Ask Meg’s Mom
Hi. I'm Barb, Meg's mom. Meg wanted me to let you know that she is safely back from her book tour in England. However, she contracted a nasty virus there, from which she is still in bed recovering. I'm sure it is not SARS, as she keeps insisting.
But as a mom I know that a little bed rest, plenty of fluids, and many hours of viewing the Food Network have cured many a cold, even foreign ones, so I am encouraging her to take some time off to take care of herself.
In the meantime, Meg asked me if I would like to try to help her answer some of the questions and problems that MEG'S DIARY readers send to her, as, even in her current feverish state, she feels guilty not updating her blog.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about this at first: my only qualifications are that I was once a teenager myself, and that I had been the mom of a teenage girl (Meg) and also two teenage boys, Meg's little brothers.
I did study to be a counselor, although the counseling I ended up doing was telling college students whether they should take Calculus or Econ in any given semester…not exactly the big personal problems that I felt were going to be presented here on Meg's blog…and not exactly the real-life personal problems I was interested in helping people solve!
But luckily, when I read over the letters on Meg's blog, they were MUCH more interesting than academic planning. AND they made me remember what it felt like to be in love or sad or bullied or worried about a friend's weird behavior!
And they made me realize that since I'd been there in those situations, and sometimes more than once, I had some ideas about how to make it easier, or at least less horrific, and that maybe if I shared them, they might help someone fell less hassled or scared or whatever…at least I hope so!
So in that spirit, here goes:
I'm in the Drama club at school and I love being in the club. The problem is, there are 3 girls in the club who keep being mean to me. They tell people I'm a lesbian and call me names like sausage fingers. What can I do?
MEG'S MOM SAYS: Congrats for being in the Drama Club — now we want you to get out there and be an actress: can you act (or totally pretend) that you can't hear them? Just ignore them. It is hard, I know…but people like this (they are called bullies, at whatever age and whether male or female) thrive on getting you to react. Try ignoring them for a month — absolutely don't react in any way. If they still don't give up, I'd go see my guidance counselor or talk to the drama coach (in private!). But FOR SURE: do not let these jerks squeeze you out of being involved in something you enjoy.
Meg!!!!I'm in love with my best friends brother , the good thing is my best friend is nothing like Lilly she's actually the best of the best friends ever but I still won't tell her the thing is her brother is very hot and a lot of girls like him and she gets so annoyed by it because they will come up to her and ask her stuff about him and she's like: “I hate it when people want to talk to me about my brother , I mean he really does suck so what's so good about him?” So every time I try to do it I back out.
The other thing is I think he likes me , he's kind of shy but he's funny and smart and hot and he looks a lot like the way you describe Michael and every time I see him my heart feels like flying of my chest and he makes my heart go flip-flop when he waves at me and I actually understand what the butterflies in your stomach saying means now , It's really freaky , but I'm not sure I sometimes catch him staring at me and he talks to me often but always about school or his sister never something very personal and were so much alike I know because I've talked to him personally when he's hangs with his sister and me and I'm way too shy to aproach him and he's 3 years older and may think I'm too young for him and there's this really pretty girl who likes him and she's like the most popular girl in school and everyone is crazy about her and a bunch of other chicks like him too but I don't like him (like them) because of how he looks that's just a plus I like him because of how he is on the inside.
I guess that what I want you to tell me is: How do I tell my bff I love her brother? , Does he like me? and Should I tell him I love him or send him anonymous letters (even if he gets a bunch of them everyday) or what?
Thanks for everything,
A very confused girl.
MEG'S MOM SAYS: No, don't tell your friend you love her brother. Yes, it's possible he may like you. But NO — do not tell him you love him, or send him letters! Here's the good news: you are friends with the guy's sister, so you have a (maybe) inside track — at least you get to be around him regularly on a “friend” basis…always an advantage, because maybe that will eventually allow him to overcome his “shy” feelings! The bad news is: boys are flattered to be liked, but they don't like to be chased. Sad but true — they like to think everything is their very own little idea. Hang around, be friendly, let him discover how much he likes you — I wouldn't (for sure!) bug his sister about it; she might get the idea you are “using” her to get to her brother, and that would be more bad news!
