So now A and B are mad at G, and I do not have any clue what to do!!!!!!

Oh, and my crush keeps flirting with me, and now people think we're like were a couple, and though we're close, we aren't as close as one might think from listening to them. Just the other day, I had to stab G lightly with a needle because some of us were talking about B's secret (nobody will say what it is) and “G” said my crush was probably paying me to date him, so I was all, “You are the slut. Not me.” Then I lightly stabbed her with the needle.

And of course, there is the slow dance my crush and I shared at some school dance a while back and a bunch of people stared at us. I could name about 47 people who stared at us.

And at a dance before that, my crush asked me to be his “sweet-heart” but I thought he was kidding but I don't think he was. I think I could write a novel about al the oddities in my life. Because there was the time during gym when I chased after him, as is custom at this point, and I ran into a gas pipeline and hit my head, and then I fell and I grew a horn.

So I think what I'm asking for advice on is:
a) What to do about G
b) What to do about MY CRUSH THE FLIRT!!!!! that is, if you think he's flirting….

Meg and maybe Michele, what should I do?

*********

Dr. Jaffe responds:

Phew! Just reading all that made me tired. I can't imagine what LIVING it must be like.

Okay, for Problem A, it sounds to me like “G” is a girl in search of an identity. She's insecure and so she's trying to reaffirm who she is by getting the attention of guys. This is never a good thing, and its a really bad habit to get into at her age. And it's not just male attention she's after: blabbing all of her friend's secrets around is a way to get attention from everyone. She is an attention piggy and will take ANY kind, positive or negative. Blabbing people's secrets or saying things you know will piss them off (enough so that they are forced to lightly stab you with a needle) is also–when its done along with that whole ignoring-girlfriends-for-boyfriends thing–a move designed to purposely alienate you, her friends, from her.

So it's a double whammy, but the end result is that it shows G's in pain and doesn't like herself much. This isn't your problem–in fact, the best thing to do might be to just let her self destruct. However, if you have the energy, consider sitting her down and being all, “Look sweetie, what you're doing is totally freaking me out. I'm worried about you seeing all these guys–not just because it hurts my feelings the way you ignore me when you've got a boyfriend but also because its not good for you. It's like you're trying to push all of us away, and hurt us, as well as yourself, and that's really lame. I'm willing to hang on and be your friend, but you've got to start treating me, and everyone else–including yourself–with a lot more respect.” You might also ask her what is going on at home, etc.

But as I said, it's not your responsibility. People make their own decisions. Sometimes a friend can help another person open their eyes to what they are doing, but not always. Which is why, despite my STRICT instructions to the contrary, you will sometimes see Meg wearing a…never mind.

[Note from Meg Cabot: You better not be talking about my new Kate Spade backpack. You don't understand, I NEED it. And it's PINK.]

Dr. Jaffe responds:

Sigh.

Now onto The Crush. The Crush is TOTALLY flirting with you. He is completely into you–even with your horn. And it sounds from what you are saying like you like him too. That's okay–dating doesn't have to make you a slut. If dating is what you want. Sometimes just having a crush who flirts with you a lot is sometimes even better than dating though.

********
Dear Meg Cabot,

Last night my boyfriend and I were talking and we got off onto a tangent about if people are worth value or not (don't ask me how we got on that subject). Now, I believe that all people have worth and a use, but he believes that some people are useless and that the society should get rid of (kill) the useless people (AIDS orphans in Africa, poor people on welfare, anyone hindering the society ect…). He even sided with Hitler and said that hitler was justified in killing 6 million jews (10 million people I believe) if it gave him power (Power is everything in his opinion).

I absolutely disagree with him. I believe that people do not have to justify their right to be alive. I actually want to become a lawyer so that I can work for people who actually need good lawyers (injured people, small children, the people that my boyfriend said have no use). Then I want to go into Polotics to try and make a positive difference. The problem is that he loves me but I did not fall in love with a guy that believed that certain people are useless (when I was falling in love with him he was totally “help the downtrodden” all the time). I have very strong convictions on this matter. I have a feeling that I am not going to be able to change his opinions and I really have a problem with them. A difference in religions, social standing, or other relationship hinders I could handle but his opinion on this matter is almost unacceptable to me. Meg cabot, should I break up with him or stick it out.

