DR. WALLACE: I'm 14 and I'm not allowed to date until I'm 15. My best friend is having a birthday party and has invited both boys and girls. After the party, her parents are inviting all the kids to a pizza parlor for pizza and soft drinks.
One of the boys who will be at the event is someone I really like, and he likes me. My parents know this and do not want me to attend the pizza parlor because they say that since this boy will be there, it amounts to a date.
I really feel ripped off. This is really not a date! Sixteen kids and my best friend's parents will all be there.
I'd like to hear your opinion and maybe my parents will listen to you. Please hurry, because the party is in two weeks. — Nameless, San Antonio, Tex.
NAMELESS: I agree with you. The "pizza fest" should not be considered to be a date, and your parents would be making a mistake by not allowing you to enjoy a birthday party for your best friend.
Sixteen teens and chaperone parents will ensure that you shall return home safe and sound after having an enjoyable time with your peers.
IT'S AN INVASION OF PRIVACY
DR. WALLACE: I'm 14 and live with my mother and stepfather. My parents were divorced two years ago and mom married my stepfather three months ago. I have no feelings one way or another about him. I don't really like him, but I don't hate him, either.
But there is one thing that he does that really bothers me. When I'm in my bedroom, many times he will open the door and walk right in, "just to see what I'm doing." I'm never doing anything wrong, but it bugs me that I don't have a little privacy.
When I complained to my mom, she just laughed and said my stepfather never had any children of his own and he was just getting a little "on the job" training. I don't see it that way. I see it as an invasion of my privacy. Do you agree? — Nameless, Goshen, Ind.
NAMELESS: I agree with you 100 percent. He'll get his "on the job" training during the normal course of daily life. Part of that training should also involve learning how to respect boundaries. He should never enter your bedroom — ever — without knocking and receiving your permission to enter. Make sure your mother reads this column, and I'm sure she will agree.
I'M A FLIRTY KIND OF GIRL
DR. WALLACE: I'm going steady with a nice guy. My problem is that when I'm out with him, I flirt with other guys, and this makes him mad. I told him I didn't care if he flirted with other girls when we're together. But he never does.
Since I've given him the same opportunity, do you think it's all right if I flirt? I'm just a "flirty" kind of person. It's not that it's obscene to flirt! Or is it? — Curious, Lake Charles, La.
CURIOUS: Flirting can be a wonderful pastime, but not when one is out on a date!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.