Dear Dr. Wallace:
I bet my father $5 that you would answer my letter in your column. You did, and my dad indeed kept his word and paid me off — in five $1 bills. Since it was you who got me the money, I’d like to donate these funds to a favorite charity of yours in your honor. I’m the “Anonymous” teen from McComb, Mississippi, who is 18 and catching flak from family and friends for dating a guy who is 16. Thanks for telling me my guy is a keeper. Do you remember me?
— Anonymous “Again,” via email
Dear Anonymous “Again”: Indeed, I do remember you. Thanks for giving the money to a worthy cause, and may I suggest this donation go to your local animal shelter. These organizations do a remarkable job placing abandoned animals with loving caring families. Thanks for keeping in touch, and good luck to you and your guy!
Dear Dr. Wallace: I’m 19 and have a three-year-old daughter. My mother is a very attractive woman who is 35. She gave birth to me when she was 16. My mother and I are now close, but during my youth, my grandparents raised me.
My mom has been divorced twice and is dating a guy who will probably be husband No. 3, I believe.
Mom loves her little granddaughter and is very kind to her, but she doesn’t want people to know she is a grandmother! In fact, she has taught my daughter to call her Nan (her name is Nancy) instead of Grandma.
Do you see anything wrong with this arrangement? I’m not pleased with it. But there is not much I can do about it because I don’t want to start a fight with my mom over something this small.
— Anonymous, Frederick, Maryland
Dear Anonymous: If your mother, out of distress at being a grandmother at age 35, avoided her granddaughter and refused to let the child into her heart, that would be a tragedy for all concerned. At least that isn’t the case. I don’t think the situation is ideal, but maybe it is the best compromise your mother can work out with her own vanity for the moment.
It is a shame that she is missing out on one of life’s biggest pleasures — being a grandparent who brags about her grandchild, then pulls up pictures to show the world how cute she is. I hope your mom eventually makes peace with her delightful new role.
Dear Dr. Wallace: I’m not dating anyone right now, but I’m not desperate for a date. A certain guy at our school has asked me out, but I have no romantic feelings toward him, even though he is sort of cute.
My sister says I’d be wasting his time and mine by going out with him because I’m not turned on by him. My mom is encouraging me to go out with him because she knows his mother and says he is a “good boy.” Your response will be appreciated, as I am kind of fifty-fifty on whether or not to go out with this particular new boy.
— Unsure, Atlanta
Dear Unsure: There’s no reason why you can’t have fun on a date without also looking first for romance. Why not give it a try? If it doesn’t work out, you don’t have to go out with him on a date again. You might become good friends regardless of whether or not a spark of romance arises while spending time together. I see nothing wrong with giving him a chance to spend a little time with you. You’ll know him a lot better either way after you’ve gone out with him, even once!