Thank You—A Loyal Reader

******

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

First of all, Loyal Reader says “when I was falling in love with him he was totally 'help the downtrodden'” but now her beau seems to have changed his stripes. I'm wondering if something happened to make him change his mind, and if it might not therefore be possible to get him to change
it back. It sounds like he's super angry or hurt or something and that's why he did a 180 degree turn. If it's possible to talk to him about these kinds of things and find out what's really going on, Loyal Reader should do it. Otherwise, I think she should consider saying sayonara.

There are two reasons: first, because anyone who really believes that some people are better than others, and those who are worse deserve to DIE, is completely uncool, not to mention really immature. Plus, who does this guy think he is that he can proclaim who should live or die? For sure that kind of thinking doesn't suggest the sort of sympathetic kindness I'd want in someone I was dating.

The other reason is that a relationship is like a house that two people build together, where they can get all cozy and tell secrets and trust each other and which shelters them from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or whatever Shakespeare said.

But it can't do that (i.e. be a happy little space in the middle of real life) if it's not built on a strong foundation. Since Loyal Reader's boyfriend is totally dissing everything she believes in–I mean, she wants to become a lawyer to HELP the people he is saying should just be KNOCKED OFF–they are NOT building their relationship on a strong foundation.

I'm not saying that both people have to agree all the time–that would be snoresville boring–but they do need to share some fundamental beliefs. Boyfriend is exhibiting a lack of respect for what I have to assume are her most deeply held beliefs, if she is planning to spend her life defending them. And the most crucial thing in any relationship is respect. As soon as that goes, the relationship becomes damaging.

So Loyal Reader, our advice? Find out what made him change, address the issue, and see if he'll change back…and if not, get out, now.

[Note from Meg Cabot: Last time I checked, James Carville, a Democrat, was still married to Mary Matalin, a Republican, and they had managed not to murder each other. But neither of them has ever mentioned KILLING the poor. What I'm trying to say is, it is totally possible to have a successful relationship with someone whose opinions differ from your own, but when those opinions are more in line with a serial killer's mentality than your own, you might want to back away. You can overlook SOME differences—like my husband loves tomatoes, which I hate—but not others.]

******
Dear Meg,

Hi! I really love your books but I didn't exactly write this to tell you that(sorry!). Anyway I was wondering, well let me first start of that I don't have a pet(although my sister comes close, but it's not the same). I've wanted one for about… my whole life, but my parents have rejected the idea every time I've suggested. But this time they've actually started considering it. And that's the problem they haven't said yes yet. They aren't convinced because 1)I am bit of a slob, but I think enough that I still can care for a cat(that's what I want, I like dogs too but dogs I think are much harder to care for than cats and I really don't want to push it) and 2) they think I'm going to leave all the responsibilities to my sister which I totally won't because I'd rather clean cat poop than wash dishes or take out the garbage (or clean my room but that's something I probably can never get away with). Now back to what I was wondering about do you have any advice on how to convince them. I hope you do. I really want Luna (that's what I want to name her after a cat from an anime show). Anyway thanks for listening (or rather reading).

****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

THIS HAPPENED TO ME! IT HAPPENED TO ME TOO! And get this: my parents were all like 'Yes, of course, honey, you can have a pet skunk and name her Daisy' (shut up, Meg. Skunks are cool pets if you get the smell part taken away. They are smart and kind and adorable. I did all this research).

And then my parents named the exact day I could get Daisy, and so I ran home from the school bus stop and ran into the house to be all ready to go to the skunk store (I said shut up, Meg) and in the kitchen, on the breakfast table, I found this huge bouquet of daisies with a skunk PUPPET in the middle of it.

