Sassy’s “Dear Boy” Column

As I’m swamped with work, I decided to ignore A. it, B. the five drafts of theoretical posts laying there in my WordPress Dashboard and C. make this a fun post.

Aside of being a pseudo-academic STS fan information junky Machiavellian feminist bitch, I’m also a huge fan of Sassy’s “Dear Boy” section. I think it’s both genius and hilarious. However, growing up 2/3 continents away (depends where you count from), I missed my chance to meet it in real time. Now, for those of you who never heard of it, Sassy was a teenage girls’ magazine. “Dear Boy” was “ask a boy” column, and the answers came from the alternative rock stars of the time. And thanks to the Internet, we have access to some of them. Here are all of the columns I managed to grab from the ‘net – if I’ll find more, I’ll update.

Without further ado…

J Mascis, the guy from Dinosaur Jr, is a depressed young man who is extremely hard to reach by phone or get a straight answer from. In other words, he is typical of his gender. Therefore, we do not suggest that you follow his advice. We only had him answer our readers’ most pressing questions because we knew it would provide an excellent window into the thought processes of his ilk

What’s with boys and commitment? Margie

This is the first answer J gave us: Boys — yes it’s true — are reluctant to commit. But what would happen if the guy let the girl know he was psyched for this heavy commit-ment? She would get bored and blow him off. If he had “let’s settle down” all over his face, he’d never get lucky. Face it girls, it’s guys who want the commitment, but they know you’d break their hearts if they gave you half a chance.

This is the revised answer J gave us two weeks later: Face it, guys are psycho. You can’t pin them down. They’ll change their minds from minute to minute. You may think that boys tend to avoid commitment like the plague, which is true, unless of course you girls aren’t into it. You gotta keep him guessing.

I hear celebrities hate when people spaz out over them. Is this true? What should you do when you see or meet them? A Speechless Fan

Try to talk to them about ordinary things as if they’re normal. Don’t ask them any questions about their profession.

Shopping for a guy — that’s worse than taking the pop quiz your calculus teacher throws you on Monday morning! Do you have any ideas on gifts for members of the male species? TP

Blank tapes are always good, because you’ll buy the wrong bands if you try store-bought tapes or CDs. Clothes are negative. Flashlights are always fun. Candles, fireworks — anything with a pyro angle. Stuffed animals are usually OK if they’re not too sappy.

I am 16 years old and I have a 19 year old boyfriend who’s in jail. I don’t know how to deal with him being there. Do you have any suggestions? Imprisoned by Love

It depends on what he’s in for, and if you feel like sticking by him. Just don’t get too obsessed and freaked out about it. If he stays cool, keep an open mind and don’t let prison ruin your life too.

Do boys like it when girls ask them out? Aggressive

In general, if you’re not a total spaz about it, guys are completely psyched if you ask them out. We’re a lazy breed, so the more you ladies do, the happier we are. The vaguer you are, the easier it is to get out of it if he completely blows you off. Just stand near him and smile a lot. Try to talk to him if you can, but don’t overdo it. Casual is key.

I am a 16 year old girl and I’ve had sex before. I’m not sure if I like it or ever want to have it again. I’m very interested in guys, but when sex is brought up, I feel sick and turned off. The problem is, my friends all say how great sex is and how much they love it. Am I totally weird? Scared and Confused

I don’t think girls start digging it for a while, but you’ll probably turn around. Just don’t worry about it; you’re definitely not weird. Don’t do anything you don’t wanna do. Don’t feel weird if your friends talk about it. You don’t have to compete.

Do boys like big butts? Kim France

I am baffled by this question. Butts are so awesome that obviously the bigger, the better. Any guy who’s not a weirdo will take as much butt as he can get. I don’t know if you’re worried that yours is too big or too small, but it can’t be too big. Whatever it is, just get into it.

