Lizzie has a dilemma.
There's a guy in her youth group. A guy who has been socially backward for, well, pretty much for as long as we've known him. Painfully socially awkward. And hygienically too. But he's as book-smart as they come.
Anyway, he's liked her and has made it known loud and clear at youth group for the past several years, even to the point that the kids have started to refer to her as "Tommy's girlfriend" - in a joking way. He told the boys at youth conference that on a scale of 1-10, Lizzie rates an ELEVEN.
Naturally the boys in the ward took it upon themselves to chalk elevens everywhere on our driveway and all over the street the very next night.
She's pretty good natured about it, and as long as everyone else aware that it's just a JOKE, she lives with it. Lizzie is about as compassionate as they come, and she really really doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. (I'm thinking that's how she rated the 11!)
So she caught a rumor the other day. Apparently that now that they are both 16, Tommy is getting ready to ask her on an official date. And not only is he going to ask her, but he's planning something elaborate to ask her. And public. (The intel is sort of spotty on the details of how or what.)
Are you groaning? Because I just distinctly heard someone say "uhhhg". Oh, wait. I think that was me.
What to do, what to do...
She's at a loss. She doesn't really want to go, but of course doesn't want to embarrass anyone, umm, including herself, in front of a large group.
A wise YW leader told her that whatever she does, most certainly the other boys will be watching, and she needs to really think about the reputation she'll be building.
An immature mother told her that non-committal is the only way to respond to any sort of embarrassing public question. Also, that the reputation she'll be building probably should not include any sort of illusion of becoming someone's girlfriend. If even for one night.
I can remember one of my sisters being in a very similar situation when she was in high school. In fact, it was so similar, it's kind of eeerie, come to think of it. She ended up going with this guy to his senior prom so that he could have a date. My beautiful, compassionate, talented sister went with this guy TO HER JUNIOR PROM, so that he could have a special night. She ended up being the hero of the branch where we lived. Really, practically a celebrity.
I'm not quite sure how my mother stood by and watched it, even encouraging her to just be compassionate and go. But I don't know. It's one thing to practice Christlike love, and another thing to risk your entire reputation.
Or maybe it's not.