A PUPPET. MY PARENTS SAID I COULD HAVE A SKUNK AND THEY GAVE ME A PUPPET. Yeah.

And when I went to them with tears quivering in my little eyes and my face a portrait of woe, what did they say? “It's a skunk. We didn't say you could have a LIVE skunk.” Which I guess is true. And I mean, it didn't SCAR ME FOR LIFE or anything. Like, as you can tell, I'm over it now. I never, for example, get up in the night wishing I had a skunk, or bring it up at family dinners, or hold it against them, or have trust issues or anything. Totally over it.

Anyways, my advice to Miss I-Wanna-Kitty is to give up hope because her parents are just stringing her along.

Just kidding! For real, she should try exhibiting Pet Worthy character traits, like keeping her room clean for a month (just until they come through with the pet). Apart from the skunk fiasco, which is like just a distant memory and no longer stings my heart with the pain of a million bees when I think of it, I found that a month of room tidiness pretty much persuaded my parents to do anything.

[Note from Meg Cabot: I agree. I got ALL my pets (except Henrietta, whom I got when I was an adult) through showing my extreme pet-worthiness by keeping my room clean, getting good grades, not sucking my thumb, and taking care of my little brothers. Don't worry, you only have to do it until you GET the pet, and your parents get attached to it. Then you can go back to your slothful, brother-hating, thumb-sucking ways.]

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

MAYBE THAT WAS IT! MAYBE WHAT DOOMED ME WAS THE FACT I SUCKED MY THUMB UNTIL I WAS—never mind. Forget I mentioned it.

****
Hello Meg.

First of all, I would just like to say I LOVE YOUR BOOKS MEG, and they're
actully kinda helpful to me- in a way.
You see, there are this guy I like. A LOT. And when I read about Mia sending
those anonymous love letters to Micheal, saying how much she loved him and all-
I thought it maybe would be a good idea to do the same- 'cause the very scary
thing is: The guy I like reminds me so MUCH about Micheal!
-he's kind.
-he's always so polite.
-he's cute. (You should definitely see him- and you'll understand)
-he's smart ( get straigt A's, while I have to go with my B+'s)
-he's…not a musician, but he's very in too music. Rock and Hiphop.
-he's……just amazing!
What shall I do???? D'you have any advices??? I'M REAAAAAAAAAALLY GOING INSANE, HERE!!! Please, you got to help me Meg. I beg you.

LOve The-hopeless-girl-in-love)

P.s. Is your husband your Micheal Moscovitz too???

*****
Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Meg, this one is all yours.

[Note from Meg: Oh, thanks very much, Michele.

Okay, the anonymous love letter thing? I tried that once. It doesn't work. Why? Because they're ANONYMOUS. The guy has no idea it's YOU sending him the notes. Unless you have the guts to tell him. Which I never did. Not that I ever tried this. More than three times.

OK, well, the third time, I DID tell him it was me, and yes, it WAS my husband, so obviously it worked since we're married now.

But ultimately I think it's better to join a club or enlist in a class that your guy belongs to (or get a job where he works, or, at the very least, visit the same hobby or bookstores he goes to, where you might run into him), so you can spend actual quality time with him, get to know him,
and let HIM get to know you. This is why I joined the “set crew” team in my high school's drama club. I had NO desire to spend all of my Saturdays building sets and working the lights. However, there were some cute boys on set crew, so I considered it a worthy sacrifice.

And it worked because I got a lot of dates out of it. As an added bonus, one year I won the Most Valuable Techie award for the fabulous street lamp I made for the school production of The Good Doctor. So it also ended up looking good on my college apps. Double Bonus Pak–I met boys, AND gained a skill.

On a more personal note, my husband is much more like Scott from Teen Idol than he is like Michael Moscovitz. For instance, I know more about computers than my husband does, and that is not saying much. However, he knows how to make soufflé, which I don't. Together, we are almost like one whole normal person, which is why our relationship works.]

