I believe my daughter is applying to a college (a good college, I’ll admit) based on its proximity to the college her boyfriend goes to. Of course it’s not hard for me to read the tea leaves and confidently predict that in a year or two, these two will no longer be dating. I would never say this to my daughter, of course.
But I would think about sabotaging her chances of getting into this college! I know, bad dad. But I seriously think she is making a big mistake that she will come to regret. Should I sabotage? I have some connections to the aforementioned college and don’t think it would be that difficult…
Good intention, bad idea?
You are actually the only parent on the face of the earth that is hoping his kid doesn’t get into a good school! You’re the exact opposite of the college admissions scandal! What Mossimo Giannulli wouldn’t give to be you right now! As long as he could keep his Italian loafers, of course.
To answer your question, I would say no, you should not sabotage your daughter’s chances of getting into said school for a variety of reasons. First of all, secrets are poison, they’re rarely kept and when this one comes out, she will rightly have a tsunami of anger towards you.
Second, if a parent intervened in every bad decision their kid was about to make, well, not to put too fine a point on it, but the entire species would go extinct. This is how we all learn to make our way in the world, by screwing up. No one ever remembered the test they did well on. But we all remember the test, recital, break up, fender bender, failing grade, missed deadline, fill in the blank, in which we failed, humiliated ourselves, mortified our parents, were wildly embarrassed, etc. This is what makes us compassionate and humble.
Unless you can’t afford that school, in which case you can take it off the list, there is just as good a chance that she will find good friends and stimulating classes there as she will anywhere, with or without Jughead, the boyfriend. I get your impulse, dad, but sit on your hands and bite your tongue and remember, at least she’s not engaged to the guy!
My 10-year reunion is coming up, and I really don’t want to go. I’m not “where I thought I’d be” and my high school experience was OK but not great. Is this something I will regret if I stay home?
Are mean girls still mean?
I have to admit right here and now that the advice you will get from me on this subject is a little one-sided. I am a huge believer in going back to your high school reunions, even if your experience wasn’t great. I mean, if you really, really hated it, maybe not.
But high school reunions are full of fun surprises, even in this day of being able to see everyone you ever knew on social media. I still think it’s different – and better – in person. The guy who groomed his peach fuzz moustachio with Vitalis may now be an adorable carpenter looking to make you some teak bookshelves. The popular girl who called you out for not having UGGs may now be a social worker at a children’s hospital. The theater teacher who played favorites and never cast you may now be, well, dead. You just never know!
The transitions over time are just endlessly fascinating. I think you will find that new connections at the reunion may lead to some new friendships and maybe even potential romance. It’s not uncommon for people to be brought together by their shared past. If nothing else, think of it as collecting material for your future smash hit play/movie/book, “Cheer, cheer, kill New Trier.”
Go with an open mind, low expectations, and maybe a glass of wine (or two) on board (but take an Uber!). Generally speaking, the more time that has passed since high school, the nicer people get. And the good news is that if there are still a few people there who are sad little schmucks, really, who cares anymore?
My daughter needs glasses but absolutely refuses to wear them. We have been to the eye doctor who tried her best to sell her on them, but she is at the age when she is feeling most self-conscious. Ideas?
I had exactly the opposite problem. My child was convinced she needed glasses and desperately wanted a pair. Upon examination the ophthalmologist pulled me aside and said, she doesn’t need glasses because her prescription is so low. It’s practically clear glass. But I can write it for you if you want. I said, I want, I want! Otherwise, I will never hear the end of it! Now, to be fair to my kid, a small difference in a glasses rx can make a big difference to the seer. But still, it was one of those parenting decisions that you blindly guess at, and pray you’re not colossally screwing up. But enough about me!
You’ll want your child to have as much buy-in as possible so you can look for stores with lots of kids frames and plan an outing (that of course needs to include ice cream or pizza or a pair of cheap earrings – bribes can be your best friend and anyone who says they’ve never bribed their kid probably also says they’ve never argued with their spouse – which one of my friends actually told me once! Oh, reeeeaaaaalllly).
If even getting to the store is an issue, make sure she knows that this is not optional, but also, list all the people she loves who wear glasses (Harry Potter, Harriet the Spy, Questlove). In fact, if you google “famous people who wear glasses,” which I just did, just about everyone you know will pop up. They just usually wear contact lenses. So there’s that. Once she starts noticing that people she loves wear glasses, hopefully she will come around. You can also strategically put whatever screen she is on far enough away that she needs them to see her TV shows.
You’ll laugh with her about this later…. if you don’t kill her first.
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at firstname.lastname@example.org.