I asked this guy to the Snow Ball about a month ago. We were just supposed to go as friends, and it was going to be really cool. Anyways, he calls me up about three weeks before and asks me if it’s all right to take his girlfriend with us. I have my dress and shoes already. What should I tell him? Dissed

I would be enraged. I think you gotta throw a total fit and make sure he and anyone who knows him hears about what a complete jerk he is. Try to go with someone else, if you can stomach it, just to torture him and make sure he has a miserable time. Guys will try any scam. It’s up to you not to let him get away with it. He’s testing the boundaries of sanity and good taste. Make him pay. You can’t blame the guy for trying but I think you gotta make him pay.

I like this boy. I hope he likes me, ’cause he teases me a lot. How do you know when a boy likes you? Also, how do you get a boy to like you? Confused

You can tell if a boy likes you if he looks terrified whenever you’re around. He points his head at the ground, shakes and stutters, if he can get the nerve up to talk to you at all. You’ll see him around a lot and wonder how he got there. You’ll see him stare at you and dart his head away when you catch him. Either that or he’ll do all he can to completely avoid you. Try to talk to him calmly whenever possible, and smile and flutter your eyes. Basically, guys like girls who like them. It’s pretty simple. So make him think you dig him and he’s yours.

There’s this guy that I really like. He tells everyone that he doesn’t even like me as a friend, but when we’re alone together we do things that are reserved for people who think of each other as more than friends. What do I do?
A friend, more, or less? Huntley, IL

The guy’s a jerk. I know that won’t discourage you from liking him, but he’s got a major personality flaw: disrespecting you. Be careful of this kind of butthead, because his sleaze behavior may rub off on you, and then your life will become more and more hellish. Next time you’re alone with him and he tries to get “friendly,” tell him your friend Thurston Moore wants to kick his ass. And then tell him why.

I’m In sixth grade, and I like a boy in fifth, but he’s going out with a ninth grader (total slut). She’s only going out with him because I like him, but he doesn’t see it. I know he likes me because every time I talk about another guy, he gets jealous. What should I do?
Karen, New York, NY

You know, it’s kinda hard to dissuade a fifth grader from going out with a ninth grader. Especially if she’s a “total slut.” But you might want the dude to find out the hard way about the difference between love and lust. Wait until Ms. Ninth Grader drops Mr. Fifth Grader for someone else. He’ll be bent out of shape, and it’ll be up to you to decide if he’s worth helping up out of the gutter. If he realizes your kindness and shows affection, you’ll be lucky. If not, look around for someone a little smarter.

I am 15 years old and have extremely large breasts. I’m not going to get into exactly how big they are, but they’re way bigger than a triple-D. Everyone that I meet, guys especially, wants to get to know me because of that. The girls try to act like they’re fake. What to do?
Big-busted in Brooklyn, NY

Large breasts are a very attractive asset. Some people are turned off by them, but they are a minority. You’re going to have to be proud of yourself and accept the fact that a lot of people are going to give you grief. Large breasts or large buttocks or large anything will attract attention to the person who’s got ‘em, but so what? Laugh all those idiots off and smile to the fact you have something special.

My first problem is that the boys I like who like me back are kinda shy about making a first move. The second prob is that I am like this too! Can you give me some tips on first-move making that won’t be scary for either of us?
Not gettin’ any, Fresno, CA

Shyness is cool, and if you want to hang out with somebody equally shy, a movie is a good idea because then you don’t have to talk so much. And when the movie’s over, you at least have something immediate to relate to. I know asking someone out is easier said than done, but come on, you only live once! I should talk, though. I couldn’t even look at girls I was attracted to without blacking out.

I’m a lonely 14 year-old. I’m not pretty, outgoing or interesting. Why do guys only like beautiful girls? Anonymous

Because the majority of guys are too stupid and insensitive to realize a person like you may possess qualities of beauty. Become aware of what’s beautiful within you and cultivate it. Don’t be afraid of men. Be true to yourself, and hopefully an honest love will come your way. The more you have confidence and belief in your own beauty, the more likely this is to happen.

