DR. WALLACE: A girlfriend and I have been best friends ever since we were in the first grade. We live in a fairly small town, where everybody knows everybody. Last week, a girl both she and I like invited us and 10 other girls to come to her house to celebrate her 16th birthday. We all had a wonderful time, and the food was excellent
However, at the party, I made a huge mistake. I told my best girlfriend a deep dark family secret because she promised she would never tell anyone. The next day, two of my girlfriends contacted me and said that they were told the deep dark family secret, and they wanted to confirm if it was true.
I couldn't believe that my best friend would tell this secret to others! I was so shocked when my other friends asked me if the secret was true that I lied and said, "No, of course not." Now this girl and I are no longer friends and never will be because she betrayed my trust so deeply. Please give me a clue as to why a best friend would do this. I really want to hear your answer. Please don't print my name, location or email address. I'm already ashamed enough and super paranoid that others might find out this information is true. I really just want all of this to go away. — Made a Huge Mistake, via email
MADE A HUGE MISTAKE: Some people, both teens and adults, enjoy bringing gossip and grief to others, even friends. It makes them feel in the know, and it gives them a feeling of power. This girl likely wanted to impress other friends by knowing something about your family that others didn't know.
Make sure you never make the same mistake twice. It was a painful lesson for you to learn. An old proverb says, "The only person you can trust to keep a secret is one who is dead. And even then, be careful of the paperwork they might have left behind!"
MUSIC IS ONE OF LIFE'S JOYS
DR. WALLACE: I am aghast that you were against a 13-year-old girl continuing to take violin lessons because after three years, she detested her lessons and felt she still wasn't any good. She said that the money her parents are "wasting" on her lessons could be put to better use.
Money is never wasted on music. Music is the food that feeds the soul; music is a comfort for the infirm; music provides wisdom to every human being; music is freedom to the convicted; music brings joy to those from 2 to 102; music is love to all who give and receive love; and, most of all, music is spiritual.
Have I now convinced you that you made a grave mistake in telling this young lady that she should stop taking violin lessons? Do you like music? If so, what kind? — Music Lover, Nashville, Tennessee
MUSIC LOVER: I agree with most of what you say, but one doesn't have to be a musician to enjoy the enriching pleasures of the universal language of music. This young lady gave violin training a good chance — three years. It was a good experience, and I'm sure it will help her enjoy and understand music more fully in the future.
All of us who enjoy music are not necessarily musicians. You didn't convince me to change my mind, but I do respect and commend you for your passion for music. I personally don't play any musical instruments, but I enjoy listening to music. My interests range from country and Western to classical — Hank Williams Sr. to Luciano Pavarotti.
Although I don't play instruments or sing outside of my shower, I do have offspring who do: My son plays guitar; my daughter piano and keyboards; and my two grandchildren play multiple instruments and sing quite well. They have performed in front of audiences of up to 10,000 people. So I trust you'll be happy to hear that my family and I agree wholeheartedly with your passion for music!
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.
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