*****

Dear Meg n Michele,

Okay, my relationship with my guy friend is very confusing. He moved here last summer, and when he first started school, he was shy and funny, and I had a crush on him. We started to become friends, saying hi in the hallway, him teasing me. Soon, he became my closest guy friend, and we'd talk before school, in the hallways, online, and he would come visit my lunch table and talk to me and my friends. So, everyone was starting think that'd we'd be really good together and that he must really like me. While on vacation in June, I found out that he has three crushes, me being the second one. The third one doesn't like him, but I don't know about the first. You can tell he really likes her, but even now, my friends are all “Yeah, but he talks to you more” and “he bikes past your house and walks over to give you video games” or “He might joke with P occasionally, but he visits you at lunch he chats with you and your friends at lunch to earn brownie points with you he walks you back to class and chats with you the entire way, and in the class as well. He talks to you on the bus and in the morning T and I couldn't get you to look at us with one exception”

So, to end this, I don't know what to do now. It's hard 'cause I'm going to enter High School this year, and he's staying this year, then moving to a totally new state! Meg 'n Michele, do you have any advice, 'cause I could really use it.
Thanks bunches, S

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Ah, the old “he has crushes on three girls but spends the most time with me” problem.
That's an old favorite of ours here at the Advice Annex. Here is what we say to S and anyone like her:

For girls, having a relationship is like going to a restaurant. We study the menu and pick the entree that looks good to us.

For guys, however, its more like going to one of those prepaid dinner theater things, like Medieval Manor: they'll eat whatever is put in front of them, the more obvious, bigger and easily grabbed between two hands, the better.

Given that Mr. Crushy Crush spends more time with S, seems to seek her out and joke with her, in a way even her friends notice, it sounds to me like he likes her best. But she might lose this edge if she doesn't act. How should she do that? One way would be to invite him out away from school with a group of people (not including the other person she thinks he has a crush on) and, through subtle eye batting and attention bestowing, make him realize she has a special feeling for him. Another would be to just tell him, since she already knows he has a crush on her.

One caution though: she should spend some time thinking about what she is looking for in this relationship; since he's moving away after a year, making too big an investment in this guy could lead to mega heartbreak down the road.

[Note from Meg Cabot: Yeah. She'll meet a lot of new boys in high school anyway.]

*****

Dear meg,
I have a huge crush on this guy whose going to university in the fall, while I'm just starting high school. I don't know him very well seeing as how i've never spoken to the guy but he's talked to my bro and cousins and hes a great guy (sweet, nice)!!!!! i know this sounds stupid but i think he likes me cuz when i went to his house for dinner he was stealing glances at me and i was doing the same (his dad and my dad are like best freinds). But you see Meg he probably doesn't know I'm 14 cause I'm tall and mature and stuff so he probably thinks im like 16, 17. What do I do Meg? I mean in your books guys are always going out with younger gurls, but in real life it doesn't happen. I know Michels older then Mia by three years, but im 4 years younger than the guy!!!! But Meg he's so cute!!!!!!!!!! and well hes a nice guy, and all the boys i know are jerks.

What do I do????
struck by cupid

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

I really really really hate what I am about to say, but I am going to say it anyway: if he's going to college, and you're just 14, you should lock eyes, give flirtatious smiles, and let him go on his way. I'm not saying he's not interested–the eye contact and everything suggests he is–but in reality the MOST you could expect from a relationship with him at this point is a few weeks of heavy flirtation and kissing, followed by heartbreak some time in the fall. This is different from Michael and Mia's relationship, because they started dating BEFORE Michael went to college, not to mention that they'd known each other well, for a long long time, before they started going out. Struck By Cupid hasn't even SPOKEN to her Babe du Jour.

The thing is, the world of college is just too different from the world of high school for a relationship that has no history to last. Cupid is, as everyone knows, blind, and he doesn't pay good attention to where he throws his darts, which is why sisters have to look out for themselves.

