THE DOCTOR IS IN

January 6th, 2006

Okay, so I know I said no new advice blogs for a while since Dr. Jaffe has been very busy lately writing the sequel to her soon-to-be-published book Bad Kitty, but we broke down and did one anyway because, let's face it: you begged.

So here, without further ado, is the first official Advice Blog of 06. Remember, if YOU want advice from a real doctor (well, PhD, not MD, but same diff) who went to Harvard (and worked as a sex ed counselor AND a charm school instructor at MIT), just write to me and put ADVICE in the subject line, and YOUR problem may be chosen to be answered in a future blog.

And now on to the advice:

LETTER #1:
Dear Meg and Michele,
I have a boyfriend and he and this girl are really good friends. This girl is very jealous that I am going out with him since she likes him so much. So sometimes she has her friends say nasty stuff to me or spread rumors about me. A couple of days ago they told me that my boyfriend told this girl that he was going to dump me for her. When I asked him about it he said that he was saying it “jokingly”. I dont know whether to break up with him or not. Your help would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

DR. JAFFE RESPONDS:
What a funny joke! Not!

My advice: break up with him now, and not “jokingly.” Call him right this second. I will hang on while you dial. Are you dialing? Here is what you say: Hello Mr. Jokey Joke. I'm afraid it's not going to work out between us. Thanks for the memories. Ciao! (You could leave out the Ciao part if you want. I just think it sounds all sophisticated and European and Woman Of Mystery-ish. It is not bad to leave him wanting more.)

First of all, this girl has got your guy under her sharp and pointy claw, er, I mean, thumb. You and this guy might have a future—but not with her in the middle, and she is not going to rest until she has pried the two of you are apart like a prying mantis.

Second, you deserve someone who can come up with a way nicer explanation than “jokingly” for this situation. Or, better yet, who would never be in this situation.

LETTER #2:
Hi, Meg, I'm hoping you and maybe your friend Michele could give me some advice. I've had a boyfriend for a few weeks now. We started out as friends and we're in marching band together. But the problem is I think I'd rather just be friends with him than be dating. It's just all too complicated. But there's really no nice way to say that, is there? Is it even possible for us to remain friends? Even if we didn't remain friends, I'd have to see him everyday 'cuz we're both in band. Not to mention that he's one of my brother's best friends. Please help.

DR. JAFFE RESPONDS:
Do not despair, young Band Girl. Because even if this feels like a quagmire wrapped in a pretzel, it is not. You wrote most of the exact words you need in your note: “Its all too complicated.” All you have to do is level with BandBoy: say “BandBoy, I really like you as a friend, but I'm not ready for a relationship right now. Because it is all too complicated.”

Done done and done. You should even have time to grab a small snack between that and your other commitments. The only downside of this plan is that snack cannot be secret code for “other boy”, which is to say you can't start dating someone else right away, or you'll hurt BandBoy's feelings. Like for at least a month.

Okay, maybe three weeks.

LETTER #3:
Dear Meg and Michele,
I really need your advice. You see, last year when I was in 8th grade, this girl, who I will call Susan for this letter, made life a living hell for me. We were friends at the beginning of the year, but she turned on me and got all our other friends to do so as well. She didn't just stop there, but made fun of me every chance she got.

Now we're in high school, and Susan and I aren't leaping at each other's throats anymore. However, two of my friends who are new to the school think Susan is so cool and nice and think it's retarded that I hate her. I get that they have the choice to like whomever they want, but it's not as if Susan's even nice. She's a complete bitch.

Anyway, I was hoping that you could answer this and post it on your blog, even though it's kinda long. I have a feeling other people might have a problem somewhat like this. Thanks!
Susan Hater

DR. JAFFE RESPONDS:
Hey Hater.

1. I know just how you feel. I hate it when people don't do and think exactly the same way I feel and think, especially because I am right all the time (STOP SNICKERING MEG YOU MIGHT HURT YOURSELF); and

2. There is nothing you can do about it. Sad but true. One day, hopefully one day soon, BadBad Susan will show her true colors to your new friends and they'll see the light. But until that happens, you must sit quietly and Bide. Bide what? Your time. Until you can say 'I TOLD YOU SO I TOLD YOU SO”.

