Straight Talk Advice

Nov 03, 2005

Heavy metal boyfriend causing heavy family crisis

Dear Straight Talk: I’m 16 and my boyfriend “Joey” plays in a heavy metal band. The problem is my parents. They can’t stand him because of how he dresses and wears his hair. It’s really driving us apart because I have no respect for them because they basically wrote him off as a low-life after one introduction. Now, in order to see him, I have to lie about where I’m going. I’m not sure how to penetrate their thick heads and get them to see he’s a nice guy. Do I just write them off like they wrote him off and go about my business?—Fed up

Dear Fed up: I agree that it’s unfair to judge someone on appearance. Teens, especially, should be granted fashion leeway. Nevertheless, your business is also your parents’ business.

You don’t say how old Joey is. Could your parents be concerned about his age? If age isn’t the issue, it’s possible your parents assume automatically, because of his appearance and music, that he is abusing drugs. This may be accurate or not. Only you know. Ask yourself this: If your parents knew the complete truth about Joey, would they support the relationship?

If your parents would not support the relationship, could it be that their hunch is correct and you are using the fact that they didn’t bother to verify their hunch as an excuse to reject their guidance?

On the other hand—and I’m rooting for you—if Joey has nothing to hide, then stop operating behind their backs and insist with all your passion that they learn what an exemplary young man he is by letting you invite him to dinner and other family events. If Joey is serious about you, he won’t mind proving himself to your parents.

Peter is rooting for you, too….

From Peter, 18: I’d recommend Joey do something nice for your parents, maybe save some money and take them to lunch—wearing “job interview” clothes. I have a feeling that will leave a good impression.


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