“My Friend’s Girlfriend is Clueless”

My friends and I are in our late twenties/ early thirties. About two years ago my friend “Ken” started dating “Elise” who was eighteen years old and a senior in high school. He was thirty-one at the time. Elise was not a mature eighteen-year-old — if anything she was quite immature for her age, but not a mean or bad person. Two years later they live together and are going strong. None of us quite understand the attraction — other than the girl is quite beautiful — but she makes Ken happy. Even though she’s twenty and in college, she’s still quite immature. She complains incessantly when she doesn’t want to do something the rest of us want to. If she can’t follow the conversation, she interrupts and tries to change the subject. All our jokes go over her head — even the really dumb ones. This causes her to whine and repeatedly say “I don’t get it.” Everyone usually just ignores her — including Ken — but sometimes the guys tease and make fun of her (which also goes over her head) and the girls can make some mean comments (which she pretends not to hear). I feel bad for her and usually lean in and let her in on the joke or explain a reference that she missed. As soon as she understands, she begins to overcompensate by fake laughing or carrying on a joke long after everyone else has dropped it.

A few months ago, a friend got married. I wasn’t able to attend the wedding but heard all kinds of stories about Elise. Apparently, she threw a tantrum because Ken was in the wedding party and walked another girl down the aisle. She also wore a highly inappropriate dress that showed a lot of cleavage. Think Christina Hendricks at the premiere of I Don’t Know How She Does It, but not nearly as classy. Well, a week ago we all attended another friend’s wedding and she wore the same dress. Everyone at the wedding was staring at her, from the priest to the bride and groom’s parents to the little kids. Some of the guests were laughing at her, others glaring. I was seated next to her at the reception. She looked highly uncomfortable and kept looking down at herself as if to see if she had a stain on her dress. I asked her if something was wrong and she told me she felt like everyone was staring and laughing at her. I explained that she was showing a bit much cleavage for a wedding. I said this kindly, not at all judgmental. She looked down at herself and you could see the light bulb go off in her head. She suddenly looked mortified and a hand suddenly went up to her chest as if to cover herself, so I suggested that if she was uncomfortable she could put on the cardigan she brought with her and button it, which she did. Though she received less stares and glares, she didn’t seem comfortable for the rest of the night. I don’t think Elise wore the dress to attract or steal attention. She thought it looked good on her and was just clueless as to its appropriateness. I wouldn’t have said anything about the cleavage if she had been unbothered by the stares or enjoyed them. I only said something because she was upset at the attention, and I was careful to stay away from words like “inappropriate,” “disrespectful,” or “slutty.”

After the wedding, Ken told me that Elise was upset that I had said something about her dress. Apparently, I embarrassed her, was being a mean girl and jealous of what God had given her. Ken seemed indifferent to the whole matter. I apologized to her and told her it wasn’t my intention to embarrass her. She accepted the apology. However, I’m no longer sure how to handle this girl. When things go over her head, should I continue to clue her in or just let her remain ignorant and mocked? Elise grates on my nerves something fierce, but I hate seeing someone made fun of. Yet, I don’t want to be attacked for helping her out either. — Dealing with Clueless

Elise has made it clear that she neither appreciates nor welcomes your “help.” I put “help” in quotes, because as strong of a case as you made that your motivations are altruistic, I don’t completely buy it. I wouldn’t say you’re necessarily jealous of this girl or threatened by her, even though she’s young and apparently quite beautiful, but if she grates on your nerves “something fierce,” it wouldn’t seem far-fetched to assume there’s some satisfaction on your part in sort of calling her out, making her feel kind of stupid, or reminding her that she’s an outsider. I don’t even mean you’re consciously seeking out the satisfaction of belittling her, but it’s important to be aware that it may exist on a subconscious level.

But if you really want to help the ignorant lass, why not talk with some of your “mean girl” friends about taking it easy on her. If they’re always so quick to mock her or gossip about her behind her back, and you hate seeing someone being made fun of, then attack the problem at the base. Tell your friends to knock it off. Remind them that none of you probably had your shit together at 20 and that for as silly or ditzy as this girl comes across, she’s never done a mean thing to any of you and doesn’t deserve the treatment she’s been getting. For the girls in your group to make mean comments about her right in front of her face — comments that she has to pretend not hear — is really nasty and, frankly, “immature” behavior. It’s not how sophisticated late 20-somethings/ early 30-somethings should be behaving, that’s for sure.

