I’m 16 and really like a girl who happens to be my 15-year-old sister’s best friend. I’d like to ask her out. I’m positive she would say yes because of the way she looks at me. I’ve also heard it through the grapevine that she wants to go out with me.
My problem is my sister who doesn’t want me dating this girl. She told me that she would disown me as a brother and that she would never speak to me again. If you knew my sister, you would understand that she means what she says. Help!
— Zachary, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Zachary: I’ve changed my mind several times, but I finally decided that you should not date this girl as long as your sister feels this way. San Luis Obispo is a beautiful city filled with an abundance of eligible young ladies who would enjoy your company. Concentrate your efforts on finding one or two of them.
And, who knows? This girl might even convince your sister that you would make a wonderful boyfriend for her. Give it some time ...
Dr. Wallace: I’m 16 and the youngest child. I’ve got two older sisters attending college. Both of them border on brilliancy. They were straight-A students who were really well-liked by their teachers. I’m no idiot, but I also don’t border on brilliancy. My teachers, many of whom have taught my sisters, don’t understand that I’m a normal B student. These teachers have accused me, at times, of being lazy, having an “I don’t care” attitude, and even being defiant.
These accusations just are not true. I care about my studies, do my homework and get the best grades possible. I know there’s not much you can do, but since you’re a former educator, maybe you can tell me why teachers always compare brothers and sisters and think they should be equal.
Nameless: It’s just human nature to expect a lot from the children or siblings of those who have a particular talent. Mickey Mantle was a Hall of Fame baseball player. When his twin sons signed their first professional baseball contract, many expected them to be as skilled as their famous father. It didn’t work out that way.
There is nothing wrong with teachers expecting younger siblings to match what older brother and sisters have achieved. However, if this doesn’t occur, the teachers should discuss the reason why and then deal with reality. A teacher’s prime goal should be to accept all students the way they are and to take them as far as their abilities allow. Some of your teachers apparently don’t see you as an individual — with a brilliance that happens to be different from that of your sisters.
It might be a good idea for you and your parents to have a conference with your counselor to discuss your concern.
Dr. Wallace: I’m a Scorpio and the guy who has asked me out is an Aquarius. Do we have a chance of being compatible?
— Nicole, Ames, Iowa
Nicole: If you are both kind, considerate, friendly, honest, have a good sense of humor and enjoy many of the same things, then you both will have a good chance of being compatible. It has very little to do with one’s astrological sign.
Write to Dr. Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.