Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Don’t play games when searching for love

Carolyn is away. The following is a past column.

Q: You said recently that "good is someone whoís eager to make time for you." Here, then, is my question: As a confident, extroverted college freshman with a lot going for me, should I pursue boys I want, or make them come to me? Iím not good at playing hard-to-get or being girly ó I grew up with the company and hand-me-downs of two brothers. But boysí lack of romantic interest in me breaks my heart. How do you feel about playing games, about playing the coquette? I know thereís a middle road here, I just need help finding it.


A: Itís not the coquettishness; itís the playing I deplore. Playing undermines the player ó that would be you ó as well as the person you play with.

Pretend to be girly when youíre not, and youíll either fail and end up looking like a tomboy in drag, or, worse, youíll succeed and find some guy who digs that youíre coy. Then what? He finds out who you really are? Or you fake it?

Plus, by assuming an altered identity, youíre declaring that you donít believe your personality is attractive as is. I donít know anyone confident enough to undermine herself that way and still come out feeling good.

So. That middle road. Whatever you do, donít travel it just to attract guys. Do it to become someone you like and feel good about, and from there the right kind of attention from the right kind of people will follow. Itís true, I swear.

If you feel youíre more feminine than your upbringing allowed, explore that. By looking around and noticing there are as many interpretations of femininity as there are women. Be patient, be judicious, be yourself, and find yours.

And in the meantime, treat boys as you would treat anyone: Approach them when youíre interested, and then give them room to respond. Some will, most wonít, some hurt, most donít.

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks.Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writerCreatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Published: 09/14/18

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Published: 09/13/18
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18

Published: 09/11/18

Tell Me About It: Momís support shouldnít sacrifice her principles

Q: My 27-year-old daughter recently broke up with her live-in boyfriend. Now she wants me to tell her Iím on her side of every dispute.Itís her life, sheís an adult: Got it. But should I really be expected to tell her she acted well when she didnít? ...
Published: 09/11/18