Struck By Cupid should enjoy the frisson of flirtation with Mr. Older-but-Cuter, and then get ready for the new school year, where she's bound to find some Hot High School Hunks to catch her eye.

[Note from Meg Cabot: Not to bum anybody out, but in many areas, it is ILLEGAL for 18 yr olds (of either sex) to date 14 year olds (of either sex). So that's Strike One for Struck by Cupid.

But even if Struck by Cupid were older, I agree with Michele that it is VERY VERY hard to date someone in college while you yourself are in high school, if only because in high school, you live with your parents, and have curfews, and in college, you don't. Most of the action in college doesn't even START until eleven PM, which is when high schoolers are usually required to be home all snug in bed (if they have responsible parents). So Strike Two for Struck by Cupid.

And just the other day, they published a study finding that girls who spend 25 hours per week or more with older guys are twice as likely to experiment with drugs as girls who don't spend this much time with older guys (although what these girls' PARENTS are doing, LETTING their daughters spend 25 hours or more a week with older guys, I cannot imagine. I was lucky if my mom let me spend TWO hours a week with MY boyfriend in high school).

Still, I think we have to call this Strike Three.

So spare yourself the heartache and JUST SAY NO to college boys while you are in high school. Seriously, you'll have more fun with high school boys.

Note to PD Readers: Does this mean Mia and Michael's relationship is doomed to fail? My lips are sealed.]

*****

Dear Meg,
Ok, so let me get down to the chase, I like this guy a lot and he doesn't know I exist. Yes, I suppose it is your classic story, but I don't know what to do.I could just go up and s
ay hi and introduce myself, but I think that would be kind of awkward.We do go to the same high school, but he's a junior and I'm a freshman. I have talked to him once, but only because he was trying to get people to join this club that he is in. I am in the activities that he is in, so it's not like I won't see him around school. Please help me by giving me advice on what I should do next. If you could, that would be great.Thanks in advance

Fan of Meg's

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Ok, Meg Fan, first a question: did you join the club he was soliciting members for? That would be an A++ way to get his attention. If you did, you could craft clever questions to ask him at club meetings. Volunteer for projects you know he'll be working on. If you've read Teen Idol, you know the power of being in the same school activity together.

The two keys to getting a guy to notice you are PROXIMITY and PERSISTENCE. I'm not saying guys are stupider than girls, but they are way less observant. Like I was saying with the menu vs. medieval manor example above, guys need to have things laid out for them in an obvious manner and this is easier if you have activities together.

But all is not lost if you didn't sign up for his club. You could…sign up for it now! Just kidding. If you didn't, then you need to work a little harder. You might try accidentally running into him (not literally, figuratively) in the hall. Standing in line behind him in the cafeteria and striking up a conversation. A word of warning though: if you didn't sign up for his club, a club he clearly cares about or he wouldn't be trying to enlist people, what is it that you like about him? Are you sure its *him* you are interested in, and not just his cute smile? A cute smile is good, but it doesn't make a relationship. Shared interests are key.

[Note from Meg Cabot: On the topic of doing things that will put you in the company of the boy you like, I used to walk FOUR blocks in the freezing cold to the bus stop of the boy(s) I liked in order to “casually” meet up with them, instead of just going to the bus stop ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE.

I'm not PROUD of it. I just felt that these were the kind of sacrifices, along with working set crew in the drama club, that MUST be made to get the man (men) you love. Sure, you COULD go around with a thong sticking out of your pants like Manny on Degrassi. But look what happened to HER. The rest of us non-thong-wearing types have to WORK to get guys to pay attention to us, since let's face it, thongs hurt.

So, whether it's a long, freezing cold walk to a bus stop or building a street lamp, these are the things you are going to have to do to get Mr. Right's attention.]

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Plus, thongs are out. Panty lines are the new thong. Trust me.

*****
dear meg,

i have been friends with the same people since i was in kindergarten. but this year we are all splitting up and going to seperate high schools after being in the same class/ grade for 9 years. I was wondering if you had any advice for making new friends, and how to stay friends with the people form my graduating class?

thank you for your time!
S

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Meg is better at this kind of question than I am, but will that stop me from taking a whack at it? Nohohoho it won't.