Dear Meg (and Michele),
I have always heard that when you ask for advice you already know the answer but want to hear something else. I hope it's not the case this time. I'm in a 9 month plus relationship with my boyfriend. When I first met him, I was beginning to become interested in a younger guy. I decided that it would probably work out better with my current boyfriend and went out with a date with him. We had only one “break”. (Doesn't that remind you of Ross and Rachel from Friends?) We got back together and have been happy ever since. Now, the younger guy is popping back in the picture and I wonder if I would be happier with him. So, should I continue the happy relationship I have now or begin to date again. My boyfriend is off to college and I'm a Senior stuck with a decision. Thanks for listening.
-Confused in the Midwest
MEG'S MOM SAYS: It sounds a lot like you are not ready to “settle down” with CBF (current boy friend) — and a good thing, too! You have a lot of time when you are older to do that. Meg always used to talk about going to “The Boyfriend Store” — which I think meant she was looking over the boys she knew, trying to figure out which ones were people she could be friends with, date, hang out with –but not take it all that seriously. (And also find out which ones were creeps…yes, you find that out, too, and then you can avoid those types next time.) Your CBF is off to college — agree to continue to be friends, but date other people, look around a bit. You deserve a trip to the Boyfriend Store, too!
meg: I don't know if you will even get this message, I don't know if you will reply to this message, and heck, I don't even know if i will see it in you diary if you do reply. Oops, must stop making myself feel so despressed and stalkerish, it sounds like I check your diary every five seconds. I swear i don't, I really only do it when I'm bored on Friday night's when my friends ditch me. Now that I'm on the subject of lonely Friday nights… When you were in middle school were kids mean to you? I'm going into eighth grade and boys don't like me, and i'm really unpopular me because I don't follow the cliquey mold. If I knew someone else was picked on, a writer especially (my dream profession) I wouldn't feel so dumb. Err…I h
ope. Oops, that was a really long message, sorry about that, well I've got to go Monk on USA calls.
MEG'S MOM SAYS: As Meg's mom, I can tell you that sometimes kids WERE mean to Meg when she was your age. I don't think there is a person on this planet who wasn't treated badly as a child by his/her peers at some point in his/her life. I will tell you what I always told Meg when she came to me with this same problem: Just be yourself. If people don't like you, that is their problem. They don't know what a wonderful opportunity they are missing out on, getting to know you, but someday they will come around.
It does help, however, if, while being yourself, you are also always kind to others and have a good sense of humor about things. Everyone likes people who are nice and can laugh at themselves.
I know your really good with advice so maybe you can help me out. my brother has a huge temper and yesterday he almost twisted my wrist for accidently picking up his camera. my mom doesnt punish him in any way but yell, “dont touch your sister” than move on. then he continues to hurt me. i have bruises. he lifts weights and weighs somewhere in the 160's i think while im 110 so its not like i can defend myself. he hurts me randomly somtimes when i dont do anything to. how can i make him stop?
MEG'S MOM SAYS: This question bothers me a lot. As a mom, I can remember when my kids picked on each other, and I usually tried to let them settle it themselves. As long as they were really little, that worked fine, but when one of the kids gets REALLY bigger than another… well, that's cause for concern, and could even be considered abuse. I'd show this letter to your mom, tell her you wrote it, and try to talk about your problem in a serious, grown-up way. And if she still ignores the situation, it may mean she's afraid of him too…in which case I think you have no choice but to go to a school counselor or a teacher you trust.