Finally, remind your friends that this girl makes Ken happy. She may not be who you’d choose to befriend or spend your time with, but she makes your buddy happy. That in itself should be enough reason for you and your mean girl friends to embrace her as much as you can — even if it means muzzling yourself when she acts like a moron.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.


  1. So your creepy-ass friend preys on a barely legal, immature high-school student and somehow you and your ADULT friends are the victims??


    1. ReginaRey says:

      If my 31-year-old friend started dating a girl in high school, you best believe that’s one instance in which I would NOT stay silent. Honestly, I might re-think my friendship if a friend decided to get their creep on in that capacity.

    2. theattack says:

      She’s an adult. It’s not creepy if she’s of age, and she’s not in high school now. Also, I don’t know where you get the idea that the LW portrays the adult friends as victims. She’s writing in because she’s concerned about the girl.

      1. No she isn’t. The human brain is NOT fully developed at age 20. The law may say she’s an adult, but biology says otherwise.

        And if LW didn’t view herself as a victim, why write in? She simply can’t stand the fact that a teenager is acting like a teenager, and she can’t stop herself from mocking and criticizing the poor girl. She doesn’t have any genuine interest in helping this girl. She wants advice on how to change this girl because she’s personally annoyed.

      2. ForeverYoung says:

        I always hate when people act like 18 is an adult. It’s like okay, fine, someone can’t be put in jail for boning you. But you can’t even order a drink in a bar. You have so much maturing and growing to do. I didn’t consider myself an “adult” as in I made good adult decisions – until I was 22.

        My husband and I disagree about this all the time – but I think you shouldn’t be considered an adult for MOST purposes until you’re 21.

      3. bittergaymark says:

        And it’s soooooo true that so many of the LWs and Commentators here are all so worldly and mature at 25. 😉

      4. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:

        Oh good point about the drinking age. That hadn’t even occurred to me. Wow, that has to make things so much more awkward. She can’t even come out to bars with him and his friends.

      5. “She’s an adult. It’s not creepy if she’s of age, and she’s not in high school now.”

        Even if that’s the case now, it was not the case when they started dating. Yeah, it’s creepy. What kind of 31-year-old dates a highschool girl?

      6. So if you had an 18 year old daughter, you’d be okay with a 31 year old dating her and presumably sleeping with her? Doubt it. Why is the 31 year old not looking for someone more mature?

    3. John Rohan says:

      Wow, I sense a LOT of jealousy in this thread. A lot of it is probably from older women who are afraid of losing their men to 18 year old girls…

      In fact, that’s probably where a lot of the LW’s female friends resentment really comes from. They want to nip this in the bud before their boyfriends get the same idea that they can date 18 year-olds also.

      Yes, 18 not as mature as 30. But guess what – 30 is not as mature as 40. 40 is not as mature as 50, and so on. She’s an adult. Leave it at that. I think most of the commenters here would have been greatly offended if someone approached them when they were 18 and told them they weren’t old enough to decide whom to date.

      In the old days, women much younger than 18 were considered adults. The problem here seems to be the woman’s actual maturity, not her actual age.

      1. John – thumbs down on your comment. I didn’t sense jealousy in the other women’s comments here. If a guy wants a 18-year-old bimbo, very few things will stop him, including a jealous girlfriend. And any guy who wants one of those, definitely isn’t someone I’m interested in. Sounds like you’ve bought into the Hugh Hefner philosophy of dating….

        While I generally agree with you that 18 is not as mature as 30, I also think that there are cases where some folks – male and female – just never mature, however old they get to be.

      2. There’s a huge difference between 18 and 30, not as much between 30 and 40… At 18, she can’t drink, can barely vote, can’t rent a car. Why? Because the people that be have determined that 18 is too young to do such adult things… Probbbbably for a reason.

    4. Not a Lolita says:

      I find many of these comments offensive and incredibly ignorant. I was 18 and my boyfriend was 30 when we got together. I love him dearly and, five years later, we are still very happy together. Our ages had nothing to do with our attraction or love for one another, and they still don’t. I was not a child and he was not a creep.

      I wish people would think before they make comments like this. You think you are talking about an abstract concept, but really you are commenting on real human beings- human beings who might be wonderful, intelligent people enjoying a happy and fulfilling relationship, like my boyfriend and me. It hurts to hear people speaking about us this way. You don’t know us and you don’t know every couple with a large age gap. Why not err on our side, instead of assuming the worst about us just because you don’t know any better?

  2. Maybe you could even think about taking this girl under your wing and being a positive, mature roll model for her. Ask her if she’d like to go shopping sometime and talk to her about sophisticated fashion (not in a condescending way obviously).

