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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 3:36 pm | Fair 55º


Louise Palanker: ‘A Catch’ Who Can’t Catch a Boy, Bald and Self-Conscious, Being a Better Person

Question from Samantha

I’ll do my best to sound humble, and like I’m not complaining, but the nature of my question may lead to both bragging and complaint.

Basically, I think that I am “a catch.” I’m pretty, talented, have a decent body, and I am sexually open. I’m also opinionated, very smart and sarcastic.

I cannot get a boyfriend, a hookup, or even a boy to express interest in me through direct flirting, or talking about me to his friends. It’s really getting on my nerves. Many of my friends say it’s probably because I intimidate them — most likely because I’m opinionated, smart and sarcastic.

I don’t want to give up who I am to attract boys, but I also don’t want to wait around for one who can handle me. None of my friends have this problem, seeing as they all have boyfriends, hookups, or potential hookups who flirt with them.

I feel unwanted and self-conscious, which is against my nature. I just need help either making myself more approachable, or coping with the fact that I will never have a boy.


First, please forget the thought that you will “never have a boy.” That will not be the outcome here. Second, the best way to attract people is to be interested in them. Ask questions. Listen. Understand. Be warm, friendly and approachable.

Before I continue, I must disclose that I am not a fan of hook ups. I believe that they devalue everyone and everything. Sex is a very intimate experience to share. This is why the term “casual sex” is an oxymoron to me.

YOU know that you are a prize, but being “sexually open,” as you describe it, is not one of your prize assets. In fact you may be giving off an energy that says, “I really don’t hold myself in very high regard.”

When you are old enough for sexual intimacy, only one very special person should be receiving an all-access pass to that ride. I’m not saying, play hard to get. I’m saying BE hard to get. Let a guy have to make an effort to know you and understand you as you should do the same for him.

It sounds like all of your unique characteristics are working together to create this person who is a little bit scary to guys. Your message may appear to be, “Sure, I’ll have sex with you but then I’ll bite your head off.”

Be opinionated but temper that with kindness. Be sarcastic but with love and a smile. Be smart. But don’t be arrogant or put down the thoughts and views of others.

And finally, be more selective with who receives your flirty nature. Protect your body and your heart. You are a catch ONLY if somebody has to work hard to catch you.

For more insight, watch Lisa Bunnage with her TEDx Talks topic, “The Unsexy Truth. The Hookup Culture.”

(TEDx Talks video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Julia

How can I feel confident and beautiful while being bald? School is going to start soon, and I’m afraid people might make fun of me. Even though I’m bald for medical reasons, and I could tell them that, I don’t want to be self-conscious. Thanks.


I think you will be self conscious at first until YOU get used to people seeing you bald and THEY get used to you being bald. The trick is to act like this is just your thing right now and you are interested in just getting past it, even though you are feeling nervous.

You can say what you said to me, “Oh, I’m bald for medical reasons,” and then shrug or say, “It kind of sucks,” or “Oh, well,” or whatever suits your personality. You can even joke and say things like, “Can I borrow your brush? Oh, wait ...” Or, “I hope the wind doesn’t mess up my scalp.”

You can wear a hat or a scarf or not. It’s all up to you. But please keep in mind that everybody has something that makes them feel self-conscious.

Sometimes that something is permanent, like their chin or their feet. Sometimes it’s temporary, like being bald or breaking your leg, and yes, you may hear some cracks about it. But any jerk who makes fun of the bald kid is going to get death stares from everyone else. They should certainly also receive one from you!

Just go in there and be kind and friendly. Explain your situation in one sentence. If people ask you more questions, you can talk about it. Or you can say, “I’d rather not talk about it.” I know this whole thing is uncomfortable so I will say, do whatever makes you feel LESS uncomfortable.

The more you are able to focus on making OTHER people feel OK about it because YOU seem OK with it (even if you are just pretending to be OK with it), the more quickly you can move past this and into friendship.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Daniel

How can I be the best person that I can possibly be? I know that seems like a very big question, but I just want tips on how I can bring the best out of myself :)


Try to bring out the best in other people. A truly fine person understands that humanity is a great collaboration. We are here on this planet together. We feel best about ourselves when we are taking part in a community.

Yes, you get to do what you love and you get to be sometimes selfish about your time or about the things you value or about whatever matters most to you. But before you relax, earn it. Pull your weight. Work hard. Improve. Strive. Pitch in. TRY.

What will make you the most satisfied with yourself and your life is not immediate but delayed gratification.

For example: smoking and eating Cheetos and NOT doing any housekeeping and laying around in your pajamas playing video games all day may feel great right now.

What will feel better, longer is not smoking and eating fresh, healthy foods, and cleaning up and being productive, and putting some clothes on.

Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Recreate. Replenish yourself AND go out into he world with a goal toward pouring your love and energy into everything you do.

LISTEN. HEAR. ACKNOWLEDGE. LOVE. ENCOURAGE. BE KIND. Exactly what you do with yourself and your time does not matter. What matters is that you do something that matters. Add your voice to the chorus of life.

Keisha and Jenny have more advice for you about how to be a good person. You can believe about half of this and laugh at all of it.

(soundlyawake video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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