Doctor Love: Sad and Ashamed

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.

Dear Doctor Love,
I am fourteen years old and very close to my mother, but sometimes we disagree on things. My mother doesn’t want me to wear shorts and tops that show my belly but I want to wear them. One day she passed at the football field and I was wearing an outfit I had borrowed from my best friend. She didn’t say anything to me and hasn’t punished me, but I know she is very disappointed. I want to tell her I am sorry, but I don’t know how. Can you help me please?
/s/ Sad and Ashamed

Dear Sad,
Your job as a daughter trying to grow up is to push the boundaries set by your parents. Your mother’s job is to keep you safe and protected until you are mature enough to cross those boundaries with minimal risk. You learned a valuable lesson that day at the football field. In the battle for freedom, fighting fair is always the best way to win. You did not fight fair in sneaking into a forbidden outfit. But it was fairly harmless. You tested the line by rebelling a little and you were caught. Your mom deserves a huge hug and kiss for the way she handled it. She could have embarrassed you when she saw the way you were dressed but instead she allowed you time to think about what you had done and how your deception had hurt her.
You feel terrible having lied to her and you want to apologize. Just tell her that. Then ask if there is a place in the middle where the two of you can agree on a more grown up approach to your wardrobe choices. Give a little and ask a little. But don’t lie because a trust broken is sometimes very hard to repair. Each day you will get a little more freedom of choice and each day you will understand a little more of why your mother is protecting you the way she does. Smile, and go give your mom a big hug.

Dear Doctor Love,
My seventy one year old husband insists on wearing Speedo swim trunks despite my insistence that he needs to wear something more appropriate. How can I make him stop wandering around the beach in a scrap of spandex, drawing attention and laughs from everyone nearby?
/s/ Anon

Dear Anon,
A seventy year old man who has not already learned that Speedos are a crime against fashion is too old to learn it now.

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