Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Nope Nope Nope Nope

Dear Prudie wants to poke you in your vulnerable underbelly today, guys:

Q. Victim of Puppy Love: I'm a 16-year-old girl who is overweight (size 8). Recently, I have met this great guy at my school, he's smart, handsome, and really funny. He and I have talked a few times and I think he might like me. Here's the problem, holidays are coming up and I want to ask him if he wants to do something (go to a movie) but I don't know how! I've tried to ask but then I think something like—oh I'm so fat, he'll never want to go out with me. My weight is something I have struggled with all my life, I was a size 14 a few years ago and have managed to bring it down, but I still worry about it. This guy is no supermodel either, but I still worry. I'm also worried about what would happen if he would say no. Prudie, we will be in the same class together until the end of next year! I don't want it to be awkward, or worse have him tell others what happened. What should I do? Should I risk it, and if so what do I say?


What? Shit! God. I mean, we could go with "you're not fat," but lots of other girls are and they need love too, right, and maybe he likes you and maybe he doesn't and maybe he WILL tell people you asked him out and they'll laugh about it like jackals because even though that seems like something only actual flesh-eating jackals would do it's the sort of thing that does, sometimes, happen, and then maybe your phone will ring and your parents will say DAUGHTER, HANDSOME GUY IS CALLING, but when you pick up it will just be other girls, giggling or maybe you'll go to the movies and feel hugely uncomfortable or maybe it'll be fun and you'll engage in pleasant forms of physical intimacy and then break up once you go to college and think of him fondly but either way the fact you are wearing a certain arbitrary jean size at this exact instant should not impact your decision-making process. I CANNOT HELP YOU, CHILD. Prudie says to not hate yourself and also to ask him if he wants to see Skyfall, which is probably right. Sixteen is better than fourteen but not as good as seventeen, generally speaking, so hang in there. And do not read the Slate comments in case there are a bunch of strangers telling you that you are too fat to find love, which is a new and exciting thing about being young now!

129 Comments / Post A Comment


Um, can anybody find a door back to my usual universe? The one in which being a size 8 isn't fat?


@Mingus_Thurber While this is *part* of the overall issue, it is really, really, REALLY not the part that needs discussion right now. Whether size 8 is "fat" or not is irrelevant to the fact that this girl a) perceives herself as fat, and thus unattractive, is encouraged to do so by society, and her insecurity is a symptom of a much, much larger problem that prevents women and girls with ever being comfortable with themselves regardless of how awesome they really are. The situation would be the same if she were a size 14 still, and like Nicole said, saying "that's not fat!" is dismissing the fact that "fat" girls also deserve love, respect, and self-esteem.

fondue with cheddar

@Mingus_Thurber Size 8 for me is the impossibly skinny size that I would love to get back to but never will.


@fondue with cheddar Size 8 is what happened to me when I had Mono.


@squishycat Yeeeeah, Prudie does a detour into "Well done you, for recognizing that your eating habits were terrible and changing them!" (paraphrase) which is not at all what the girl said -- she just said she'd "managed to bring [her weight] down" from a size 14. That is super irritating, and draws a line between "Don't worry, you're not fat and you're morally laudable for Fighting Your Fat!" somewhere near size 8, instead of giving any genuine affirmation.

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia I actually thought I was fat as a teen (probably size 6) because I wasn't super tiny like a lot of the girls were. Now that I'm 50 pounds heavier I look back at pictures and feel so sad that I didn't realize then that I actually had an "ideal" figure. I'm pretty sure all teenage girls have body issues. It's horrible.

That being said, I can only imagine how hard the teenage years are for girls who actually are overweight, and it's undoubtedly much harder for them than girls like me who merely had a distorted view of themselves (but not enough to develop an eating disorder).


@squishycat Woah, hang on. I'm not arguing with your point, but mine is a little different: What is it about our society that encourages girls and young women to think that thinness begins and ends at a certain size?

I'm way over sixteen--old enough (she says, sucking her gums) to remember when Kate Moss was a scandal, she was so skinny. Is it really like that now, for young women? I mean, is a size 2 (say) seen as normal and a size 8 or 10 fat? Are we that fucked up? And how the hell did we get here?

fondue with cheddar

@Mingus_Thurber True, dress size is not an indicator of healthy weight. I've known skinny women who put on weight and were still skinny relative to the general population, but you could tell that they were above the weight that is ideal for them. I've also known women who society would judge as overweight but are healthy and active. There are so many different body types and so many nuances. I hate how society puts people in "acceptable" and "unacceptable" categories based upon arbitrary numbers.


