Dear Annie: I am a boy in junior high school. I recently went to a social event for kids my age. While there, a girl spilled the beans that she has had a major crush on me for more than a year. We see each other often at school. I was shocked. She asked to hold my cellphone and then put her number into my contacts.
Here’s the problem. I don’t like this girl at all, but I’m getting tons of texts from her daily. No matter how hard I try to distance myself and let this one-sided relationship die, she keeps coming back.
Annie, I have tried not responding, deleting her from my contacts, etc. I don’t want to break her heart, because I’m not that kind of guy. This is the first time anything like this has happened to me, and it’s starting to stress me out. I’m having nightmares about her.
All advice from my parents to shake her has failed. Can you help?
— Not a Heartbreaker
Dear Not: Sometimes you can’t avoid breaking a heart. Be kind, not cruel, and take solace in knowing you behaved like a gentleman. Tell this girl as kindly as possible that you aren’t interested in a romantic relationship. Say that you’re sorry things didn’t work out the way she wanted, but she must stop texting because it makes you feel that she is stalking you. You cannot control her response. She may cry, be angry or even continue to text. Do not respond. It will take a while before she gives up, so be sure not to give false encouragement by engaging her in conversation, even negatively. Be totally neutral and uninterested. And patient.
Dear Annie: My uncle is a tax attorney. Recently, the whole family was together for lunch, and we happened to talk about my job as a special-ed teacher. I asked my uncle, “If the boss declares bankruptcy, who gets paid first — the employees, landlord or lender?”
Before my uncle could respond, my mother said, “You don’t ask lawyers for free legal advice.” I replied that no one seems to mind asking me for expertise. My aunt insisted that it is different because my uncle is an attorney, and my mother agreed with her. I pointed out that my grandfather, an accountant, often gave free professional advice.
So, let me ask you, Annie. If my uncle were a chef, would it be wrong to ask how long spices keep their freshness? Or the best way to cook a steak? People ask me stuff all the time pertaining to how to handle kids. Why is it that lawyers are sacrosanct, but all other professionals are fair game?
— Not a Lawyer
Dear Not: We don’t believe this is true. We think in your household, your mother and aunt expect lawyers to hand you a bill for professional advice. (It may even have happened with your uncle, the tax attorney.) People ask lawyers, doctors, teachers, cooks and other professionals for free advice all the time. How they handle that is up to them. Most don’t mind a quick, simple question, but more than that can be irritating, making the professional feel that you are taking advantage of them.
Dear Annie: “Lonely in My Heart” was upset that she cannot search for her biological parents until she is 18. Please tell her that another option is to contact her legislators and discuss changing the law regarding the age at which she can get information. It is nice when youngsters learn the legislative process through writing and rallying for change.
None of us is helpless. We all can work to change legislation. Indeed, one “lonely” person might enhance the lives of many “lonely” people.
— Fremont, Wis.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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