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Friday, May 26, 2017

Crushes at 15

Dear Bro Jo,

I am 15 years old, and I've never been boy crazy. I've only liked three boys my whole life, including the one I'm going to tell you about.

I am a very smart girl and I'm used to being the smartest or close to that in my classes. However there is this boy in my first period honors orchestra class who makes me feel inferior. I'm not too bad at playing my cello; I'm even the section leader. But I've only been playing since 7th grade, and I don't know everything, especially about theory. He has been playing Suzuki violin and piano since he was 4.

On top of all of that he is in several 9th grade honors class. And just to make it all worse, he’s in 8th grade and I'm in 9th. (For only 15 more days!)

But wait, it gets worse.

When we were both babies, his dad was my parents’ bishop and all of their older kids know my older siblings. But barely know each other because we were babies. There’s another variable in the problem. I have a mild case of Asperger syndrome, which is basically a social disorder. It’s fun.

So, I can’t figure him out. Half the time I think he likes me, and half the time I think he thinks I'm an alien from mars. As if it isn't already hard for me to talk to him, he says the weirdest things to me and I never know how to respond. He’s a very interesting kid, and everyone thinks he’s perfect.

He’s super smart, amazing violinist, great dancer, I guess he’s pretty good looking, and he’s always right, (in the eyes of others.) examples of times we've kind of spoken: once my friend and I were in the orchestra room standing by the stand rack, talking about how my mom was a cheer leader and boy crazy and how I'm not anything like that. He came up in the middle of our conversation and said "sounds like you've got a reputation to live up to" with a weird look on his face and weird tone of voice.

Then he grabbed a stand and walked away. Another time on tour we were setting up and I was carrying four chairs. I was looking behind me while I walked, when I looked forward he was right there, and I thought he spun, and then he grabbed two of the chairs and kept going without saying anything. In orchestra I would be playing and then glace of at him, and he’s looking at me, (because he has it all memorized) then he smiles and keeps playing.

Weird things like that.

Once we were tracing little kids’ hands and telling them what instruments they should play based on their hands. He walked up to me and said" my hands are bigger than yours and I play the violin. Then we put our hands together and measured and he looked at me, it was way weird.

They aren't ever really conversations, just weird short things like that

I can’t decide if he likes me or not and if he does, I have no idea what to say or how to talk to him.

What’s your impression?

- The Cellist


 
Dear Cellist,

Now, see, I would say that three crushes by 15 is a little boy crazy...

And being this hung up about a guy at your age is also a little ... nuts ... too.

I'm sure he likes you at least a small amount  ... and as you say, why wouldn't he?

Look, there's nothing wrong with how you feel or having a crush.   Enjoy it!
But other than writing about it in your journal and practicing your flirting, there's not much else you should do.

And that means you can worry about whether or not he likes you a lot less.

- Bro Jo





Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for writing me back. when I wrote you, I could not really explain it the way I wanted to, see the whole thing about all of the details and being confused and wanting really badly to figure it out, is part of Asperger’s.  Kids with Asperger’s tend to fixate on things and want to know everything about it. I did not think I was boy crazy; all of the others seem to like that many boys a month, not in the past few years.

I'm kind of quite most of the time, I'm not the typical social life obsessed gossiping super dramatic teenage girl.

Because of Asperger's, I really dislike a lot of social situations, and am kind of socially immature I guess, but in all of the other areas of my life I'm smart, and good at the things I do. I’ve always just kind of been aloof to all of the social stuff going on around me, and now I want to be able to clue in and be able to talk to people and understand them and their facial expressions and body language.

I guess that's why it all sounded "a little nuts" my life is kind of crazy, as I'm getting older I realize that not many people think the way I do, and I'm trying to learn to make it work, and am trying to understand the way most other people communicate and what things mean what to them, because for me, everything is different.

I think very thoroughly through everything.

Anyway, I kind of have a naive childlike understanding of social things; I'm not sure if you've dealt with people like this before, but could you explain a little bit about flirting since you mentioned it before?

Now that I know I have Asperger’s, I really want to get better at being social.

Thanks again (especially for the time),

- The Cellist




Dear Cellist,

Asperger’s or not (which you mentioned in your first email, btw.) I think you're pretty darn normal when it comes to being your age and socially awkward.

And I don't think you're nuts, but like many of us you do and think some nutty things.

Being flirty starts with smiling and looking and progresses to talking and touching.

For now, just focus on talking to guys, being nice and listening to what they have to say.

- Bro Jo

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