Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 6:13 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Kissing Tells, Defining Ugly, Fear of Being Left Behind

Question from Harper

I went out on a date with a boy named Jake. We made out a lot at different times during the day, even when we were hanging out with his friends. We would leave to make out.

Now my friend, Mark, said he overheard a group of boys talking, saying that Jake said the kiss was disgusting and he regrets it. Mark isn’t that reliable tbh. Idk if I should believe it because, like, why would he make out with me so much? Couldn’t he tell from the first kiss how bad it was?

I’m extremely confused and would like some advice. I asked Mark who was in the group, and he said that he didn’t know any of them and that Jake wasn’t there himself.

Weezy

To me it sounds like your group of friends saw the two of you going off together and not just making out but making a week’s worth of gossip. It also sounds like you guys are not much older than 14, which is an age where the newness and the fears and the yearning that surround the concept of making out create a combustible intersection within which kids can be jerks.

I do believe that emotional intimacy should precede physical intimacy for so many reasons. One is that if you two felt close to one another, you would know through your connection that your physical interactions were mutually consensual and satisfying. To shorthand this: Don’t make out on a first date!

But you already have, so now what to do? Talk to Jake. Ask, “Are we OK?” Then you can confess that you heard something that upset you.

Ordinarily, I am not a fan of further spreading gossip. But in this particular case you really do need some clarification, and Jake deserves to know that this is what’s being spread. If he did not say it, he would certainly want you to know that he didn’t and that this does not represent how he feels about what transpired between you. If he did say it, let him explain.

Putting your lips on another person’s lips is completely intimate, and it is not something that everyone enjoys right away. You both have every right to feel however you feel about it. But the word “disgusting” is really unfair within this vulnerable context. Kissing is something that is improved upon with experience.

To me, it sounds like Mark is jealous or that he just overheard a mess of gossip. But if that’s the case, why would he share something hurtful with you?! Ah!

Just talk to Jake. Don’t be too hard on Mark. Just tell Jake that you feel hurt by what you heard and ask him to help you understand what really happened.

(iVillage video)

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Question from Cassie

Dear Weezy. I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however what I’m about to tell you troubles me. I’ve always been told I’m pretty/beautiful. Like I would walk into a room and eyes will be on me. But because I’ve been bullied, I have low self-esteem so I always seek validation from people, so when guys tell me I’m ugly, I’m immediately hurt by such a comment. It’s like a knife being stabbed in my heart-kind of feeling.

This year, I’ve been told I’m ugly by three guys, which made me start wondering if it’s true or not. The first guy was a classmate. He would always criticize the way I dress and say I look old. When in reality, a lot of people said I look younger than my age. If I’m so ugly, why is he constantly pestering me? That I don’t understand.

The two other dudes I met are from online games, which after exchanging social media, seeing how I look like, they just tell me I look ugly, to which I plainly responded, “oh” and then they went on saying, I’m just joking, you’re really pretty. It feels like they’re just comforting me after saying I look ugly, and I can’t shake that feeling (hurt and anger) away and felt like I need to get plastic surgery to make myself look pretty or something. Thanks for taking your time to read this. <3

Weezy

Sure. First let me say this: You are not your appearance. No amount of plastic surgery will mold you into a different person. Nor will will repair the part of your self image that is depending upon your looks to validate you as a lovable person.

Yes, in some instances there is one physical problem that can be alleviated with one plastic surgery. A bump in your nose or ears that stick out. But it needs to then stop there.

What I am gleaning from your note is that you are a very pretty girl to the point where some insecure guys believe they will not stand a chance unless they attack your self esteem to bring you to their perceived level. That is abusive, and you do not need to suffer that type of comment. If someone dares call you “ugly,” that is a red flag that he has problems you do not need.

I know that this is an infinitely difficult concept to live and to own and to believe, but you really must try: You are not your appearance. You look the way you look. That will change a little with time and haircuts and outfits and makeup, but it won’t change a lot. This is who you are. You are your thoughts and talents and gifts and choices and deeds and feelings and opinions and beliefs, and you are your integrity and your love.

It sounds as though people are struck by your beauty and that you’ve become accustomed to receiving attention for it. That is fine but here’s the drawback. When you suddenly don’t get that affirmation, you panic and that is not OK. Your self esteem should not be built around your looks. You really do need to construct your sense of self around your other great gifts.

Think about two of the most exceptional people in American history. President Abraham Lincoln and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. What do we know about them? We know about their courage and their intellect. They were both considered to be “rather homely.” History’s words. Not mine, because I find each of them to be quite beautiful. Looking into their faces makes me smile because I know something about who they were and what it means that they were here.

Strive for that. Don’t be intimidated by some awkward guy online who is rendered idiotic by a pretty girl. You are someone who is going to make a positive impact on everyone you encounter. Physical beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but emotional beauty is evident to everyone. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be caring. Be interested and interesting and you will be beautiful.

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Question from Devin

I have a good friend who is a grade ahead of me. She is really beautiful and I’m afraid that at the end of the year when she goes to high school she isn’t going to remember me or she will stop being my friend.

Weezy

I don’t think that is going to happen. You two are growing up together. Expect her life to change dramatically when she enters high school, and give her space for that to happen. Be there when she needs you. Make new friends of your own and continue to make plans with her.

Don’t panic about something that has not yet happened. Have you heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? That is where you are so worried that something is going to occur you sort of force it to happen.

How would you do that? Well, you would forever whimper, “You’re going to forget about me when you get to high school,” and then once school begins and she gets a little busy, you would blow up her phone with texts screaming, “I TOLD YOU THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!” That would compel her to avoid getting back to you and thereby getting further yelled at.

Instead, be understanding and happy to hear her from her when she does call or text. If she knows that contacting you will be a positive experience, she will do it. Yes, life changes as we grow older, but you can not alter life and time to any huge extent. They are going to do their thing. The only constant is that everything keeps changing.

You can decide to be a storm or a port in the storm. The storm tends to blow people further away. The port is what people come home to.

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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 also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and 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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