There’s this really bitchy girl at my school. I can’t stand her! I really wanna kick her butt, but if I do, I won’t be able to go on the eighth grade trip, and I could get expelled. Pissed off, Rosemead, CA

Ignore her. That’ll be worse than kicking her butt. She’ll probably be in your face even more, though, so be careful. And anyway, eight years from now you probably won’t even remember her. Either that or you’ll be best friends.

Every time something goes wrong and I’m around, I get blamed. Even people I don’t know blame me for things. Blamed in Stratford, CT

Next time someone blames you for something, look ‘em straight in the face I and ask, “How may I correct this situation?” This will startle and dumbfound them. Then go up and kiss them lightly on the cheek and whisper, “No matter what happens, I will always love you.” As you back away, grab your head and scream bloody murder and run like the wind.


Billy Corgan


UNREQUITED BOY
This really close friend says he’s in love with me. He has never had a girlfriend before, and for some reason it makes me think twice before going out with him. He has asked me out five times, and though I love him more than anything, I’ve turned him down every time. I don’t want to hurt him and I want to still be his friend. Help! Caring and confused in Fontana, CA

What a coincidence that I should get to answer this question, because the very same thing happened to me, except that I was the boy, and the girl in the story was my best friend, Carolyn. We were very close; we would write letters and poems to each other and we would study together. I thought she was the greatest. She told me she loved me, but she would always turn me down when I asked her out. I would ask her, “Why, is there something wrong with me?” At that time I had never had a girlfriend either. And I think that was one reason why she would always say no. She wondered what her friends would think, because I wasn’t cool enough. Not to her, but to her friends. The other reason is sometimes you get so close to someone that it seems strange to change the relationship to a boyfriend-girlfriend situation. I think she didn’t want to hurt me, but she did, and our friendship has never been the same since. It is going to be very hard for this boy to accept that you think he is wonderful but not good enough to go out with. He will definitely take it personally. I’m not telling you to say yes, because you gotta do whatever is best for you, but you should know that he will get to a point where he doesn’t want his feelings hurt anymore.

FLAT AS A BOY
I’m 15 and have the breast size of a 13-year-old. I can’t walk down a hall without being called a name! My girlfriends say I have a great personality. Are big breasts all that you guys care about? Fed, Chicago, IL

It may seem like an important thing, but for every person whose breasts are not big enough, there is someone whose nose is too big or who’s too tall or too short. Guys become infatuated with something that is not real: the “perfect woman.” The perfect woman is not smart and not stupid; she’s blond and has big breasts and a small waist. I don’t know anybody like that, but I do know plenty of beautiful women. Don’t judge yourself by someone else’s standards. You will always lose.

SLIMY, TWO-TIMING BOY
My best friend’s boyfriend is flirting with me, and I like him a whole lot but don’t know what to do. I’m afraid that if I flirt back, she will find out and hate me. I don’t want to tell her what’s going on, because I don’t want her to be mad. What should I do? Confused and depressed, Fairfield, OH

No boy should ever come between you and your friend. It is obvious that this boy most certainly will. If you flirt back and she finds out, she will not blame him; she will blame you. The best thing is to tell your friend that her boyfriend is flirting with you. Finding out may really hurt her feelings, and she could even become temporarily upset with you for being the one to bring bad news, but if she really is your friend, that will be stronger than any problem this might cause. Ask yourself how you would feel if the situation was the other way around. Wouldn’t you want to know?

BOY IN DENIAL
I had sex with a guy, and he doesn’t want to admit it. Should I just forget about him? Melissa, Chatequgay, NY

Having sex with someone doesn’t necessarily require that they love or respect you, but a guy who refuses to admit that he was with you definitely does not love or respect you. You should never allow anyone to make less of what you are. A human being should always be treated with dignity, and you should have enough self-esteem to tell him to get lost. Forget his name and see how he feels.

