So, Auntie, it's almost that time of year for Prom dilemmas and I have one that is pretty much almost straight out of Shakespeare.
My good friend, "Helena", has really liked my other good friend, "Demetrius", for about a year. He has told her many times that he just doesn't feel that way about her, but her doting has become an obsession. He's all she talks about or thinks about or anything and we (as in our friends) can't bear it anymore! It's caused her self esteem to become really low and she's always begging for compliments.
So, here's the dilemma: Demetrius asked me to prom. (He and I are both seniors, while Helena is a sophomore, so she would only be able to go by invitation.) And the thing is...I really want to say yes. It's my senior year! Demetrius is actually a pretty great guy, he's my best guy friend. But, isn't that breaking like the biggest rule of the girl code? I don't want to hurt Helena's feelings, but I also don't want to hurt Demetrius. You may say "It sounds like you've made up your mind." I truly haven't.
Well, for starters, the answer is no: going to prom with your friend's longtime crush is not breaking the biggest rule of girl code. Not even close. Breaking the biggest rule of girl code would be... oh, I don't even know. Stealing her favorite and most expensive pair of Chie Mihara shoes and staining them irreparably with soy sauce, maybe? Or sleeping with her boyfriend while she's recovering from malaria, which she contracted while building a school for underprivileged children in Africa?
Basically, darling, you could do a lot worse.
And while Helena will no doubt be peeved and pissy over the prospect of you and Demetrius dancing, dining, and bumping around in formalwear on prom night, her likely unhappiness is not the reason why you shouldn't accept his invitation.
If anything, it's the reason why you should accept, immediately, and without even the slightest iota of guilt.
Because really, you'll be doing her a favor in the long run. Not to be unfeeling, but if she honestly believed that Demetrius would remain isolated from ladies for the duration of his high school career—or that he would ask her to the prom himself despite his repeatedly-stated non-interest—then she's seriously in need of a wakeup call, if only for the sake of her own dignity. Which is not to say that it's your job to pull her aside, slap her across the face with a beehive, and yell, "BIZNATCH! GET YO' MIND RIGHT!"—but you do have the opportunity to give your friend the gentlest possible schooling she'll ever get in the subject of Hey Guess What You Don't Own People.
Plus, uh, you obviously want to go to the prom with this guy. And that matters! Your feelings are important, too!
So, here's the deal: say yes. Be cool. Make your prom plans. Do not apologize to Helena for doing so, or even approach her about it, because—and I cannot stress this enough—accepting a prom invite from your best friend is not something you need to be sorry for. And if, and only if, she reacts badly, then find a quiet moment, take her aside, and say, "I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sure it hurts to see the guy you like going to prom with someone else, even if it's a platonic date as ours is. But he's been honest with you about his feelings, and if you've been counting on him changing his mind, I'm worried that you're going to end up disappointed."
And then, having addressed this issue like a motherfranking adult, let it go, let her deal, and recognize that her feelings are her responsibility. Dealing graciously with an unrequited crush is an invaluable life skill that we all must learn, from both sides. And at 16, your friend is overdue for a lesson about the dangers of obsessive doting—and if that lesson involves getting her feelings hurt, well, that's too bad, but it's pain well spent.
Oh, and have a great time! Wear a pretty dress! Send pictures!
Got your own prom date drama to share? Get thee to the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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