@fondue with cheddar Agreed. I mean, I was an athlete in high school, but I'm tall, and solid, and I'm just not made to be skinny. Like, my KNEES are too big for that, even. I think there IS a lot of pressure on teenagers these days to conform to "ideal" (read: skinny) body types, and I think part of what feeds the hype is all of the vanity sizing. If the Gap decides to size everything up, and create a size 00, then *that* is what someone who is struggling to fit her own body in to society's sense of self-worth is using as the ruler. Urgh, I don't even know. I don't think this is the Gap's fault, but wtf, mainstream American fashion??

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia Yeah, why can't our sizes be based in reality like men's clothing? INCHES...THEY ARE A THING WE CAN USE.


@fondue with cheddar My pants are in three different sizes. The other day, my husband said, "hey, if I were to buy you something, what size would you be?" and I spent 5 minutes going, "well, it depends on the store. Usually a 10, but if it runs really big, then that might not fit, but some stores a 12, particularly if it's sports stuff, and underwear has a different sizing chart, so you'll have to ask the lady working, and usually a medium, but sometimes a large, if it looks small..."

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia Haha, I've had the same conversation with my boyfriend about sizing. He had NO IDEA what a mess women's sizing was, and he thought I was overreacting until I started explaining in detail and taking him shopping with me. He's still learning!


@fondue with cheddar Ahaha, oh this. I look back at myself and go "oh god, I was SO THIN!" My metabolism slowed down in my twenties and, you know, I don't have my teenage body anymore. Which is fine because I traded it for some wisdom, but damn, teenage self, you were one good-lookin' person! I hate society for blinding you to the fact.

Not that thin = good looking. I just thought I was fat/ugly/unloveable as a teenager, and I was none of those things (and the first two don't = the last, either).


@Ophelia Yes! My boyfriend casually asked what dress size I wore, and I explained that it was usually anywhere from A to C, sometimes B, sometimes D in pants, and if the clothes were old/vintage it might be different too, because the dress I was wearing was a G but fit like a modern B... I felt bad for a second that I was being complicated and then remembered that I wasn't the guilty party.


@Mingus_Thurber Haha, I totally stopped reading at "I am overweight (size 8)." NO THANK YOU I AM DONE NOW BYE.


that is a brilliant explanation.@a


"Sixteen is better than fourteen but not as good as seventeen, generally speaking" is the new title for the Judy Blume-style coming-of-age novel I have decided to write just now, so thanks, Nicole!


@melis Sure the title's a little unwieldy but that won't stop me from being first in line at the book signing.



I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Gertrude I like this so much that I may never eat delicious octopus again.

fondue with cheddar

@Gertrude Every time I see this, a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mKIuZ4tIzk">the octopus .


@Gertrude I want to make this into a button, a little animated button, that I can wear always.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Mingus_Thurber I've already used it on Facebook for people asking questions about how a ballot works.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I work with a lot of residents (the MDs-in-training kind) and have a feeling I would be using the NOPEtopus button ALL THE DAMN TIME.


@Mingus_Thurber NOPEtopus <3 <3 <3

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Is there any way we could get this same gif, but with Amy Poehler's face plastered on the octopus somehow, and it would say "Knope Knope Knope" instead?


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose OH MY GOD YES

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Being a decade out of this type of thing, I always want to tell teenagers that it really won't matter in the future who side-eyed you in high school, so go and ask that boy out! But, interacting with teenagers, it's hard to get them to acknowledge time exists beyond Two Weeks from Now.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

So true!
Telling a teenager "living well is the best revenge" and/or "you will not be able to remember these people's names in two or three years" is just a waste of energy.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I actually maintained a lot of sanity with the reasoning One day you will go to America and no one will make fun of you for looking foreign because everyone looks foreign.

You will have lasting psychological effects, but everyone does, this is how people make friends was the unexpected part.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Bloodrocuted We are damaged together! (I'm pretty sure that's on the Statue of Liberty.) Where did you come from, if you don't mind me asking?


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose My ten-year high school reunion is in two weeks! And while I'm sure some people might side-eye me and whisper about how fat I've gotten, I give literally no fucks about them. I'm going to see the friends I still talk to that are going, catch up with people I haven't seen in ages, and generally be devastatingly fabulous.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose It needs to be on there, at least in graffiti.
I came from Japan. My father was Japanese, but my mother is Scandinavian. I look similar to my mother, and people in my hometown were very xenophobic.
Everyone is so nice in America.
With second thoughts, I agree it is hard to believe. It's like waking up from a bad dream saying "it was just a nightmare". You know it on a shallow, intellectual level and not a deep, emotional level.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Bloodrocuted Hmmmm. I'm sorry you were mistreated in your hometown. That blows. Aside from that huge issue, what prompted you to come to the states? I'm just curious because you seem like you're either involved with some interesting research or in some very interesting classes.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@anachronistique You're a better person than I am; I fully intend on ignoring my upcoming 10-year reunion because I am already in touch with the people I liked.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh, thank you.
I inherited a small vacation home in America, from my father's will. I have to wait until I'm 25 to access it, but it made America seem good to go to, and I wanted to leave Japan. Other reasons were: diversity, burgers for $5, and snow.
I did not expect psychology classes to be so interesting. I'm glad you think so, too!
Hopefully, I did not talk about myself too much here.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Bloodrocuted Ha, I think you're just fine. Burgers are an excellent plus, and so is snow. I hope you get everything you're hoping for!


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I asked a boy out in Middle School! He said no! I nearly died! I have NOT FORGOTTEN ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I try to do one fabulous thing every single day just so that if we ever meet up again he will fall in love with me and I will turn him down this time.

The end.

I mean, yadda yadda I survived, life, blah blah, lessons important, etc but defeat IS crushing when you are young.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@E Well, sure, defeat is tough. But it's all about how you respond to the defeat that defines who you are. Take me for example: In high school, I would write (bad) poetry about it. Now, I just cry and make ill-advised purchases, like airplane tickets to faraway places.


you COULD NOT PAY ME to go back to being sixteen. i didn't even deal with boy-drama, just regular-life drama, and it was still horrendous. you don't know anything about anything, but you think you know it all, and teenagers are THE WORST, and everything is the end of the world and dear god. i am going to be a great auntie when the kidlets get to this stage, because oh, i remember, and it was awful.


@karenb I actually wouldn't mind reliving the teenage years, if AND ONLY IF I kept all of my knowledge that nothing is the end of the world and everyone* is terrible because they all feel so terrible about themselves too.

*maybe not everyone, but a lot, I think.

Blackwatch Plaid

@professionalmess I tell myself that, but I think being dumped back into the stupidity and cattiness of highschool would crack my resolve within about 10 minutes.

for realsy

@karenb awww 16 was falling in love and stressing over homework and wondering about LIFE and THE FUTURE and making really tough decisions about whether to eat french fries or chips for lunch. Scoring beer for the weekend and staying out past curfew and wearing pleather pants. There's a lot I did at 15/16 that I can't or won't or shouldn't do now, but man I enjoyed the hell out of it.


@professionalmess Have you never seen Never Been Kissed? It will always be awful!


The thought of Asking Out A Boy would have been totally unfathomable/terrifying to me. In like, university. And a few years after university.

So yeah, forget high school. Just forget it right out the door.


@redheaded&crazie I'm a brazen hussy, so I asked my friend Dave to junior prom. He agreed, with the condition that we go to McDonalds in our formalwear. Seemed reasonable at the time, seems AWESOME now.


@redheaded&crazie I think the first time I asked a boy (heh, "boy") out I was 28. And it still made me crazy nervous.


@redheaded&crazie I didn,t go to prom with the dear, lovely boy I had the hugest crush on from grade 10-12 (and who definitely liked me back in grade 12) because i was too shy to ask him and my best friend wasn't :(


@slutberry I didn't ask my best guy friend who I was in love with to prom because I figured if he didn't ask me first he didn't appreciate me to be deserving of that status.

I may have been celibate for many years and miserable about it, but at least I had my self-worth intact.


@redheaded&crazie Isn't it amazing how much time can change? I was TERRIFIED of rejection up until I was maybe 21. I had never dated anyone or been out on a date or told anyone I had a crush on him. Then in college I had a HUGE, huge crush on this guy who lived in my dorm. I stewed over it for almost two years, during which he started dating someone, and when they broke up, I finally got it up to tell him that I liked him - at the time this was, like, my bravest moment ever. (Sidebar, it took place on 4/20 and I subsequently got high for the second time ever.) He respectfully declined, and I thereby got over him. After about a year, I had zero fear of rejection and now I ask people out/tell them I'm into them ALL the time. Like Wayne Gretzky says - you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take! I faithfully live my life by this philosophy, now.

Pocket Witch

@slutberry I do the too-shy thing. I also firmly believe that I don't really want/need/care to have a relationship, so I'm pretty happy. Although I do sometimes wonder what, exactly, I'm missing. I might also be lying to myself, so there's that.


Pretty sure so many girls were too shy because our media always glorified (with protagonists) and rewarded (with hot dudes) shy girls. There was never a shy, mean girl, and plots usually revolved around @itiresias's logic that if you're Good enough, opportunities will come to you. Therefore, if you seek out opportunities, you're probably not Good after all.
Patriarchy keeping ladies' desires under wraps etc.


@Inkling I asked a dude out for the first time a couple weeks ago, and I am 27. I was still shaking like a leaf, and felt absurdly proud of myself after. And it didn't go past the first date, but now that I have cleared the hurdle of asking AND having it not work out, I feel invincible!


@SarahDances lady, I congratulate you. I have been asking men out for some time now, and it is generally awesome, except when it isn't. But it also means that when there is no dating, I can't exclusively blame the menz.

Miss Maszkerádi

Totally Not the Issue At Hand but why was it captioned "puppy love"? Isn't that for, like, kids pretending to have crushes on each other in first grade? Not almost-legally-adult post-pubescent high schoolers?

fuck fuck fuck

@Countess Maritza pretty sure i have experienced puppy love up to age 22.


@fuck fuck fuck - I'm 30, and it still happens from time to time (namely, crisp but pleasant April days. Sigh, winter.)


@leon s I'm 43, and it hasn't stopped yet. As I told my beloved sister when she said she was too old to be having butterflies about the guy she was then dating (now her husband), "If you're too old for butterflies, you're dead."


@Mingus_Thurber - I feel the same way about crayons, rolling down grassy hills, and building blanket forts.


I seriously had the same kinds of concerns as a teenager; that my being chubbier than most of my peers made it way, way, way less likely that anyone could ever find me attractive/dateable.

Anna Jayne@twitter

@SarahP I'm still a little surprised when someone wants to bone me, even though I'm totally awesome


@SarahP Yeah, I was skinny though, I just thought I was totally hideous and logically no human would ever want to be in close proximity to me. And all my friends made fun of how boyish my body was, specifically how my ass was practically concave. High school sucks.

@Anna Jayne@twitter Yup.


@Anna Jayne@twitter Aw, hugs! I got myself some confidence in the past few years, and I just wish I could send even half of it back to little teenage me. She didn't know she was so awesome!


I'm 32 and still worry about this sh*t. IT DOESN'T GET BETTER!


@Slutface I still worry about rejection, but I don't worry about rejection ruining my social life, or about being unable to escape a ruined social life, and even if it did ruin my social life I could find a new social circle or, if I needed to, start over in a new town, or just be a loner for couple years until everything changed and I could start over, none of which I could do when I was 16. Also, I have a bunch of emotional tools and support networks that it didn't and couldn't have back then, because they all required multiple years and bad experiences to build up. IT GETS SOMEWHAT BETTER! (even if it kinda gets worse first)

Queen of Pickles

@Slutface I didn't date anyone in high school. At all. Not even kissed. Had bad self-esteem, bad body image.

Then I met a bunch of wonderful friends in college, which helped me gain confidence, but what really burned the body-hate out of me for once and for all was going on a vacation with an eating-disordered friend and watching her lose 20 pounds in a month. In my head, there was a little voice - "You could do this too if you wanted! Nobody's here to stop you..." and then I realized, actually, fuck that noise, I like my imperfect body, and fuck anyone who doesn't like it either. It was a visceral, rather than intellectual, realization. That was seven years ago.

I ask out dudes; they ask me out; I get rejected; I reject them; sometimes we both say yes and have lovely sexytimes. I'm 28, and this isn't an attempt to put anyone down who's still dealing with this shit (it is so pervasive) but don't settle for less because IT TOTALLY CAN GET BETTER


@Slutface Same here. And the awful part is, when I was sixteen I weighed like 100 pounds and still thought I was fat. Now I'm definitely a lot more than 100 pounds and I want to give my teenage self a kick in the pants.

Flora Poste

16 is horrible. I liked this boy, and so did my "friend" but we never really admitted it to each other. Then on sports day, this other girl had to do a race or something, and she left us to look after her phone. I read her texts (not proud of this but... 16?) and she had been texting him asking him if he didn't like me because I was "too skinny"! So there you have it, opposite body image problem, same terrible end result of shitty self esteem. Oh what a breeze 22 is in comparison!


@Flora Poste texting! at 16! thank goodness this was not available to me. It's bad enough now, and I'm 31.


Size 8...overweight?! Pardon me while my head explodes.


@likethestore Maybe she's 36" tall?


@Ophelia "36-24-26? Maybe if she's 5'3"."

maybe partying will help

I hope she asks the guy out and they go see Skyfall and make out during the sexy bits and ALL IS WELL. Goddammit I just want to give her a hug.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@maybe partying will help May their hands be only sort of sweaty when they awkwardly hold hands, and may their theater seats be in the extra dark parts for maximum make-out-ability. Amen.


@maybe partying will help The sexy bits, AKA every minute Daniel Craig is on screen?


If that one person really has a sex addiction problem good on them for getting help, but if sleeping with 25 people is the benchmark for sex addition, I...uh...uh oh.


@katiemcgillicuddy I wanted to give her a hug too! Her family was fairly obviously TOTALLY HORRIBLE. I mean, if she (who seems to be a grown-ass woman) feels compelled to confess to her sexual doings to her family because they deserve to know that she has been having sex and that's not how they raised her -- if she can't handle having a smidgen of privacy and autonomy in her personal life without overwhelming guilt -- then I suspect her family is EVIL.


@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails I agree with your diagnosis of "evil". She sounds like one of these sad souls who ends up joining "Dirty Girl Ministries" and shit like that. And if you aren't aware of that little outfit, well, look it up and prepare to be perplexed/angry/sad.


@katiemcgillicuddy Seriously, I read that and my jaw dropped. Oh, honey.


@katiemcgillicuddy That was where my mind went, too. I suspect she was brought up with the "touching yourself means you'll never find a nice husband to love you" perspective.


@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails Ugh, god, they make me saaaaaad.


@katiemcgillicuddy I feel sad that something this person, and other people, enjoyed at the time, is now a source of anxiety and guilt. That's the problem, not the (totally inconsequential) number of sex partners.


@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails UGH I went to Catholic school until 6th grade. Our sex ed that year was conducted in Religion class, by a nun, and basically consisted of her showing us a series of videos. One of the things in the videos was that masturbation is bad, because it "turns all of your love in on yourself so you can't love other people." BLEHBLEHBLEHBLEH


@katiemcgillicuddy Argggghhhh! Who are these women?! And where are they getting their statistics from?! 40% of internet pornography is made by women?!?! Says who?! And what was it, 75% of women hide their online activity from their friends?!

Also, what constitutes 'sexual addiction'?? If you can't leave the house to go to work or eat or sleep because you literally can't stop fucking all day....that might be a problem. Anything less is just....high-five worthy


@dollguts Ugh, they have girls as young as ELEVEN come to their meetings. Just ????? NOT GOOD. The whole thing is terrible. Yeah, it's a problem when something is interfering with your life, but they have decided something is a problem when it's...enjoyable? I can' even imagine how stressful their days and nights must be, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.


@katiemcgillicuddy I love the Freudian slip/typo here. 'My problem is really with sex addition - I just keeping adding other people onto my tally. If only I could do sex subtraction instead.'


@FickleMoon HA! You know, I noticed it yesterday and meant to mention it, but I guess I got distracted. Thank you for pointing it out! Haha, I have to say, your comment made me laugh pretty hard at the end of a long, stupid day, so thank you:)


Thankfully, no one in the Slate comment section has posted anything terrible. They've all said, "But... size 8 isn't fat." Score one for humanity!


@heliotropegerbil8 When I looked earlier there was one person delivering a lecture on the topic of Teenagers Are So Shallow And Vain, I Myself Care Only About Alleviating The Suffering Of Others, but mostly people were telling them to shut up, which was nice.


@Elsajeni Oh wow. Good for him/her for being the one person in human history who has achieved adulthood without going through puberty first.


@heliotropegerbil8 I don't think you read far enough down in that comments section because there were a whole lot of folks talking about how size 8 is totally fat and teenage girls need to stay on top of being skinny if they want anyone to love them and all kinds of other nasty stuff I don't even want to remember reading. Generally speaking, the only thing worse than Prudie's advice are the comments.


@Jinxie Oh god no! Nevermind, Humanity. Your point has been rescinded.


Anyone else disagree with Prudie telling the woman who caught her sister-in-law snorting coke ONCE that the sister-in-law "has a serious problem?"

I mean, I guess a *truly* recreational user might abstain when small children around, but I know many people who say the same about alcohol...


@klemay agree with you, disagree with prudie. no further comment.


@klemay Alcohol is legal, for one. Bringing an illegal drug into someone else's home and doing it around children is not okay.


@likethestore oops. i didn't actually read the question or the answer, just this comment.


@Leanne i think i've just summed up all of the world's problems by stating i didn't read even ONE THING and still formed an opinion.


@klemay Yeah, shes speculating pretty wildly there with, "serious problem". And eh, yeah, maybe not around the kids, guys, but calm down Prudie.


@klemay The brother-in-law says his wife takes it about once a month, though. I'm scared of cocaine and haven't tried it, but that seems like a lot to me, especially given that people tend to understate those estimates (my roommate says she smokes "1 or 2 cigarettes a month," and it's actually 1 or 2 packs...doesn't seem like a big deal to her, but she undershoots).

I also thought it was weird that bro-in-law was speaking for his wife, and that he says HE would "never let his wife do drugs while they were responsible for our children." But that is probably a whole 'nother issue.

all the bacon and eggs

@klemay Prudie is always...well...prudish about drug AND alcohol use (not that I wouldn't disapprove of someone doing coke at a kids' party too!).


@katiemcgillicuddy ok now I read it and my original opinion stands. keep it away from the kids, but this is a far cry from a serious problem.


@likethestore Yeah, my main issue with this would be, I don't want anyone bringing anything illegal into my home without me knowing about it. I want to be the one who decides what, if any, illegal activities go on in my house.

fondue with cheddar

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails Yeah, self-reporting is always dubious, but it's still a leap to say that she has a serious problem. That may or may not be true. But I think most people would agree that bringing illegal drugs into someone's home without permission, doing drugs at a kids' party, and doing drugs while taking care of children are all wrong.


@Elsajeni @fondue with cheddar Sure, I agree on those points, I just think both the LW and Prudence definitely overreacted.


@klemay : I dunno. There's this quote,"My brother-in-law and his wife say she only uses coke recreationally, maybe once a month, to have a little extra fun." which seems to be at odds with the idea that the sister-in-law was snorting coke at an all-ages Halloween party. I mean, what's a 'little extra fun' going to look like there? Really enthusiastic apple bobbing? From the context, I would guess that this lady's definition of 'recreational' is 'anywhere I can recreate this great feeling'.


@fondue with cheddar That's fair -- serious problem is probably a stretch. For me, once a month plus at a kids' party would be enough to give me serious reservations about watching my children, but that would be more about me thinking she lacks judgment and less about thinking she was deep in an addiction. Y'all are right, SERIOUS PROBLEM is probably a stretch.

p.s. statement of bias: I am scared of hard drugs. Addiction is in my genes, so my mindset is that any amount of cocaine is serious.


@klemay I agree it's an overreaction-- I mean, probably not the best decision to take your cocaine with you, but...she WAS snorting it in the bathroom, right? It's not like she was cutting up lines on the coffee table while handing out Halloween candy.


Yeah I'm of two minds. I don't think doing coke once a month is a big deal. But, I also wouldn't do it in someone else's house? Or if I did, I wouldn't get caught? And definitely not at a mixed-age family party? I don't know, to be honest, I think that doing it in a setting that seems so incongruous with party drugs maybe actually IS a little bit of a red flag - though I don't think there's any reason to believe she doesn't really do it just once a month. Who knows.


@kinbarichan You could make the same argument about alcohol though-- what "extra fun" does alcohol add to a mixed-age family party? I think people forget that alcohol is a drug and don't question certain behaviors that often become A Problem when it's an illegal substance instead.

I mean, I don't do coke, but sometimes I think I'd have to in order to keep up with some of the children I know. Good lord.

fondue with cheddar

@klemay Exactly. I like to smoke pot occasionally, and I have a few family members will go out for "a walk" after holiday dinners. I just don't want to do that and come back to hang out with my parents, grandparents, nieces and nephews. It would definitely not add extra fun.


I am 20 years old. I am a virgin. It's not because I'm saving myself for marriage or have made some religious choice. I've had boyfriends, but I just never felt ready in the past. It used to not bother me, but in the last year an overwhelming number of my friends have lost their virginity in a variety of different situations. In a hot-air balloon. While spelunking. In a mansion on Christmas eve while snowed in with a handsome suitor. Trapped in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel.

fondue with cheddar

@Decca If they're trapped in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel, can they go back and try again without choosing the "have sex" option to see what would happen?


@fondue with cheddar Or see how many other options will get them to the "have sex" option?


@Decca Ew, spelunking doesn't only mean caves, I had a bad image for a second there

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@Decca Meh. You do you, girlfriend, (heh) and then later you can do whomever you choose. Your body, your choice.

Also, I feel like your friends are part of some weird Dr. Seuss book. "You can lose it in a house; you can lose it near a mouse. You can lose it in a cave; or do it in the air, you're not gravity's slave."


I wrote to Prudie and told her I was not reading her anymore as her topics had gotten so sleazy and sensationalist. About a year and a half ago. To her credit, she wrote a reply to me.
Maybe she should write for Jezebel.


@Myrtle I'm not sure I could handle having so much of my hate-reading in one spot.


Here's the thing though: I, too, was overweight at size 8 -- maybe by about 15lbs or so. Bodies are different, and different people fit into different sizes. But at size 8 I was most definitely self-conscious, and most definitely in a BMI range that was considered overweight. It happens, you guys.


@phillybelle Whether or not this girl is overweight, or what constitues being "overweight" isn't the point. As I see it, and I think I'm not alone here, the issue is more that the girl (and so many other people) feels she is unlovable or undeserving of relationships because her body doesn't conform to a socially-acceptable size or shape. That's what I find so sad.

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@Jinxie There's more than one issue here. One is what you just said, the other is that the size/weight that is healthy for different people varies wildly.

When she gets older she will realize that there are plenty of men who like women with soft, squooshy boddies. I'm fortunate enough to have learned this through lots of experience. :)


@fondue with cheddar Agree 100 % -- there's multiple things (sad things) going on here.


God, I just want to tell her to be bold as possible. Ask for what you want! Say what you feel! One thing I do like is that she is ready to ask him out, she just needs an extra push of confidence. I would get crap from my (girl)friends and more conservative family members for asking out boys in high school because I was a girl. It was super confusing and frustrating, because it was me saying what I want, but apparently only the "most beautiful, confident women" should do that sort of thing. And this would happen in college -- undergrad and grad school (where I am now) too!

I think it's because of the socialization that ladies getting rejected means they're UGLY and DUMB (like, how dare you consider yourself worthy!!), and it's already scary to put yourself out there when you feel pressure to break the heteronormative narrative too. What I'm saying is HOORAY FOR LADIES ASKING DUDES OUT! (Obviously also for ladies asking ladies out too...but if that didn't happen, nothing would ever get started...)


My unsexy advice: Take a calculated risk -- has this boy ever complimented your appearance or in any other way suggest that he doesn't care about your size (ideally not framed in a "I don't think you're fat" way but in a "you look awesome. period" way)? Have you seen him interact with his friends, and do they seem the bro-y type? If no, then I would proceed, perhaps with the suggestion of hanging out for a duration shorter than movie length, and going from there. you might also want to wait until right before Thanksgiving break so in case it goes south then you have a few days away from school to cool off. Good luck!!!

tea tray in the sky.

I don't think that advising her to proceed with the caveat of him having complimented her appearance or his friends not being the "bro-type" is the most helpful approach.


Ugh, I'm 30 and I still feel like this. sad times.


I called and asked out a boy in high school and to this day (married, 30) I think it was one of the ballsiest things I've ever done. He said no. It was awkward. BUT -- 2 or 3 years later, post-graduation, he told me he'd always regretted saying no!

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hmm so thats the problem. I think it would be better if you know him deeper or maybe you can make him to ask you go out first. Be confident. By the way how are you now? are u his girlfriend?


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