DRACULA BOY
I have a thing about Gary Oldman and what I don’t understand is why no one else does. I’m 14 and no one understands! Does this mean I like older guys? Sophisticated in Shorewood, IL

It is very funny that you ask me this, because my wife, Chris, has a thing about Gary Oldman. It started about four years ago. It was “Can we go see the Gary Oldman movie?” And “Can we rent this Gary Oldman movie?” And of course she saw Dracula right when it came out. If Gary Oldman showed up at our door, she would start packing. So you are not alone. Liking Gary Oldman does not necessarily mean you like older men. Gary Oldman is not old or young; he is Everyman at every age.

BOY TALK
Do boys ever talk about girls to their friends or even think about us? Tara, Fort Dodge, IA

I think that all boys ever talk about is girls. I think that all boys ever think about is girls. Don’t be fooled; they are only pretending to think about something else.

BOY, IS SHE LONELY
I’m practically friendless. One of my friends is fickle (one day she likes me, the next not). And my best friend is in another zip code. I do tend to get moody or bossy, but that’s usually when I have my period. I really need help. What should I do? Marilyn, Cypress, CA

My definition of a friend is someone who is there no matter who or what you are. If your friends expect you to be “perfect” and behave as they want you to behave, they really aren’t friends at all. I know that it is hard, but trust in yourself, and maybe you will find a friend who will like you, bossy or not. Plus, I like moody people; they are my favorite.

Iggy Pop

PHLEGM-HATING PHEMS
We are writing to ask you a very simple question: Why do guys spit? This really grosses us out, and we would like to know if it’s a genetic defect or something. Sarah and Morgan, Portland, ME

A guy spits to humiliate that which he spits on, or sometimes as a gesture of a carelessness he does not otherwise possess. He frees himself of his salivary phlegmatic burden and the weight it signifies, with no thought of where the viscous missile may land. Ptooey!

DOWN, BOY
I’v ebeen going out with this guy for about three weeks. Problem is, he’s obviously taking this relationship a lot more seriously than I am. He always tells me he loves me, and I tell him I don’t see how. We talk on the phone every day for hours, but I’m not ready for all that mushy stuff. How do I make him back off and give me some breathing room? Help! Smothered in NJ

Right now, when he talks to you, he’s really just talking to himself. Stars are in his eyes. Later, when he finds out how dumb and self-centered you are, he’ll learn to hate you. It shouldn’t take long.

THAT SUCKING SOUND
How do you know if someone is giving you a hickey? Sometimes I don’t know it’s happening, and then the next day I have some explaining to do. Dawn, Chicago, IL

Wow! OK, it kind of feels like you’re being nibbled on by an electric rattlesnake.

FOLDED, SPINDLED AND MUTILATED SF SEEKS SAME
I am a punk girl who likes tattoos, body piercing, hair dying, shaved heads and bi-level haircuts. I would like to know if guys dig these forms of “defacing” on girls. Stephanie, Sioux City, IA

I like any form of adornment if it says you do what you feel. I used to have a crush on a girl from Texas who dyed her hair lavendar with Magic Markers. I was never with her, but I never forgot her.

IT’S NOT FAIR!
My friends and I were looking through magazines, and we are disgusted by all the naked women we found in them. We didn’t find any naked men at all. We also discovered this is true with movies and music videos. Do you think this is right? Sick of seeing naked women

Naked is a beautiful thing. When you’re naked you’re vulnerable, and that’s why women are shown that way habitually in our society, and men are not. It’s a way of saying women are possessions, like cattle (naked animals). The men, however, remain clothed to reinforce their dignity as masters. All this BS is useless and hurts everybody. If you want to see naked men dealt with powerfully as an image, you can turn to painting, sculpture and serious photography — from Francis Bacon to Mapplethorpe back to Michelangelo or Goya. As for American movies, magazines and videos, forget it; they all suck and have no guts. My live video Kiss My Blood contains some nudity. You might like it.