In your mind. Because that is what we AlwaysRights do. Bask quietly in the warm glow of our wisdom, without needing others to acknowledge it. Since we know we are right. All the time. (I AM SORRY, MEG, WHAT IS THAT? YOU ARE CHOKING? FROM SNICKERING TOO MUCH? OH THAT IS VERY SAD, HOLD ON WHILE I CALL THE WAAAMBULENCE)

LETTER #4:
Hi, I love your and Michele's advice, so I wanted to ask you this: I'm going to be in the 7th grade and I like this 8th grader. I know him and he knows me, and he also knows that I like him, but I've heard he likes someone else. I'd like to get to know him better and hang out with other people too in the beginning, not a date yet. How can I do that without seeming too outgoing or strong? Thanks!

KoolKat

DR. JAFFE RESPONDS:
Dear KoolKat.
You have two choices: My Way or The Lie Way.

The Lie Way is to have a friend ask him to join whatever group is going out. This insulates you from any risk, except the risk that he'll think your friend is into him and, because everybody loves a lover, develop a crush on her.

My Way is for you to invite him to whatever activity you've got in mind. I know this sounds harder but in the long run it has a higher chance of overall success. To avoid seeming too outgoing, you just have to do one easy thing:

Act. Natural. This means
DO NOT:
Giggle.
Flap your hands around.
Say “Wow, I'm so sweaty.”
Talk in an unnaturally high voice.
Shriek when he says he'll come.

DO:
Prepare a script in your mind with not only what you want to ask him but also what you'll say if he says yes and/or no (for that I recommend “Oh, too bad. It's going to be fun, we'll miss you”).
Apply lip gloss (if asking him in person).
Be specific about where you're going, when, and who'll be there.
Run into the bathroom to shriek.

LETTER #5:
Dear Meg n' Michelle, The guy that I like and I used to talk, and joke, and flirt, and get along great. Just up until my friend told him that I like him. He said he didn't like, like me, he just liked me as a friend, and but he still wanted to be friends with me because I am “pretty cool”. Now we haven't had an actual conversation, let alone said 3 words to each other, in months. So I kind of have two problems, I want to get over liking him, but I just can't, AND I want things to go back to like they were between us. Help me?

DR. JAFFE RESPONDS:
Methinks you will get over him faster if you stop thinking about him. I know that sounds like a word puzzle, but it's not. Every time your brain veers toward him, make it think about something else. So
mething meaty. Like why some long necklaces hang perfectly while others do that thing where they get caught on one boob and won't stop lounging around there. Because that's something I think the world could understand better.

Because I'm not sure rekindling your friendship is the way to un-like him. It might just be like slipping into a comfy pair of Bad Idea jeans, BUT as long as you promise to work on the necklace thing for me, I'll tell you how to do it. Do you promise? Okay, here's how: say 'Wow I feel like I've been so busy I've hardly gotten to see you in the past 300 months! How've you been?” as though you two had merely taken the Pause That Refreshes and not the Pause Brought On By Embarrassing Communications. And go from there.

He might be too wigged to be friends (his loss), but I'd bet that acting like everything is normal will have the gates of Palville flying open.

This concludes our First Advice Blog of 06. If you would like some advice, please email Meg and put ADVICE in the subject line, and possibly your letter will be answered in our next Advice Blog.

Please do NOT ask for advice on how to get published, because that has been answered by us A MILLION TIMES BEFORE, like here, and ESPECIALLY do not ask for advice on “how to get started on a novel, because (you) just have tons of ideas, and can't seem to get them all down,” because the answer to that question is: You just sit down and start writing.

Yes. That is how the pros do it, and you can, too.

If you're dying to know more, go here.

Stay sweet and don't be hatin' (on us, anyway).

More later.

Much love,

Meg