Dear Athena

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Hello Athena,

I am currently a freshman and I like a girl. She is very pretty. I am scared to confront her and talk to her. Please help. I don’t think I am hot enough for her because she is very hot. How do I ask her out? I’m thinking of asking her to go to McDonalds with me, but I’m too scared. I have been wearing my green Angry Birds shirt a lot because I think that makes me look the coolest, but she hasn’t noticed. Please help me. I don’t know what to do because I’ve never talked to a girl. Thank you in advance for your help.
An anonymous freshman boy


Dear Anonymous,

First of all, relax! You say you’ve “never talked to a girl.” Unless you were raised by a band of brothers on a distant mountain shrouded by mist, isolated from the rest of humanity, I find this highly unlikely. So remind yourself that you have, in fact, been talking to girls since babyhood, and that Wendy (as I am naming your mystery girl for ease of reference) is simply another person. Presumably, you share some class or after school activity—you must have met her somewhere, right?—so use this as an excuse to start casual conversations and get to know her as a person.
This, I assure you, is the key to all your problems. Anonymous, your letter has a slightly troubling emphasis on good looks—or rather, that Wendy has them and you do not. This issue was essentially the topic of my last column, but in summary: looks are nice, but personality is what really matters. If you get to know Wendy, you will discover whether you truly want to ask her out, or if you merely find her pretty. This works both ways. Even if you don’t have the good looks of a movie star, if Wendy actually gets to know you, she will be far more likely to agree to go out with you. Also, it may be less intimidating to “confront her” if she isn’t a complete stranger. (Though please remember that you don’t want to “confront her.” You want to ask her out, not accuse her of murder! So be polite.)
Another point: Don’t worry about your Angry Birds t-shirt. Unless Wendy is fashion mad or obsessed with Angry Birds herself, I highly doubt she notices what you’re wearing. If that t-shirt makes you feel confident, wear it, but don’t become upset if she doesn’t comment on it.
One final point: No matter what you do—even if you get to know her—Wendy might still reject you. And that’s OK! People have different tastes and preferences, and whether or not someone “likes” you isn’t a judgement of your worth. That might be hard to remember, but it’s completely true. Think about it: some people truly don’t like chocolate! Or bacon! Or French fries! Does that mean chocolate, bacon, and French fries are actually disgusting? Absolutely not! (In my opinion…get what I’m saying?)
So get to know Wendy—and also remember that the stakes aren’t actually that high. Even if you and Wendy don’t work out, someone will be right for you in the future.



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