DR. WALLACE: Lisa and I are best friends during the school year, and we sign up for the same classes together and we also join the same clubs. In fact, I'm president of the French Club and Lisa is the secretary, so we do a lot of school activities together. It's the same on the weekends because we generally do things together like going to movies, and going to the local shopping mall.
During summer vacation, it's like we aren't even friends any more. I hardly ever see her, and if I call her she's always too busy to do things with me. She has several cousins who visit her family during summer, and she spends nearly all of her time doing things with them. I feel like if she was really my best friend she would include me, at least once in a while, with her activities.
I'm an only child and my parents both work, so all I do in summer is watch television and clean up my room. My summers are pretty lonely, but I've got the cleanest and neatest room in Iowa! Sometimes I feel like telling Lisa to get lost because she really isn't my best friend. In fact, she doesn't seem to be much of a friend at all! What can I do? — Connie, Des Moines, Iowa.
CONNIE: It's time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and start becoming active. Watching television and cleaning your room all day, every day, can become very depressing. Volunteer your time. Local hospitals and nursing homes can use your talents. Call other acquaintances and see if you can arrange a social event. Develop a hobby. (Collecting things, for instance, can be a lot of fun and sometimes profitable, as well.)
The problem with having only one close friend is that you become isolated when that friend can't be with you. When school begins in September, work hard to make additional friends. Don't spend all your spare time with Lisa. Join activities that don't include her. The same with classes. Take some electives without Lisa. She is still a good friend, but it's time to invite more friends into your life. What would you have done if Lisa had moved away? Pretend that she has!
SORRY FOR THE SMALL LECTURE
DR. WALLACE: I smoke pot occasionally (no lectures please) and at the same time I have a few beers (no lecture please). When I'm "feeling good" I'm never driving a car. My girlfriend, who does not smoke (pot) or drink (alcohol) is always my designated driver. Smoking pot while having a few beers has never caused me a health problem. My girlfriend thinks that mixing alcohol and marijuana can cause a chemical imbalance that can cause a person severe harm. Please tell this beautiful young friend of mine that alcohol and pot together is not a dangerous combination. — Pedro, Laredo, Tex.
PEDRO: Some drugs when used at the same time with alcohol may lead to overdose which can cause a coma, and even death, but marijuana's effects are not enhanced when combined with alcohol. However, the effects of marijuana are likely to be longer in duration when combined with alcohol.
But remember (sorry for the very small lecture), both marijuana and alcohol are drugs, and once they enter the body, the system must work overtime to remove these impurities. It's a medical fact that long-term use of both alcohol and marijuana can lead to physical complications. Using only one is not good, but using both at the same time is downright unwise!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually in this column, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail 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.