My best friend and I are having an argument right now that we've turned into a bet. I say it's okay to ask a guy out and that waiting and hoping is old-fashioned thinking. She says being the one to ask makes a girl look slutty and desperate and that waiting for him to notice you might be old-fashioned, but that that alone doesn't make it wrong. We are 16 and we've never had a boyfriend or been on a date yet.
The bet is to see which one of us you think is right. The loser is paying for the winner's next pedi/mani at the mall.
Dear Different Strokes,
What a great bet! I love that you and your bestie are doing this, but y'all are gonna be pissed at my seemingly diplomatic answer.
The short answer is that you're both right. It's perfectly acceptable to ask a guy out and it's also perfectly acceptable to wait for him to notice you. Being outspoken and confident enough to put yourself out there, risk rejection, and stand tall either way is hard, but admirable. And, in a way, it takes the pressure off the guys. But your bestie is right to stick to what she is comfortable with, and if that's waiting to be asked, then I'm not judging, and neither should you.
Waitaminute, HUH? Maybe not the answer you were expecting, but hold on to your seats, senoritas, because I'm about to explain the flaws in your thinking.
You say waiting is old-fashioned, implying that any girl who does is cheating herself and conforming to outdated cultural expectations and traditions. She says being the pursuer makes you the slut with the opinion, but way nicer because I don't posses a filter. First, let's focus on the outdated theory, yeah?
Maybe sitting pretty and patiently pining is not your thing (which is fine because it wasn't mine, either), but it doesn't mean it's wrong. If your BFF is happy doing her thing her way, be a good friend and stop trying to talk her out of being who she is. But she's gotta be willing to do the same for you.
You are not a slut for wanting to make the first move and having an opinion is not a sign that the devil has taken control of your soul. Also? Let's stop using the word "slut" when referring to any responsible woman or girl who isn't Beyonce but has the juevos to live her life on her own terms (especially when those terms happen to contradict cultural norms), 'm'kay?
I was 16 when I went out on my first date. My dad was from Mexico and my hyphenated upbringing meant I didn't have the same freedoms many of my Anglo friends did when it came to boys. Funny thing is I started out thinking like your bestie and ended up married to the man I found through an online dating ad back when meeting a stranger online was still a taboo. I'm the one who placed the ad and I proudly claim the first move move as my own.
The lesson? We all grow. Now give each other a hug and schedule a dual day at the salon. You both get to pony up. -- Live and let live, y'all.
Pauline Campos is Latina Magazine's #DIMELO advice columnist. Email her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on her blog, www.aspiringmama.com and follow her on twitter: @pauline_campos.