One thing I think S has on her side is the fact that many people will be starting fresh in high school, looking for new friends. This means that it won't be hard to meet people, it will be easy–perhaps TOO EASY. Sometimes its tempting to become BFF with the first person you bond with in the first class of your day. And sometimes this turns out to be a really good thing.

But it can also happen that the people you hang with early on may not be the people you end up being super close to later. My advice is to follow the Surf n Turf approach to high school friendship.

SURF:

SURF the social scene, meeting as many different kinds of people as you can. Don't stop at the first group you become part of–having a variety of friends can teach you more than you might learn in class (which IS NOT an excuse not to go to class, p.s.. You must also do that. Plus you can meet people IN CLASS. EVERYTHING is a social opportunity).

I remember when I was in 8th grade, there was this sophomore girl in my trig/pre calculus class (yes, okay, I was a bit of a math geek) who would always come in smiling and laughing and everyone loved her and wanted to be her friend because she was so fun to be around. I decided I wanted to be like her, and made a conscious decision to be more smiling and stuff, and it worked. People wanted to be my friend too! And not just for help with their math homework! That's just an example of what surfing the human wave of high school can do.

TURF:
But undirected Surfing can get dull. You need to channel it, by choosing your TURF–the kinds of activities like sports or drama or chess or art or music or Latin you want to be involved in. That way you'll make friends with specific interests like yours, as well as having explored the variety your school has to offer.

[Note from Meg Cabot: Surf n Turf. I LOVE that!!!! I could not have put it better. BRAVO!]

*****

Hi Meg!

My friends are ignoring me. It's like I'm invisible to them or something. When I say something, it's like they hear the wind. They just don't include me. I don't know if they realize how much this bothers me. They go to the mall and this girl I don't really like's party and then talk about how fun it was. They say I'm still their friend, but I just can't believe them. Even my “best friend” (she sure isn't acting like it), hasn't been paying much attention to me once she found out one of our other friend's parents are divorcing. Did I do something wrong? Thanks if you get to this.

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Repeat after me: FRIENDS DON'T MAKE FRIENDS FEEL LIKE POO. Period.

I do not like the sound of these people at all, Invisible Girl. They do not sound like the thoughtful, kind people I want you to be hanging out with. However, although it is rare, it is *possible* I am wrong. In the interests of giving them the benefit of the doubt, I wonder:

1. Is this something that happened over the summer? Sometimes when people spend less time together, weird frictions show up in relationships. They tend to disappear when school starts or normal schedules resume

2. Did something change in your life, Miss Invisible? It is natural to outgrow friendships over time. Ask yourself if these are still really the people you want to be friends with.

If you decide that they are, you may have to be upfront about what you are feeling. Try talking to your Best-Friend-Who-Is-Not-Acting-Like-One about how excluded you feel. If you want to confront it head on, try to use 'I' statements rather than 'you' statements. For example DO say: “I've been feeling really left out. Did I do something to make you mad?” DON'T say: “You've been totally leaving me out. Why are you acting like such a doofus?” because that sounds like an accusation and could make your friend defensive and angry, and capable of saying things it will be hard to go back from.

A more subtle approach would be to say something like, “I'm so bummed I missed going to the mall with all of you. I heart the mall! Call me next time okay?” Another good way to lure your friend back is to do something that you both enjoy, like seeing a movie with your favorite hot guy in it, or playing dance dance party revolution. Your friendship might just need some quality time together to
fix it up.

But do seriously consider that your feelings of invisibility may be more of a sign that you've moved on from these friends, that they're not seeing you or hearing you for what you are now, and that its time to find a new group of people who can appreciate you on your own terms.

[Note from Meg Cabot: I am going to look for an embroidered throw pillow that says Friends Don't Make Friends Feel Like Poo.

For ways to find new friends, see Michele's patented “Surf n Turf”, above.]