IT’S NOT FAIR! 2
I’d like to know why boys always want to knows about my past (like who I’ve gone out with, who I have kissed, and if I’ve had sex with anyone) but then won’t tell me about their past. DS, Falls City, OR

Some boys are like dogs in that they’ll want to “sniff around” constantly for signs of other boys. When you’re close with a guy like this, your body becomes a kid of “location” to him, and he wants to know what other dogs have been there. Pretty sick, eh? It gets weirder. Once you give this guy a name or even admit you’ve been intimate with someone else, he’ll begin to play “compare” in his head and drive you both nuts. It he’s an OK guy, he won’t ask you at all. He should give you that respect and enjoy your mystery.

INCREASE YOUR WORD POWER
In your definition, what is a skanky girl? Just wondering

When you’re kinda looking her over and you get the feeling she’s kinda lost and maybe has gone a few rounds but still loves to get down with whoever’s around ’cause she doesn’t wanna be alone and her eyes look a little tired, but even with all that she’s sexy somehow ’cause the goods are basically appealing to you on a musty, musky level and you can in fact smell her and you decide you want her then she’s skanky.

SEXUAL IDENTITY – WHAT A PAIN
A couple of months ago, I had my first sexual encounter — with a girl. I was nervous when we started kissing but relaxed into it. I had a weird feeling afterward. I know I’m not a lesbian, but maybe I’m bisexual. How do you know? What will happen when it starts again? I already feel out of place at school. A devoted reader

I think it’s pretty natural to enjoy being close to a girl, because so many girls are beautiful. Why not relax and see where it takes you in your feelings? Don’t worry about school — life is a lot bigger than school. Nobody really knows where their sex drive will lead them, and it’s a personal choice whether you want it to lead you at all. Right now, you’re young and your feelings and senses are really strong. I don’t believe in any rules about who is OK to love and touch and who is not, so at least you’re not out of place with me. Please don’t feel bad if you’re confused or feel many conflicting things — these matters are almost hopelessly complex for anyone.

KURT LODER WANNABE
My boyfriend’s band really sucks. How do I tell him without crushing his ego? Luna, San Francisco, CA

This is impossible to do because his band and his ego are the same thing. You’d be a fool to interfere. Expressing himself in a band and choosing the friends he plays with are ways of showing his personality to the world and are very sensitive things. Who are you to criticize that? A girlfriend is a girlfriend, and a critic is a critic. Choose one or the other — you can’t be both.

Your questions answered by Greg Dulli, Weird Fox who sings for the Afghan Whigs

DO GROUPIES GET WHAT THEY WANT?
Do you know anyone in a band who has actually “hooked up” with a fan? The band must have at least a contract with a record company to be “eligible.” Just Curious in Columbus, GA

Plenty. I suggest if you are truly interested, you should read “I’m With the Band” by Pamela Des Barres. I’m sure this will clear up your curiosity.

WANTS BOY EXCITEMENT
I’m a reasonably attractive, non-annoying, politically active 17-year-old girl who has *never* been asked out on a date. I’ve tried asking boys, but they always say no. Is my grandmother right? Do boys only like girls who are weak and helpless-looking? Will flunking debate get me dates? Am I doomed to be single forever? I promise I don’t have the plague. Jaime

Most 17-year-old guys are intimidated by smart or strong women. Don’t compromise your integrity just to get dates. You’ll find in a couple of years that guys are less insecure. So I’m sure you’ll meet a nice boy who can handle a woman as his intellectual equal and not just his helpless plaything.

HORMONAL SLURS
Why is it that whenever a girl is pissed off or in a crappy mood, any guy around will ask her if she’s “on the rag” or say “Do you have PMS?” When guys are in bad moods, we don’t say “Oh Bob, sperm-retention headache?” Alexis

For some reason, boys like to say naughty things about “that time of the month.” It’s called locker-room humor or toilet jokes. All I know is, the first time I asked my sister if she was “on the rag,” she beat me with her hairbrush, and I have been shy about it ever since. But like it or not, it’s in the vernacular. Remember, a lot of girls say it too. P.S. Sperm-retention headaches are extremely painful and do cause irritability in most boys. So be nice.