Im getting so sad. I'm fourteen years old and I have been with my boyfriend for 3 months. Everyone has gotten their first kiss…except me….i feel so deprived. I'm his first long girlfriend and he has no idea what he is doing. Ive made all the first moves, holding hands, calling HIM (which i stopped) but hes soooo busy weve never been on a date…its just a school thing. He is involved in piano, tennis, and swimming. AND his parents don't even know he HAS a girlfriend. But his parents are mean. Hes really sweet and I love him sooo much. So i told my friend to talk to him…just to point out he should kiss me cause i'm not going to wait forever, and that yes…kissing is okay. Im turning 15 in two months. I don't want to drag him out on my party. I went all through June not seeing him, and now its August and I see him in Marching Band. What should I say…. It's not something he likes to talk about and I understand. Marching Band is ending really soon-like next week. I dont want to be kiss-less when it does. Should I just pull him into a room? I'm not sure.. PLEASE HELP
MEG'S MOM SAYS: I don't mean to be old-fashioned, but I'm a bit confused: You say you have been dating this boy for three months, and yet you haven't been out on an actual date with him? If he can't even make the time to see a movie with you, or have a soda after school, I would hesitate about rushing into anything like kissing with him. All of this asking your friend to hint to him that you'd like to be kissed smacks of desperation to me, and you don't want to seem desperate. You deserve better! If you really do believe this boy returns your affection, and it is only timing keeping you apart, I would let him know that you are not going to hold hands et cetera with him until he DOES find a way to make some private time for you…then, when he does, you can let him give you a kiss good night when he walks you to your door, as a gentleman should. Don't forget to introduce him to your mother.
I have a friend, and she and I used to be really close. But now she's sort of fading away from our little group of friends, and hanging with all of this guys who are like 17 & 18 (she's 13), and started drinking and stuff, and all of us are really worried about her. We did say something one time, but she got really mad at us. What should we do?
MEG'S MOM SAYS: This letter really makes my MOM antenna go crazy — “Danger! Danger!” It's flashing and blinking and making me very scared, and I'm going to say something that is going to sound soooo mom-like. But this is really what I think. You need to be brave enough to get together with your friends and maybe speak to a responsible adult about this — maybe one of your moms? A teacher at school? (I see that I am being repetitive about going to counselors, teachers, moms, adults in general. But sometimes you need help with stuff you can't solve all by yourself. And sometimes.. sad to say, you will find that helping someone means letting them get REALLY mad at you.) Someday, she will know how lucky she is to have had friends who care so much! Good luck…
Hello Meg! I just love your books, but there's a little problem i need help with. u see, i had to give my eight month old black and white long haired chihuahua away. i didnt want to but i had to. and for some reason, everytime i go downstairs to watch tv or something, i almost cry. also, my appetite has gone away and i cant seem to go to sleep. and if i do, its not for a long time and i get dreams about my dog and me crying. my parents told me that they would get me a new puppy that was white and didnt shed a lot later, but i just want my old puppy back. how can i stop crying whenever i think of her? (todays the third day. we gave her away to a nurse)
ASK MEG'S MOM: I know just how you feel. Not long ago, my dog Murphy passed away. I still miss him. It takes a while before you stop missing a beloved pet, since pets can be as important to us as any member of the family. I know each and every one of the dogs we had when Meg was growing up has a special place in our hearts…even the one we had to give away because he was biting everyone in the neighborhood. Only time can heal a loss like the loss of a pet. I'm sure there will come a day when you can think of your dog fondly, without crying. And in the meantime, try keep yourself busy with school…and reading some of Meg's books!
Well, that is all the time I have for answering Meg's mail right now, since I have to go make her some chicken soup (well, OK, not really, since we live in different states and even though I love her dearly I am not rushing to her side in her time of need because I don't want to catch her germs). I know many of you sent in letters asking for advice that were not answered here, but Meg promises more of your letters will be answered soon, when she's feeling a bit better.
In the meantime, don't forget to wash your hands regularly in HOT water (this can prevent colds) and remember, BE KIND (but not a doormat), keep your sense of humor, and everyone will love you!