Dear Acaricia May, adiposity
I am beside myself with worry. We have found a wonderful, responsible, clean-cut boy for our beautiful 23-year-old daughter and were hoping they would get married. Until three months ago our daughter was happy about this marriage. But then suddenly she announced that she has changed her mind and that instead she wants to be with another guy she met on the Internet who lives on the other side of the country. She has never met this man in person, but insists she ‘connects’ with him. I asked for his details and did some of my own checking. What I learned was pretty disturbing. I found out he was arrested as a teenager for breaking into some hotel rooms with his friends. He has long hair like a hippie and plays the guitar and for all I know probably does drugs. When I tried to warn my daughter about him, she said she knew all of it and doesn’t hold any of it against him. She said those were his younger days and that she prefers to be with someone like him than some ‘goodie two shoes.’ I’m at my wit’s end. What do you think I should do?
Lidia in Panjim
Did you ever hear that Billy Joel lyric “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners have much more fun”? Why are nice girls attracted to bad boys? I’m not sure, but I can tell you it’s not uncommon. How many of us prefer ice cream over spinach and the Grateful Dead over Rachmaninoff? What’s good for us isn’t always what we want. And what we want isn’t always good for us. Now I’m not saying that your choice for your daughter is spinach or Rachmaninoff, and hers is ice cream and the Grateful Dead. For all we know, your daughter’s preference could turn out to be good for her, and your choice a real dud. You see, Lidia, the factors are complex. Youthful indiscretion does not a bad man make, and character is not reflected in hair length. A man can be clean, and he may also be mean. Of course I understand that you are a mother who wants what’s best for her daughter. And that you are much more comfortable with Mr. Clean than this Internet hippie. Who can blame you? Talk to your daughter, Lidia. Let her know your concerns without hitting her over the head with them. Guide her. Protect her as you always have. Warn her of the dangers of letting her heart lead her astray. But in the end, let the decision be hers.
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