CHECK-OUT CRITERIA
I was wondering what a guy thinks when he is checking out a girl. Does he look at her face or her body? Anonymous

I try to figure out if she snores or not, and most guys tend to check out the whole package. However, her eyes, her smile, her laugh, posture and intelligence are high on the list of criteria. Most boys just want to find someone they’re comfortable around. A little mystery doesn’t hurt either.

LOVES KURT
I have a problem that is messing up my whole life. I am in love with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. I want to meet him so much that I am too depressed to do anything anymore. Everyone is worried, but I won’t tell them why. What should I do? Cobainified in Bellevue, WA

You are having what is commonly known as a crush, and that’s cool. When I was younger, I had a crush on Veronica from the Archie comic strip and she was a cartoon, for chrissake. Just remind yourself that Kurt is a married father and Courtney would probably kick your ass.

UNFAIR GRADES
This guy and I were lab partners in my science class. We had to turn in a lab report. We each typed up the same paper, but our teacher, Mr. Brown, gave him an A and I got a C. Why?! Tired of male sexism

He sounds like a prick. Call him on it; maybe he’s seeing if he can get away with it. Never be afraid to challenge a teacher. Just make sure you have enough ammo.

ATTRACTED TO SHORTY
I am 16 and considered somewhat tall. The problem is that I like a guy who is about six inches shorter than me. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with this. Still, it seems a little ridiculous for us to be a couple, and my friends think so too. I know I shouldn’t go by appearances or what anyone else says, but I can’t help it. Do you think I should avoid a relationship with this guy, or date him and get laughed at? Tall Chick

How lucky you are. Most people would give anything to be a little taller. Start looking at it as an advantage instead of a detriment. Carry yourself with pride and grace, and the only people who’ll be laughing will be short, jealous a–holes. So get on with it!

RELUCTANT BOY MAGNET
I am 13 and my friend likes a lot of guys, but it turns out that all these guys like me, and when she finds out, she gets mad at me and doesn’t talk to me for three weeks. What can I do? Confused in Imperial Beach, CA

Do you feel like you’re deceiving your friend? Are you seeing these boys or going behind her back in any way? If not, you’ve done nothing wrong and have nothing to worry about. If your friendship is as important to her as it obviously is to you, try reasoning with her and stress that your relationship is stronger than “what guy likes who.” If the talk doesn’t go well, chances are other jealousies or petty rivalries will arise later on.

NASTY SLEAZE
Recently I found out that my boyfriend slept with another girl. After many hours of questions and fighting, I decided to give him a second chance. My parents don’t think I should give him the time of day, and my friends say that I should “cut him off” (from sex and such), but I’m not sure what to do! What do you suggest? Kelli

What were the circumstances leading to his infidelity? These are things that you should address while looking straight into his eyes. If you are satisfied with the conversation, maybe the two of you can work it out. If not, he’ll probably do it again, and you’re better off without him.

Mike D

DISEASED EX
My boyfriend broke up with me, and now every time we pass in the halls he ducks down like I am going to yell at him or hit him. Why does he do this? Rachael

First off, remember that he broke up with you. And he is going through considerable guilt that he hurt you. At the same time he is ducking so he’ll appear to be the victim and you’ll feel bad for him.

BUMMING BAD SEED?
My mom was a well-dressed, popular boy-magnet In high school. I am a punked-out loner boy-repellent. I get the feeling she’s disappointed in me. To top that off, my dad thinks I am unfeminine. Help! Searching for my real parents

By age 14 I had orange hair and a safety pin in my ear and everyone thought I was a freak, but I had found music and friends who meant more to me than the accepted norm amongst kids in school. There’s no need to conform to the preconceptions of your parents. You obviously have got it going on, so as you achieve stuff on your own terms, your parents might come around to respect you.