*****

Okay I live in this town population 60000 and our school has 1200 kids in 3 grades but there are NO guys I like. They are all just so weird… i would start going out with a guy who is a year younger/older but I think that is gross unless you are in highschool. how do I get over my misery of not having a boyfriend? I really miss it.
~Q

p.s. I really liked your guy advice column but i didn't see any questions like this so I thought I would throw this one to ya… 🙂

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Dear Q,

My advice is: take some time off from even wanting to have a boyfriend. This will spare you from having to date sub-standard specimens and all the heart ache that accompanies lameo relationships. You may think YOU are in a landscape devoid of interesting guys but I went to an ALL GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL. That is right, only GIRLS. That meant there were A LOT of dry periods. All that bumping into people in the hall you can do? Catching their eye at lunch? Following them home? Yeah, not a possibility when you go to an all girls school. You girls who attend co-ed schools have it SO EASY. Boys are like pie to you, sitting there waiting to be scooped up.

Yummm, pie.
Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh, right, the advantages of not always having a boyfriend. Because I went to an all girls school (where there was, incidentally, also no pie), I got to spend a lot of time without male companionship and I realized, in hindsight, this one crucial thing: there's nothing you can learn dating a junior high or high school boy while in junior high or high school that you can't learn better dating a college guy when you are in college. Plus in college there is a much wider variety.

And your chances of getting into a good college are higher if you aren't always canoodling in the corner with some guy. Also, you can have a lot more fun with guys as friends sometimes than you can as soon as all the strictures of boyfriend/girlfriend get imposed on your relationship. I'm still really close to a lot of guys I knew as friends in high school but I never ever ever talk to my high school boyfriend. In fact, just thinking about him makes me want to shower.

[Note from Meg Cabot: While I agree that college guys are better than high school guys (although only if you're in college too), school is just SO BORING. It's so much more fun if there's someone you can have a crush on, someone you can look forward to seeing in the hallway from time to time. So I feel Q's pain.

So I suggest Q take a computer or tae kwan do class at the Y, enroll in the church group that has the hottest guys in it (spiritual enlightenment AND dates at the same time? A win/win situation!), or at least get a job at the local Dairy Queen, where she might actually meet some guys who don't go to her school, but are still crush-worthy. Plus, she will learn how to make a peanut buster parfait.]

****

Meg: I know you just finished a boys advice column but maybe you can put this one in the next one

I had a boyfriend and we were going fine, until he told me he wanted to be “just friends” and I was okay with it, but I am still head over heels in love with him. I always expected we would end on bad terms so I could tell myself how jerky he is, but we didn't. Is there a way I can get over him, or get his flame to burn again.

Confused

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Dear Still Pining After All These Days,

A broken heart is just like any other wound, it takes time to heal. And have you ever noticed, like when you have a headache or the flu, if you watch TV or read a book it can feel better? While that may partially be the result of vitamin TV, its more likely because you are distracted. The best way to get over heartache is to distract yourself. Throw yourself into your school work, or mastering a dance routine or memorizing a whole Shakespeare play. Another thing to do would be to go out with your other friends. Did you neglect them while you were dating Mr. Wrong? Make it up to them now.

I'm a little worried about the last sentence of your note, because it sounds like you really aren't ready to be over your Ex yet. Its normal to hold onto hope that maybe you can get back together, but the more tenaciously you grasp that, the harder it will be for you to get over him. I strongly suggest you put it behind you and move on because there is nothing you can do to MAKE someone like you as more than a friend.

If Meg says to send him taunting anonymous notes, ignore her.

[Note from Meg Cabot: I'm not going to say send him anonymous notes, but I WILL say that this will all go away when you meet someone you like better. And you WILL meet someone you like better, I swear. In the meantime, like Dr. Jaffe says, throw yourself into activities where you COULD meet someone better, like a karate class at the Y, volunteering at the library, or working at the DQ. Trust me, this will work.]

