Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, a boy from my school was flirting with me"

Dear Carol, 

Today I was at the ice rink and there were some older boys from my school. When I sat down, one of them skated past me, looked at me, then winked. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I'm 14 and appear older than I am. To have a guy with a mustache wink at me was a first. I went home and told my mom. She said I was overreacting and brushed it off when I needed her.

- Alone

Dear Alone, 

I get that the wink felt unnerving, especially since the winker was older. But your mom has a point, too. She wants you to be strong and self-possessed, not a fragile flower. Mustache Dude wasn't abusive or threatening, and he may not have expected a response. So no foul, no harm but, yes, it's a jolt when a girl first discovers that she's not an invisible kid, she's a young woman. Ideally, you'll become more and more comfortable in your own skin and not care much one way or another when strangers notice you. Some will, some won't—and it will always be up to you whether to ignore the person or not. 

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by GL | 2/21/2022