DR. WALLACE: I'm an 18-year-old guy, and I've never been on a date. It didn't really bother me until lately. I find that it really hurts to always go to a movie alone or to see all the valentines on Valentine's Day and never have anyone to give one to and know I'll never get one, either. I don't know if my attitude is wrong or if it's just shyness or if it's because I'm afraid to be turned down by a girl. I guess what I'm asking is, how do I approach a female without her telling me to get lost? — Nameless, Reno, Nevada
NAMELESS: First, you must understand that it is all right to be turned down for a date. Every guy at one time or another has been told, "Thanks, but no thanks." But they have also heard, "Thanks for asking; I'd love to go out with you." The key is, you've got to ask. I'm positive there are some females who would be thrilled to have your company for an evening. Some of them are sitting at home right now waiting for someone like you to ask them out.
When approaching someone for a possible date, be meticulously clean, well-groomed and neatly dressed. Wear a smile and be super polite. And if the answer is yes, discuss the plans, arrive promptly for the date and always be a gentleman.
Always remember that Babe Ruth holds the record for the most career strikeouts, but he also hit 714 career home runs. He is known for his home runs, not for his strikeouts!
YOUR SWIMMING INSTRUCTOR IS CORRECT
DR. WALLACE: I'm taking swimming lessons with about 20 other younger teens at our high school this summer. Our church sponsors the program. Our lessons are 90 minutes long, starting at 1:30 and ending at 3:00. Our instructor told us not to consume food for at least one hour before swimming for safety reasons. I eat lunch at 12:15, and I don't have any problems while learning to swim. My mom's sister (my aunt) says that she taught swimming 20 years ago and a swimmer should never enter the water for 3 hours after eating. My mom now believes her sister is right, so now I can't eat lunch until my lesson is over. I don't like this. Who is right, my instructor or mom's know-it-all sister? — Nameless, Garden Grove, California
NAMELESS: I allowed our family physician to answer your question and this is his answer. "A stomach requires one hour for oxygen-rich blood to digest food." Your swimming instructor is correct.
YOU ARE NO GENTLEMAN
DR. WALLACE: My girlfriend broke up with me, but before she did, she slapped me across the face just 'cause I told her I was about to dump her because she was getting too fat. That, I'm sure, can be considered physical abuse, and if I press charges, she could be arrested.
Guys get blamed for physical abuse, but girls can also commit that crime. I'm a gentleman, but she is no lady! — George, Miami
GEORGE: I'm not an attorney, so I can't advise you what to do, but telling a young lady that she is getting too fat was unwise and not the kind of talk that should come from a gentleman.
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.