Dear Dr. Wallace:
I’ll make this short and simple. Renee is (was) my best friend. We even shared a locker at school. Last week she asked me if I had seen her class ring, which, she said, was left in our locker. I told her I hadn’t seen it. The next day, she took all of her things out of the locker and left a note that said only one word: “Thief.” I was totally shocked. I couldn’t believe what she had done. I tried to talk to her at school and went by her house to find out what happened, but she wouldn’t talk to me.
Yesterday at school, she came running up to me, all bubbly, and said that she found her class ring in a side pocket of her backpack. She never used that pocket before so she hadn’t bothered to check in it. She said she was wrong for accusing me of taking the ring and for writing the one-word note. She also said that she would like to become my locker partner again.
I told her I needed a little time to think about it. I have made up my mind, but still, I am wondering what you would advise me to do.
— Rita, Toledo, Ohio
Dear Rita: Renee made a serious mistake — one that cannot be easily undone. Sometimes an action changes things forever, and her vicious, unwarranted accusation of you falls into that category. I don’t see how things can ever be the same between you. Renee needs to demonstrate her remorse for what she did and ask your forgiveness. A superficial apology just won’t cut it. My advice to you would be not to continue on as locker partner with someone so untrustworthy. If she wants your friendship back, she must work hard to earn it.
Dear Dr. Wallace: Our school district has eliminated the sex education program at our high school because of lack of funds. I think this was a horrible decision. Where are our teens going to learn the facts of life? Every time there is a cut in an educational program, it’s always a very useful class. Last year the school district stopped teaching driver’s training.
Yet with all these cuts, the football program is still going strong. If we had enough money, I’d move to an area where important programs are added, not dropped.
— Mom in small city, via email
Dear Mom: More and more parents want the schools to teach courses that parents should be teaching at home. Both driver’s training and sex education programs were started in schools because some parents shirk the responsibility and decide that the schools should do it for them. Parents should teach sex education. Learning how to drive correctly and safely is another responsibility that should be taught by mom or dad whenever and wherever possible.
When I was a high school administrator, several parents met with me to discuss an idea to have the school teach a course on credit card etiquette — “The do’s and don’ts of using a credit card.” I told them that this is important for teens to learn from the very best teachers — mom and dad.
Dear Dr. Wallace: I play tennis and my coach told us to eat a lot of high carbohydrate foods such as pasta and potatoes. I thought these were considered fattening. Fat is out when it comes to playing tennis. We have to be lean and quick to move fast around the court. Please explain.
— Tennis player, San Diego, Ca.
Dear Tennis: Athletes used to be counseled to eat mainly high protein foods, but not anymore. Dietitians now recognize the value of carbohydrates for athletes. A high-carbohydrate diet promotes the storage of glycogen, which the body needs for endurance — and that, of course, is important for all athletes.
Write to Dr. Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.