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Dear Jon Letters: Ninth Sort
Advice on teen dating.

by Dear Jon
December 10, 2000

Dear Jon Letters: Ninth Sort_Dear Jon-Advice on teen dating. Neither the author nor The Partial Observer nor nor any of its employees, columnists, editors, or subsidiaries, are responsible for the damage you cause yourself for actually following my advice.

Dear Jon: I’ve noticed that in the past few “sorts” the letters have taken a more sentimental turn, even if it’s back-handed. What’s gotten into you? What happened to the “Dear Jon” who used to be funny? Sincerely, An Old Fan

Dear An: Are you saying you read this column to laugh at me? Is that it? That if my advice is better than stupid, you’re disappointed? Thanks a lot, “Fan.” Next time you want to make my day, step in front of a bus.

Dear Jon: I think my best friend is trying to steal my boy-friend. I want to still be best friends, but I want my boy-friend too. What should I do? Sincerely, Tenth Grade Girl.

Dear Tenth: I am glad you specified your stage in life, because the answers are different depending on where you are at. Since you are in Tenth Grade, I can make some assumptions about you, your boy-friend, and your best friend.

First, you would not have a boy-friend unless he were good-looking or funny. That your best-friend is trying to steal him tells me that he is good-looking, because funny guys don’t have “steal appeal” in high school. (Is it possible to be both good looking AND funny? Answer: Name one male stand-up comedian who is handsome. Stumped? Me too!) This changes. In ten years, you will realize that all guys are funny-looking. In your mid-twenties, you will then separate your categories into: Unfunny-boring, Funny-jerks, Funny-sensitive, Married. The guys with steal-appeal will be the ones who are funny-sensitive, but they will all be married. Sorry.

Second, If you have a boy-friend with steal appeal and you are in tenth grade, you are probably pretty. Your friend, who thinks she has a shot, is probably also pretty. In ten years, none of your surface evaluations as to the beauty of other females will matter; guys will by then have separated women in to the following categories: Single-laughs at my jokes, Single-doesn’t get my jokes, Single-Mean, Married.

Third, That you are suspicious of your best friend and uncertain about your boy-friend, should be a wake-up call to you to evaluate your relationships with each of them. This entire triangle is based on the shallowest attraction of all: physical appearance.

My advice is, if you get dumped for your pretty friend, so what? You’re in tenth grade, and believe it or not, you WILL get over him. If you are one of the 116 healthy people in the world, you will even be able to continue to be friends with both of them.

This wouldn’t be my advice if you were older.

Dear Jon: I am twenty-six years old, and a single mother from an old, dead, and regretted relationship. I have fallen in love with a 29 year-old who has a great sense of humor. He even reads my five year-old to sleep. We have been dating for four months. My best friend is trying to steal him. She had us and a few others over for this party, and she wore this skimpy dress, and then brought out mistletoe, and he says she frenched him. I was furious. My problem is, the nine-milimeter Glouck has too much kick, but I’m worried that a .22 pistol won’t get the job done. I’d use a knife, but she’s a tough cookie and I don’t want to risk myself in hand-to-hand fighting. Any suggestions? Sincerely, Fighter

Dear Fighter: What you want is to protect your relationship with your boyfriend, what you don’t want is to lose your boyfriend and your son by going to jail for committing a crime of passion, to which this correspondence would be entered as evidence, and I would be sub-poenaed, putting my good friend the Editor at risk of contempt of court for refusing to divulge my identity. Knowing that he would gladly spend weeks in prison to protect first amendment rights for my sake, I just can’t allow him to put himself in that position, though I would certainly honor his ideals by remaining anonymous. So please, don’t kill anybody.

If you were an emotionally healthy person, you would go together with your boyfriend and confront this person regarding her behavior. You would communicate how uncomfortable it made you, and you would let her know that you would be cooling social contact with her for a few months to re-evaluate the relationship.

Clearly, your assumption that murder is an appropriate response, puts you in step with the other six billion of us. In this case, cool off social contact, but without the confrontation. Don’t even let her apologize, explain herself, or repair the relationship. No Christmas, no Christmas present, no invitation back to her to your Christmas parites. Just shut her out until you are secure enough to invite her back into your life, which will be never.

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