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Auntie SparkNotes: Something Doesn’t Add Up

Hi Auntie,
So I just started my senior year of high school, and my junior year I had a massive crush on this dude, let’s just call him Bee. Bee was a senior and after a few awkward encounters we eventually began to walk to 8th period together every day, we would joke to each other and constantly poke fun at one another. My friends who I had told about this crush told me that the way things were going he probably liked me, and that’s where things started to get stressful for me.

I once asked him for his Snapchat and he said he didn’t have one—which I later found out to be a lie, as my friend told me he did have one and I saw him on it NEXT TO ME. I asked him for his phone number and he gave me the first six digits and refused to give me the last four (this is important later). I took both of these as a sign he didn’t want to be around me. I also found out through my other friend that he has a girlfriend. Bee is the king of mixed signals, so after prom—where he brought the supposed girlfriend (and from what I saw didn’t talk to her the whole night, but I may just be projecting) and didn’t speak to me once, I was kinda (very) upset—we went back to school for the last week. He passed his yearbook around and he gave me this big chunk of it to sign so I wrote how I felt. I didn’t tell him I liked him but I told him how great and nice and funny I thought he was, and wrote down my phone number. Walking out of the class to 8th period, Bee asked me if I was going to graduation and I said “I’ll try if I don’t have anything going on.” And Bee said, “No, you’re totally going!!” which he had never really done before? So I’m like “Yeah okay sure, if I can go.”

Surprise, I couldn’t go. My cousin had her graduation the same day. I wanted to tell Bee but I didn’t have his phone number (SEE IT’S IMPORTANT), he only had mine, in his yearbook. So I asked my other senior friend (let’s call him H) to tell Bee I wouldnt be able to make it. So H tells me that when he told Bee that I wouldn’t make it Bee just shrugged. HE JUST FREAKING SHRUGGED. Also Bee hasn’t texted me once, ever. So for pretty much the entire summer I just tried my best to get over the whole thing. But then I thought of it all again and something doesn’t add up. Why would Bee be so adamant about me going (he said more than I wrote but this letter is already too long) if when I didn’t show up he was just going to shrug it off and not plan on ever speaking to me again?? My friends and mom say, “You just wanted closure” or “He’s just a jerk,” and yes part of it may be closure, but something deep down in me is saying something isn’t adding up. So I need your advice, Auntie. I need an outside opinion. Do you think I just want closure and should get over it or is there something really wrong about this?

Well, for starters, I think that getting over it is something you should do no matter what else was or is going on—insofar as there was ever any it to get over in the first place. I know you’re hurt and confused, but the facts here are pretty unambiguous: this guy resisted every attempt you made to get close with him, dismissed your absence at graduation with a shrug, and spent the entire summer not-contacting you before (presumably) going off to college where he’ll (presumably) continue not to get in touch. Even if you once had reason to hope that something would happen, it didn’t. Past tense. What else is left but to move on?

But as for Bee and his so-called mixed signals… well, I think that wishful thinking is a hell of a drug, sweet pea. And if something isn’t adding up, it’s probably because you’re trying to balance this equation using Crazy Math, where every snub or rejection counts as negative one point, but even the most miniscule suggestion of barely lukewarm interest counts as a flibbertijillion points plus a googleplex of unicorns. And of course that’s understandable—because it gives you a reason to feel hopeful about what happened between you (or at least, to not feel foolish about what didn’t.) But much as I sympathize with your desire not to feel like Bee made a fool of you, you also risk making a fool of yourself if you can’t accept the facts of what happened.

And those facts are as follows: Yes, Bee said you should attend graduation—for whatever reason. Maybe he valued your friendship, such as it was, and liked the idea of you being there. Or maybe he was just being nice, not realizing that you’d read so much into a standard friendly encouragement. Or maybe he did know, and thought it would be funny to mess with you. (Regardless of the reason, his indifferent reaction to your absence suggests that it was never a particularly big deal to him either way.) But what he said didn’t happen in a vacuum; it’s one interaction of dozens that occurred throughout your relationship—one in which he lied to you about having Snapchat, wouldn’t give you his phone number, more or less completely ignored you outside the very narrow context of your pre-8th-period conversations, and never got in touch even after you made it quite clear that you very much wanted to hear from him.

You know this guy better than me, darling, but from here, he doesn’t sound like the King of Mixed Signals at all. Actually, what he sounds like is a bag of jerk nuts with one rogue candied pecan mixed in. And while that might have been a reason to be hopeful back when it was happening, it’s no reason to keep dwelling on someone who never really treated you with much care or respect. Which is why I hope you won’t — and instead, I hope you’ll take this opportunity (not to mention the good advice of the people who love you) to let it go and move forward.

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