DR. WALLACE: I’m a 15-year-old boy who is immature in some ways, but I’m a good student and am smart enough to get into a really good college in a few years. My problem is that I have a mad crush on one of the varsity cheerleaders at our high school. She’s beautiful, mature and has a great personality. I see how she talks to people and she’s respectful to everyone.
I see her around school, but I don’t know her and probably don’t have any chance with asking her out on a date. After all, she’s a senior and is two years older than me. Why am I crushing on someone I don’t have a chance with? — Young and Infatuated, via email
YOUNG AND INFATUATED: Infatuations are a normal rite of passage for each gender of teens. You can’t be sure that you can’t have a relationship with your crush, even if the possibility now seems extremely remote. Take a chance; ask her if she might want to hang out with you so you can get to know each other better. Find something you have in common and give it a try. Yes, you might well be turned down, but based on the details in your letter, it sounds as though she’d be respectful and would let you down easily.
You would benefit from having the confidence in yourself to approach her, no matter her ultimate reaction. Although two years sounds like a wide age gap to a 15-year-old high school sophomore, that same two years will mean a whole lot less when you’re a college freshman or sophomore, right?
Hold your head high and say hello to her. You might just be laying down some important groundwork for yourself in one way or another, and your self-confidence will be rightfully boosted no matter her response.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
DR. WALLACE: I’m 16 and last week I visited my cousin. We decided to go swimming in the community pool by her condo. It was after-hours, and no one was around anywhere. It was pitch-dark, so we did not wear any bathing suits. Well, I guess we made a bit too much noise because a local Nosy Rosie caught us skinny-dipping! She made me call my parents and tell them what we did.
My parents are of course not happy and in fact, they put me on restriction for a month. I really think this is an overreaction by my parents; what’s the big deal? Do I really deserve a month of restriction for just this? No alcohol or drugs were involved; we were simply having summer fun. — Skinny-Dipper, via email
SKINNY-DIPPER: Because it’s a community pool, there are rules and regulations that you agree upon when you enter the community common area and use the pool.
I’m sure one of the requirements is that all swimmers always wear proper swim attire, and you have admitted that you didn’t. You broke the rules; it’s that simple. Your parents are in the right to punish you, and the length of that punishment is up to their discretion.
One thing you can do is to be as helpful around the house as you possibly can during your first week of restriction. Ask your parents if you can do any special extra chores or tasks in exchange for a shortened punishment. Explain that you know your actions were wrong and that it won’t happen again. Confirm that you’ve learned your lesson. With a good attitude, a willingness to do some extra tasks and chores plus a little luck, you just might get your restriction reduced from one month down to two or three weeks.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.