Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot on sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey, nonny, nonny.
William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
‘Tis a hard thing to be eleven years old and learn that the boy you fancy has invited another girl to the Renowned Middle School dance to be held next Friday.
If you are a civilized girl, you may claim that you wish neither the boy you fancy, nor the girl he fancies, any ill. You may waffle on this point when reflecting on the fact that two short months ago this same boy you fancy insisted that you were all too young to date. Why did he lie to you, you wonder, since he obviously doesn’t believe it!!!!! But he’s a nice guy, so why did he do these things?
If you are her quasi-self-actualized, middle-aged mother, you will no doubt encourage her to feel her natural sadness and, yes, anger. You will tell her that even the nicest guys can be Boofuses, and you will then poke your husband with your foot for emphasis, remembering the time he was a great big Boofus.*
If you are a wise elder brother, looking back from the distance of four years to sixth grade, you will repeat needlessly the thought that none of this really matters, to cries of anguish from your little sister.
If you are a kindly stepfather, you will point out gently the logical fallacies in all the arguments being made and point out that our feelings can overwhelm our logic in such situations and there is nothing for it but to feel them in all their confusing tumult.
And if you are eleven years old and finally able to admit you want to cry over this boy with funny hair who doesn’t wash it often enough, you might start to feel better…tomorrow.
*Boob+Doofus=Boofus (a word coined by Snowman when he was small)