Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 26
Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle, Flashes of Brilliance*.
Hey Doctor Joe,
So I have this huge crush on my best friend’s sister, I wrote her poems in different languages. When I told him that I like her he smiled at me (what does that mean?).Then he started telling me that I should stay away from her and never speak to her again. I was sad(of course), so he started to comfort me by telling jokes. What is he trying to say? Is he trying to say that I should ask her out or stay away from her? Please help me.
P.S. I’m thirteen and in middle school
Dear I’m Desperate.
Let me first of all say that I personally cannot remember that much from before my twentieth birthday, possibly because I was hungover but I can’t be too sure from such a remove, so what advice I shall provide will be solely from my adult experience. Take from it what you will.
Sisters are in my experience like having a first edition Star Wars figurine. You’re not going to play with it and you’re sure as hell not going to allow anybody else to play with it. Best friend or not, sisters are off limits, inviolate and dangerous to boot. That you have not just suffered a bout of amateur dentistry is a sign indeed of how much of a friend you have there as are the jokes to let you down gently. But still, the rule stands. You my friend, are playing with fire.
What you haven’t told me however is how the sister has reacted herself to all this. You tell me you have a crush on her, you tell me you write her love poetry (and multilingual to boot, a good scheme if it works), but you do not tell me if she has said anything to you. Has she talked to you? Has she given you the time of day? Does she hide in bushes as you approach? All of these matter because, in a free world anyway, it is what the lady decides that counts. He brother can rant and rave, even threaten violence, but if the girl truly wants to see you, nothing will get in the way of that and if she is happy with you, he will and must back down. To do otherwise will invoke the wrath of a teenage girl, I know battles hardened soldiers who quake at that possibility.
If it is unrequited however, she is well within her rights to call in her brother and hell or high water you are going straight for a beating, deservedly so. She may be too polite to tell you to get lost but rest assured there are ways she can let you know. Death threats for example.
It is not going to be easy Mr Desperate, anything worth it seldom is. Your friend may say “stay away” but that is unlikely to mean you will never see her again. If you still go to his house, you are likely to run into her every now and again. Try and strike up conversation (no more poetry for the time being, there is a time and a place for that) and gauge her reaction. If there is nothing, leave it at that and move on, there are plenty of fish in the sea. If she seems interested (not just polite, there is a difference), proceed with caution.
You worry about your friend and truly if you do this your friendship may well be at risk. If the sister is happy he may be forced for accept it but he may never truly like it. I personally wouldn’t care, I would sell my own grandmother for a shot at the perfect woman (and have, miss you granny!). But what to risk and how far to go are choices we all must make in this game of life.
In truth; each situation is different and only you are truly capable of judging it.
All the best and good luck,
*Editors note: Amongst hours of dull tedium.
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