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December 22, 1997   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Holiday advice previously posted, December 5:

Dear Breakup Girl,

I jokingly told a girl that I would go with her to our school's formal winter ball. She thought I was being serious and now she wants to go with me. How should I tell her no, in a way that we will still have the same friendship as before?

-- Clueless

Dear Clueless,

There are three things you never joke about: (1) carrying a bomb in your suitcase, (2) famine, and (3) taking someone to a winter formal.

But now that you've done the deed, here are your options:
1. Many a true word is said in jest. Hey, Clueless, are you sure you want to recant?
2. Come clean and de-invite. Use this if you truly, honestly don't want to go with her - and especially if there's someone else you'd had in mind.
"This is going to sound rotten and crazy, but, uh, when I invited you to the formal, I didn't really mean it. It was a joke -- a really dumb one, I know. I feel terrible about this -- I even wrote to Breakup Girl to ask her what to do -- because our friendship is really important to me. But under the circumstances I just don't feel right taking you to the formal."
3. Come clean and re-invite. This way, you can do the right thing -- and have a date for the formal -- without leading her on. Use the above until the last sentence. Then say, "But since I did ask, sure, I'd love to take you. I just wanted to let you know that I do consider us just friends. If you'd still like to go with me under those circumstances, it would be my pleasure. If not, I certainly understand."
Let me know what happens. Especially if she's got a "never-worn" dress for sale, cheap (I'm size 6-8).

Breakup Girl



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