DR. WALLACE: I have an unusual problem and I really would appreciate hearing your advice. I graduated from high school in June. I'm 19 years old and have a really good job with my grandfather's company. I'm a Chicago Cubs fan and about two months ago I went to a game with a couple of buddies and I met a really nice girl who was seated next to us with her girlfriends. We all got acquainted and even though this girl lives about 60 miles from me we started to date and I have really gotten to like her a lot. When we met I told her I was 19 and she said she was also 19 and she looked like it, too.
I have always driven to Rockford for our dates, but she drove down to see me for our last date and I took her out for a movie and dinner. We were talking about college and I told her I was thinking about night classes because I had a good job with my grandfather. During the conversation, she told me that she was really 23 instead of 19 and that she had been afraid that she would scare me away if she told me her real age. She also said that she had graduated from the University of Illinois and would be teaching second grade at a school in Rockford.
I'm a real "food-a-holic," but I was so surprised that I couldn't even finish my meal. I congratulated her on her new job and told her I would drive up to see her soon.
I have been giving this a lot of thought and would like to hear your advice on whether I should continue seeing her, or whether I should find someone closer to my own age. Please answer soon so I will be able to make a good decision. - Nameless, Chicago, Ill. P.S.: I want to hear your advice, but it doesn't mean that I will take it.
NAMELESS: I always advocate teens dating teens close to their own age — that is, while they are still in school. When both parties are at least 18 and out of high school, age difference isn't that important. I think you should continue to date this young lady as long as you both enjoy each other's company.
IT DOESN'T TAKE INTELLIGENCE TO BECOME A PARENT
DR. WALLACE: I'm a 12-year-old girl and was reading your column about the girl who was asked to light cigarettes for her mom. She was very upset and didn't like it.
My 18-year-old sister asks me to light cigarettes for her all the time, but I enjoy it. In fact, I've already learned how to suck the smoke into my lungs. My friend says that I'm already a smoker and that I'm probably already hooked on nicotine. Is this possible? I hope not. — Margo, Phoenix, Ariz.
MARGO: If you enjoy sucking smoke into your lungs and look forward to doing it again, there is a good chance that you are, indeed, addicted to nicotine. There is a good way to prove that you aren't. Refuse to put another cigarette into your mouth. And shame on your sister for introducing you to tobacco!
Where were your parents when you were "sucking smoke into your lungs"? I'm 100 percent positive they observed your obnoxious "habit." Allowing you to light your lazy sister's cigarettes proves that it doesn't take intelligence to become a parent.
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. 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.