Teen Talk

Teen Talk: Friends’ ex-boyfriends in play for dance

Kelly Richardson
Kelly Richardson Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

DEAR KELLY: I come from a really small high school where most of us have been together since almost kindergarten. It seems like every boy in my class is one of my friends’ ex-boyfriends, so he’s off-limits to me. We have a dance coming up and I don’t know who to go with because it seems like whoever I go with will make someone mad.

I’ve heard rumors that like three different guys want to go with me, but all three are my friends’ ex-boyfriends, so none seem like good options. When I mentioned this to another friend, she immediately said, “Oh so-and-so would flip if you went with him. He was her first true love and she wants to go to her last dance with him. You can’t go with him.”

Then I said another guy and she said, “You don’t want to wrath of so-and-so. They dated for over a year. If you go with him, she may never speak to you again.” And when I said the third guy, she said, “So-and-so would be crushed. I think he still likes her and I know she still likes him. Don’t come between them. Don’t be ‘that girl.’ 

Seriously, Kelly, what should I do? All the other boys in my class are either already in a relationship or too shy to go to the dance. I’d rather not go solo, but I also don’t want to be hated just because of who I go to a dance with – even if we are just friends. Is there a good solution?


DEAR DATELESS: The simplest and easiest solution is to just say: “I will go with whoever is the first person to ask me.” You said it – you are just friends. Why would someone give you “wrath” because you are going to a dance with her ex-boyfriend? It doesn’t matter how long they dated. All that matters is that they are exes. That word says it all.

Stop asking advice from your friends. Odds are, it won’t be the smartest advice (case in point: the friend you already asked). She is approaching it from a no-win situation for you. The reality is that it is just a dance. You aren’t marrying the guy or entering into a committed relationship with him. You are buying him a boutonniere, eating dinner, taking pictures and sharing a couple of dances. End of story. If someone can’t handle this, that sounds like their problem, not yours.

One more suggestion: Don’t be opposed to inviting a friend from another school to the dance if your school allows it. Also, maybe the “shy guys” who you don’t think want to go to a dance are also options. If they are your friends and you like them, consider asking them to go. Sometimes the people you think don’t want to talk with you are the ones waiting for you to talk to them.

DEAR KELLY: The crop top is back in. My parents think it’s inappropriate. What do you think?

Fashion Girl

DEAR FASHION GIRL: I think anything can be inappropriate. Overalls, if worn wrong, can be inappropriate. It’s not what you wear, it’s how or where you wear it. A crop top to the beach sounds fine. To church or to meet your boyfriend’s grandparents? Probably not the best idea.

One of my concerns for your generation is the need to be sexy – at 13 years old. Unfortunately, many girls think they are being sexy or hot when in reality they look trashy and tasteless. It is very easy to cross the line from tasteful and cute to cheap and trashy. Some girls struggle with knowing where that line is and don’t seem aware of how they are presenting themselves when they “dress to impress.”

Let me clarify before I get bombarded with letters: Not all crop tops are trashy. If they are worn with the right clothing, say a pair of high-waisted bottoms like shorts or a skirt, a pair of jeans or a pencil skirt, it can be just fine. It all depends on how you wear it and what your intention is.

Recently the media has been all over the crop top and what type of body or stomach you need to have to wear it. I think we need to worry less about the body and more about the person. If the person feels confident and wears her clothing tastefully, more power to her. If she is insecure and seeking attention by looking half-naked, she needs to put a sweatshirt on and work on what’s going on inside of herself first.

What kind of image do you want your clothes to say about you? Look at some pictures of crop tops you think are appropriate and share them with your parents. See if you can agree on when they look cute and when they look tacky. I, for one, would rather see a girl rocking classy than trashy. Show self-respect and others will treat you accordingly. Sometimes, modest is hottest.