OEDIPAL SLIP
I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for about six months. We recently had sex for the first time, and at the height of passion he screamed out, “Ow, Mom, don’t hit me.” Then he acted as though nothing had happened. I don’t know if I should be alarmed. Help. Concerned first-timer

If you are uncomfortable with this behavior, you need to talk with your boyfriend in a sensitive way. If you feel unequipped to help him, seek the experience and guidance of a counselor. It’s important to communicate with your partner about sex, and anything that might seem strange about it.

Dean Ween

HIDEOUS HARASSER
There is this ugly guy who blows kisses to me. I just roll my eyes at him and call him a child. He does it and laughs like it’s funny. Please tell me what it means! K.M.B.

I’m not really sure what he wants; probably just attention.

PDA PROBLEM
I just got into trouble in school with my boyfriend. A teacher caught us Frenching. My mom says I can’t go out with him anymore, but I love him. What should I do? I need help! B.C.M

Sometimes it’s really hard not to get affectionate in public, but, as most people will testify, it’s really sickening to watch (especially if you’re single). As far as your mom is concerned, tell her how important the relationship is to you and I’m sure she’ll understand. Maybe.

COUPLE-OBSESSED POSSE
I used to have lots of friends last year, but this year all my friends are ditching me because I don’t have a boyfriend yet. They say that I can come to their parties if I bring a guy. These girls are really funny and nice, and I still want to be their friend. What do I do? Boyfriendless and confused

I’ve never heard of anything like that in my life. Go to the party alone, and leave with someone else’s boyfriend.

INVISIBLE NEXT TO FRIEND
My best friend is a tall, beautiful blonde with great looks and a wonderful body. The trouble is, whenever we’re together the guys look right past me and check her out. How can I get guys to realize I’m there too? Ignored

I honestly have no idea.

FRIEND LIKES TO PARTY
I have this really good friend. She just broke up with her longtime boyfriend. Now she is out every night dancing, going to clubs and pool halls and P-A-R-T-Y ing! Should I be worried? Worried

I wouldn’t worry unless it becomes a long-term habit. She’s just getting it out of her system.

FULL PROPS TO STUBBY
I like this boy, but he is in a lower grade. I’m afraid to ask him out because of my friends. They say, “He’s too young” or “He’s too short.” But I like him a lot. He is the same age as me, but just in a lower grade. What should I do? Jennifer

I wouldn’t let that have any effect on your true feelings. It really doesn’t matter.

PRYING PARENTS
My parents have been going through all my stuff lately. Every time they do we start screaming at each other. They say they’re just trying to make sure I’m not doing drugs. I say they’re nosy. Who’s right? Straight edge with hell parents

You need to hide your things in better places. My mom used to pull that shit with me. They’re definitely nosy.

WORD UP TO HISTORY
I really like studying history. But I’m afraid to let my friends know this in case they think it’s too geeky. What do I do about my love of the past? Looking back and digging it

I think that’s pretty cool. Who cares what they think?

MISS SMARTY-PANTS
I have this friend, and she makes good grades and always brags about how much better she does than me. I am tired of her, but I don’t know what to say to her. See, I study hard and everything. Please help! Sarah

Just ignore her and do your thing. People like that have a tendency to become crackheads and losers after they graduate, anyways.

WHAT BOYS WANT
I am 16 years old, and my dad is constantly telling me that guys are only after “one thing,” and now I can’t date. Is this true, and how can I get my parents to let me date? Lonely and confused

Your dad probably still thinks of you as his “little girl,” which is cool to an extent. He’ll have to understand at some point that it isn’t the case. And yes, most guys are after “one thing,” except Mike D., of course.

