Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cheese Gets a Stalker - Part 1

[Readers - Part 1 in a 5-part Special Saturday Series starting General Conference weekend.  Our friend "Cheese" has a guy in her life that really bothers her, but Mama Cheese and the Big Cheese seem to REALLY like this guy.  What would you tell her to do?  - Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

Cheese Here!

This time I am writing you and Mama Cheese doesn’t know about it. And frankly I don’t want her to know about (at least until after I press send) because I know she will try to stop me from writing this letter.

So in a previous letter to you I talked about my Peter Priesthood friend who is going to BYU on a full ride scholarship. Well I need some advice...

He Is madly in love with me. Mom and dad have not hidden their feelings toward him, and have made it VERY clear they want me to marry him. And I just do *NOT* like him. I don’t want to be around him EVER.

I don’t know exactly why I dislike him so much. He is righteous, kind, good looking, and he will make a decent living, and he can keep a conversation going, and he tries to be a perfect gentleman. But I feel like he is always wearing this tacky “I am perfect, and happy, and hyper, and spontaneous, and you will never meet someone who is better than me” mask. And trust me, I do like happy guys, but KEEP IT REAL. Sometimes you need to be serious. And sometimes, “Oh! That’s wonderful!” is not the appropriate response to something. But is that really enough reason to not like someone?

Here is a rough timeline of some of the ‘Events” of the last year and a half.

We would “hang out” a lot. And I promise that wasn’t my choice. He would randomly show up at the house, and Mama Cheese would make me drop everything I was doing to spend time with him. I didn’t get a say in the matter.

Mama Cheese once decided to tell him a few things that are very personal to me. I didn’t plan on telling him anything, but once he knew I talked to him about it.

One time Peter asked if I could go play night games with him and some of his friends. I was sick that day, but Mama Cheese made me go anyway. I was 15 at the time, and when we showed up at the park it was us and 3 other couples, so it was a group date not just friends playing games. After the other 3 couples left he was using every trick he possibly could to get some more alone time with me. But I just insisted he had to take me home. He did but not until after he kissed me. (fortunately it was JUST a kiss)

Now that i’m 16 he has managed to take me on a date. And it failed. I was out at dinner with the entire family, grandparents from out of state included. My phone started ringing, so I silenced it and when I saw it was Peter I shot him a text saying i was at dinner and couldn’t talk. Well apparently he was at my house ready to pick me up and was wondering where I was. No one told me I was going on a date! No one asked me on a date. No one asked my parents if I would be available for some sort of surprise date. But as soon as Mama Cheese saw the text she said, “Tell him you will be home in half an hour.”

When I got home he was gone, but he was back about 5 minutes with no double. Big Cheese told him that if he didn’t get a double or a chaperone I couldn’t go. (I wish he said, “You didn’t actually ask my daughter on a date. You interrupted our dinner. Her Grandparents are in town, and she has to drive them to the airport at 5 ‘o’ clock tomorrow morning. You didn’t get a double. And she isn’t allowed to leave the house because her homework isn’t done.”) In the end Chunka was our chaperone. He took us bowling, and it was not my definition of fun.

In the parking lot, when he got in the car to leave I was sitting on my hands (the way I do if i don’t want someone to hold them). He asked for my hand. I smiled and playfully asked, “What? Are you going to propose?” At that moment I realized I should have never asked that. He looked crushed like he knew by the joking tone in my voice the answer would be “NO!” But he quickly recovered and said, “Not yet.”

He took us home and drove 5 under the speed limit the entire way, and he kept trying to plan one more activity before we got to the house. When we were almost to the house he kept asking “Do you remember May 21st?” over and over again. I was trying to figure out what was on May 21st. He finally said. “That was our first kiss. My lips haven’t touched any other than yours.” We got to the house, I gave him a quick side hug, and I went inside.

Now I am sitting at home (the day after the date) Doing the homework I was supposed to finish yesterday when I got a call from him. He wanted to know If he could help me with my homework. Mama Cheese loved the idea. So he will be here in about a half hour. We shall see what happens.

I have not hidden the fact that I don’t kine him. I don’t feel bad about it, but I have been outright rude to him. I would ignore his texts and calls but Mama and Big Cheese get mad at me when I do. And when Mama Cheese checks my texts, if she sees I haven’t responded to one of his texts she will text him as if she were me. It’s CREEPY!

I guess what I want to know Is, How do I get him to back off when mom and dad are pushing toward me so hard.

Sorry I ranted a lot in this letter.

I am going to try to write the dating do’s list sometime this week.

I hope all is going well for the Jo family.

- Cheese

Dear Cheese,

I think you need to talk to them.

Sit them both down, tell them how much you love them, tell them you need to get something off your chest, and it will be easier if they could please just let you get it all out before they say anything. Then tell them everything you've told me here. All of it. Tell them that they're pushing too hard, and frankly that's making it worse.

I understand where they're coming from. Now that I'm a parent I'm a big believer in arranged marriages! Of course, back when we were dating Sister Jo's father never would have picked me (although I'd like to think that now he feels differently), but the notion that I could pick spouses for my kids brings a sense of comfort. I know that sounds awful, but as we old people get older we know more and more people who've made horrific spouse selections, and its such a Big Important decision . . . then add to that the desire of every Good Parent to protect their child from pain, and you begin to understand why, right or wrong, we meddle so much.

Just because we're parents, that doesn't mean we always think clearly, especially if we mean well. So we can come off pushy. (Heck, I even suggest the Jo Boys add people as Facebook friends in hopes that they'll meet Great Girls! - HA!)

And let's face it, Mama and Big Cheese don't have all the information you do. They don't know that "Peter" is pushy, a bit of a creeper, plastic, and overbearing. They don't know that he's using those "even though you're only 16, I feel that the Spirit has told me we'll be together forever" cheesy (sorry for the pun) Lame-o Mormon Boy hope-she-let's-me-make-out-with-her lines. When they do, I think they'll back off.

Now, I wouldn't totally burn that bridge; who knows? You may feel a bit differently in 3 years.

But, as I've said many times, no girl needs to go out with anyone who makes her sincerely uncomfortable.

Someone can be a Good Person and still not be a Right Fit. Happens all the time. Both Sister Jo and I can think of people we dated who were good people, but the chemistry just wasn't there.

So have the talk. And do it tonight. (To quote a favorite old TV show, sometimes you have to do it quick, like removing a band-aid: "Right off!")

Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

I'm here for a rant any time, and as often as, you need.

- Bro Jo

No comments: