DR. WALLACE: I'm self-conscious about the way I look. My grandmother took me to her doctor, who recommended I see a special surgeon. We then made a visit to the specialist, who told me he could correct my flaw and, in two weeks, I'd have a new, completely healed face. I was thrilled.
But when we told my parents about seeing this doctor, they were all bent out of shape. They said I didn't need corrective surgery and, besides, they didn't have any extra money to pay for it. My grandparents volunteered to foot the bill, but they still refused to let me get my big nose bobbed.
I'm sixteen and can wait until I'm 18 so I can get it done without permission. But I want it done now so I can enjoy my last two years of high school and then the rest of my life. It's no fun never ever being asked on a date by a boy. Would you believe I haven't even been alone with a guy? It's 100 percent true!
What can I do to get my parents to see things my way? I want to feel good about myself. Presently, I don't. — Nameless, Colorado Springs, Colo.
NAMELESS: Have the doctor call your parents and invite them for a consultation, so he can explain the operation as well as the positive effect it's likely to have on your self-esteem. If the specialist is at all persuasive, your parents might become more open to the idea. They'll also have a chance to get their questions answered. I fully understand that this is a big decision for your parents, but I hope they take advantage of your grandparents' generous offer and allow you to feel good about yourself. This is very important for every teenager on this planet!
GET ACTIVE AND START ENJOYING LIFE
DR. WALLACE: Keith and I dated for over a year. We had many good times, but we also fought a lot, even over things that were very minor. About six months ago, we decided to break up. Now he seems to have found a special girl and they are going steady. Since our break-up I've dated several nice guys, but I always end up comparing them to Keith. And, of course, I never find one that compares with him.
Now I'm sorry I didn't do a better job of appreciating Keith and in fact, broke up with him to date this other guy who really didn't measure up. I know we probably won't get back together because when I broke up with him he said that he hated me. Last week my best friend asked him if he still hated me and he told her yes, so I guess I won't be dating him again.
I'm really sorry the way things turned out and I still care for him. What can I do to change things? Help!—- Kelly, Tacoma, Wash.
KELLY: Stay active and continue to date, but stop comparing every guy you go out with to Keith. It will take time for you to stop thinking about him so much, but you will and then you will finally be free of him. It would be a good idea to get together and do things with some of your girlfriends. Stay busy and you won't be thinking about Keith so much. Get active and start enjoying your life!
REFUSE TO BE BRANDED
DR. WALLACE: I'm dating a guy who is known as the "hickey king." It seems that he loves to give a hickey to every girl he dates and says that he has his "brand" on them. They think it's a status symbol.
I know what it looks like and how they got it, but I'm not sure what happens that actually creates a hickey. — Nameless, New Orleans, La.
NAMELESS: A hickey is considered a bruise, which is caused by broken blood vessels. Do yourself a favor and refuse to be branded. A hickey is not a status symbol; it's merely an ugly mark on the neck. And everyone who sees a hickey knows how it got there.
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.