DISSED BY BROS
I love my brothers. When we were younger and all still living at home, we were pals. We fought, horsed around and even shared a few secrets. Now they’ve both left for college, and when they come home they don’t seem to have time for me. If I ask them to hang out, I feel ike I’m nagging! Help! Is this a stage (three years now) or just a part of growing up? Forgotten sibling

It’s just growing up. I drifted apart from my sisters when they went away to school, but now that they’re finished, our relationship is stronger than ever. Actually, we have more fun now when we hang out. I bet the same thing will happen to you.

OBSOLETE TATTOO
My ex-boyfriend had my name tattooed on his arm. But since we broke up, he’s been going around telling everyone he’s going to get it removed. I don’t like him anymore, but I’m still kind of hurt. Is he wrong to take my name off? Hope it leaves a scar

I bet he leaves it on. He can do whatever he wants; it’s his body. I know a dude with a Ween tattoo and it makes me feel terrible. Like, suppose someday we really start to suck?

SEE BEAUTY POLL
I like to wear lipstick, but my boyfriend says it’s gross. What’s wrong with him? And can I still wear lipstick? Answer quick before my lips get too chapped

I personally can’t stand when my girlfriend wears lipstick and makeup, but she does it anyway and I still love her.

Beck

BOYFRIEND’S A BUM
Here’s my problem. Whenever my boyfriend and I go out, I have to pay for everything. I work and he doesn’t, so if I want to do something I have to pay. It’s starting to make me really mad. How can I get him to start paying his fair share? Becoming broke

This slacker scourge is ravaging the minds of our youth. Tell this guy to get motivated Tony Robbins style: “Yesterday is a canceled check. Your maximum point of power is now.”

WALLOWING IN UNREQUITED LOVE
I love a guy who’s going to be 17 about two months after I turn 15. He’s my brother’s best friend. The problem is, I’ve loved him for a little over three and a half years. I know he doesn’t like me, but he knows I like him. And he has a girlfriend. I can’t seem to get over him. I haven’t gone out with a guy in two years because I like him so much. Whenever I think about him, I feel like I’m going to cry. Sometimes I even do. I don’t think he’ll ever like me. Amy

Like the song says, “Hard, ain’t it hard, to love the one who doesn’t love you.” Hard it is, but nothing’s easier than dwelling on it. As difficult as it may seem I think you need to go out with other people; give yourself a chance to grow fond of someone else.

DO BOYS LIKE CLOTHES?
Do guys ever notice fashion? I mean, do they see the groovy outfits girls wear or just the girl underneath the clothes? A.

I tend to be annoyed by “fashion” or fashion-obsessed people. It’s fine and well for people to feel good about how they look, and dressing in a wig and knickers can be fun, but ultimately there are better things to be concerned with – like waffle irons, dulcimers, oral hygiene. “Style is its own reward.” (People pay me to look bad.)

CONTROLLING FRIEND
My best friend is like the mother I never had. And never really wanted. Everything I do wrong she says, “That’s rude” or “You shouldn’t have done that.” She drives me crazy. What should I do? Help

True friends are helpful and understanding, not judgmental nags. Tell her as graciously as possible to lay off.

HURTING AND HUNGRY
I heard the other day that my friend’s mother got shot. They think the dad did it because he threatened to hurt her before. His mother was one of my friends. I used to talk to her all the time. Lately I haven’t been eating much because of that. What should I do to get her off my mind? Thinkin’ problems

You need to talk about this with someone to sort out your grief and loss, and you need to start eating again.

PITCH PROBLEM
I have a voice that’s kinda different from others. At one moment it can be very high-pitched and at the next it’s normal. While some people love it and think it’s cool, there are those who think it’s annoying and that I make my voice shrill on purpose. Do you hink my voice turns guys away from me? What should I do? Born vocally stretched out

People have made whole careers out of high-pitched, shrill voices. Some of the most popular singers today sound like total freaks. I think as you grow older your voice will deepen and mature. If it doesn’t, you can always resort to a four-track, using the pitch control to slow your voice down. And as far as guys being turned off – you need to be with someone who appreciates all aspects of you, be they monstrous or endearing.


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