*****

Dear Meg and Michelle,

All my life I was that good kid. I never really did anything wrong but annoy my sister but now I did something TOTALLY unlike me. I cheated on my test, final to be correct. The teacher said we could have cheat sheets and I got the answers from my friend and put them on my cheat sheat. And of course most of the room did the same but I get caught. Why me? So now I've already suffered the adult lecture of how this makes them feel, and having to sit in the pinciple's office crying my eyes out. I have refused to name anyone that I know who did the same (even though a lot of the kids were caught I found out today). It's just been bad…Any advice for a distraught senior who graduates next week with all this on my shoulders.

Sincerly,
Lookin' for a Heart to Follow

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Dear Hungry Heart,

That is ROUGH! I'm going to skip the whole 'uh, you did this to yourself' thing and point out 1. that you're still graduating and 2. that you probably learned something, because, unless I'm wrong, you won't be tempted to cheat again. A lot of people will tell you that when you cheat you are only hurting yourself, and it sounds to me like you got a large dose of the taste of that. Remember how it feels, and then put it behind you. Everyone has to make mistakes sometimes–they up the ante on our personal learning curve.

In the grand scheme of things, this one sounds like it had a high instruction to injury ratio: that is, you learned a lot, without any major bruising or fall out. [for example, it did not take driving a friend's car into a teacher's car in the school parking lot to the tune of $1500 worth of damage when you were 14 to teach you why people take Driver's Ed. Not that I did that. I'm just saying]

Of course, listening to your parents complain is a bummer, but it also shows that they care about you, which is another good thing. Congratulations on graduating!

[Note from Meg Cabot: The important thing is to remember it HAPPENED, so that you never do it again, but don't DWELL on it, because it's not worth ruining your life over. Like Dr. Jaffe says, we all make mistakes. Those of us who learn from them are the ones who go on to gre
atness.]

*****

Dear Meg,

I really like this guy anyways Im kinda shy around him sometimes. but im afraid of liking him, because the last guy I liked was really mean and started horrible rumors and that just resulted in him getting …oh how should i say this butt kicked by the this guy that im starting to like.. see he doesnt let people say anything mean about me and he calls my house somtimes to talk to my cousin who he went out with but there not now ….but the other day the strangest thing happend he called and I answerd and we actually had a conversation …at first he claimed he needed to ask my mom a question then we talked for like 10 min then when my mom got home i asked her if he called her and she said “uhh noooo” so now im confused as to weither he used that as an exscuse to talk to me or he just for got but I highly doubt he has that much of a short term memory lol. Oh and he came over yesterday and went swimming with me and we had alot of fun but he was kinda shy lol I think its cause the only time weve hung out is with my cousin or my friends and his friends around we've never really hung out by our selfs. anyways if you could tell me what is going on in this situation , because im so lost right now im not sure if he just wants to be friends or if he wants to be boyfriend/girlfriend ? ahhhh im so confused.

*****

Dr. Jaffe Responds:

Um, the guy likes you. No guy kicks another guy's butt for a girl he is just friends with, unless he's gay, and even then he probably would not engage in butt kicking. Not to mention the phone calls, the swimming, the hanging around. It sounds to me like if you just keep doing what you're doing, he'll step up to the plate.

But there's also no harm in calling him and saying “Some friends and I” (but NOT the cousin he used to date) “are going to the movies/out for tacos. Do you want to come?”

[Note from Meg Cabot; Excellent advice, because that could speed you both along the path to LOOOOOOOOOOVE.]

Well, that's it for the SUPER SUMMER/BACK TO SCHOOL ADVICE column. Good luck, and remember during Back to School season: Each school year is a brand new opportunity to make new friends and improve yourself. Don't look at going back to school as a drag—look at it as a fun new chance to make your quality of life better by enrolling in new activities, meeting new people, trying out some new looks, and maybe even falling in love!

Dr Jaffe Responds:

And?????

Oh, yeah. And possibly learning some stuff, too.

More later.

Much love,

Meg