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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Let's Hear It From the Peanut Gallery

We haven't had any patron saint matching lately, not for lack of requests! Time to catch up a little:

Dear Sister Mary Martha,
Do you have any good saints for friend troubles?
I'm 15 years old, and have an amazing catholic guy friend who my parents love. We both like each-other a lot, but as neither of us is allowed to date till we are 18, we are just friends. Only problem is, all my friends are giving me a tough time about it. Half of them are horrified I hang out and talk to the guy, the other half are shocked that we don't make out- or even kiss; and they all give me long thought out speeches about what I'm doing wrong whenever they have the chance. All of them are driving me up the wall, and with so many mixed messages coming from everybody (different priests, friends, and relatives) I'm ready to give up on all of them and move to a different country! Any good saints to help me with all these 'friends'?

Three years is a long time to not date a fellow to whom you are attracted. My best guess is that the people around you are worried about how much will power the two of you have between you, especially if you are really not just friends, but waiting to be 18 to begin officially dating.

I'm not saying these people are right or wrong. It might not be a bad idea to at least listen to them. That's how you learn. You don't have to actually take anyone's advice, including mine.

My advice is that if you are actually able to remain, 'just friends' for three years, maybe you should consider joining the convent. You certainly have some remarkable mental toughn

To answer your saint matching question, several saints spring to mind.

For you and your not boyfriend, I suggest any and all of the virgin martyrs, who walked through fire, torture, teeth pulling, and all manner of misery including miraculous hair growth. You should be so fortunate as to sprout a beard in some crucial moment.

But that wasn't really your question, was it? You asked how to deal with the flood of nosey, well wishing, doom saying, worry warting, "everyone has an opinion" friends. You want to tune out the Peanut Gallery.

You're too young to know about The Peanut Gallery. It comes from "The Howdy
Doody Show", a screamingly popular marionette show from way back in the 1950"s. The audience, seated in bleachers, which consisted of a lot of screaming kids, was called "the Peanut Gallery". Buffalo Bob, who was the host of the show, often would say, "Let's hear it from the Peanut Gallery!" and everyone would scream.

You can't silence the Peanut Gallery. They are going to freely scream about whatever
moves them. That's life. You're going to have to do one of two things:

1. Listen to them. After you do so, thank them politely and go your merry way.

2. Close your ears and hum.

To continue your relationship as is, you'll have to be, as the saying goes "as stubborn as a saint". That's what we, here in the Peanut Gallery, are hoping for you.

My patron saint suggestion for dealing with the Peanut Gallery: St. Stephen, the first martyr. No one liked what he was doing either, and the Peanut Gallery threw rocks at him. He didn't let it stop him, he kept going.

They did keep throwing those rocks, though, and he died.

Not that I wish that part for you. I just think he might understand what it's like to be doing something that's unpopular.


Emmarinda said...

St. Feeter?

Anyways, I am 55 yrs. old and when I was a preschooler I remember having a horrid dream that Howdy Doody was tickling me to death. I think I had him confused with my brother. Please pray for my brother, as he still needs it - his name is Bob.

theotherkid said...

Thanks, Sister Mary Martha-- this sort of question means a lot to me too, as my friends tend to engage in similar pestering (in my case, they don't seem to believe that the fact that I've reached the old age of 18 without having dated could possibly have been my idea. Sigh.)

While we're on the subject, any saint suggestions for avoiding unwanted male attentions? Despite various declarations that I'm not interested and a dedicated effort to not draw attention, several somewhat creepy guys at school have taken to being particularly friendly to me; the only reason I can think of is that I'm one of the very few single girls in the computer science major. Most of them don't really understand the concept of "personal space," either, despite repeated explanations, and while none of them have attempted anything, it's still somewhat distressing (it's a bit hard to concentrate on homework while someone's standing directly next to my chair, staring and asking after my health for the fifth time). Any patron saints for just wanting to be left alone?

Marion Teague said...

Sister, have you ever read a biography of J R R Tolkien? He met the love of his life when he was 16, but when this was discovered by his guardian, a priest, he was forbidden to see her or even contact her until he had completed his education at age 21. As soon as he obtained his degree, he wrote to his beloved. she replied that she was sorry but she had become engaged to another man. Tolkien thought something like "Blow this for a game of soldiers!" and immediately took a train to where she lived. The result? Exit fiancé, and enter many years of happy marriage for Tolkien and his girl.
I'm not condoning the heavy handed approach, but it just shows that true commitment wins through!