    You don’t have to, of course, if she really bugs you. But maybe she’s just a little lost and insecure. Maybe you might even grow to be friends. It’s possible… when I first met my best friend of the past 8 years, I couldn’t stand her. I thought OMG this girl is a tool and she drives me nuts. I even went home and told my mom all about this girl that annoyed the hell out of me. But I had to see her all the time because we worked together. And as I got to know her, I liked her more and more. 8 years later, I was her maid of honour at her wedding and her labour coach for two babies. We talk everyday!

    Anyway, my point is, maybe this girl just needs a smarter, more mature woman to take interest in her and give her a little guidance. It’s up to you, but think about it.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Ha! I have almost exactly the same story with my ‘best’ friend.

    2. Oh and I just thought I’d add, there is a 7 year age difference between her and I (except in this case I’m the younger one… we met when I was 17 and she was 24. I thought she was a tool and she thought I was a teenage twit, and yet here we are, best friends after 8 years!)

  3. lets_be_honest says:

    LW, you sound like a really nice person, just thought I’d add that in.

    1. I agree that this LW does sound like a nice person, but I also think that the LW’s always try to make themselves sounds as nice as possible so the can actually get the answers they want, and Wendy does a really good job of seeing through this, and giving the advice that the LW actually needs. Not saying that this is what happened here, but it is just so hard to tell sometimes who is actually being genuine!

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        You know, I wrote that before I read Wendy’s advice or the other comments. In giving the benefit of the doubt after reading what everyone had to say and thinking Wendy really gave some great advice, if she was being honest about how she handles herself, then good for her and she is very nice. If she was being disingenious, then maybe someone telling her that the way she protrayed herself to be is really nice, she’ll live up to that. Did that make any sense?

      2. Haha yeah definitely. And I always do that, feel one way, and then read the advice, and see the hidden meaning in a lot of the LW’s stories!

  4. The only other thing I don’t buy is that Clueless didn’t know her dress was over the top. Women know when the girls are hanging out all over the place.

    1. Yeah, but when you’re 20 years old, you don’t realize that it looks bad. When you’re 20, slutty = sexy and you don’t yet realize the difference.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        Honestly, I’ve never been that oblivious in my entire life, much less at 20. It bothers me slightly that people get to “get away” with immature, oblivious behavior just because they’re 20. I’m 23, and I feel like I have nothing in common with this 20-year-old.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Lets be honest Regina (see what I did there, hehe), judging from all your input on DW, you are not like ANY 20 year old. That’s a compliment in case it reads wrong through the computer.

      3. ReginaRey says:

        No, it did not read wrong! And thank you, that’s a very nice compliment.

      4. You’re lucky to be mature for your age. I can definitely say I went through a stage of obliviousness about what I wore around 19/20 (as do a lot of girls). Trying to squeeze into sexy clothes too small for me, letting too much skin show, going to a baby shower in a major cleavage top (sigh… my friend still won’t let me live that one down). Not all girls go through this of course but I’m sure a good number of them do.

        Also, there is a huge difference in maturity between 20 and 23. Major growing up years.

      5. Yeah, I can remember in college there were a couple of friends that got married at a young age, and you saw a whole lot of dresses like that at the wedding (and unfortunately guys wearing sunglasses in doors at these weddings), and since most of the girls where around that age not as many people noticed, but when you stick a 20 year old at a wedding for a 30 year old, and that is the average age then you are going to stick out like a sore thumb!

      6. ReginaRey says:

        I can declare with certainty that I’ve grown up a lot in the past 3 years, mostly thanks to relationship woes that taught me a HELL of a lot about maturity and life and the general ability to have one’s shit together. As for the clothes, I think I have my mom to thank for that. She’s a very sophisticated, classy person and while I was forming my fashiong sense, I absorbed how to be classy-sexy, as opposed to slutty-sexy, from her I think.

      7. This conversation…for whatever reason…made me think of granny panties.

      8. ReginaRey says:

        Do I need to be offended? I can’t tell. Haha. But for the record, granny panties are not a staple of my wardrobe.

      9. HAHA no…not at all.

    2. Yes, but 20 year olds don’t always realize that what’s appropriate for the club isn’t appropriate at a wedding. I’m sure she knew her jubblies were hanging out, she just didn’t think it was a problem.

      1. silver_dragon_girl says:

        I will never look at these the same way again:

    3. I guy I knew in college once said that all the younger girls (he was getting a second degree or something, he was older, like 26-ish) dressed “club-fashionable”, which meant that they were clothes that you technically could rock at the club, but still wear out in public and be considered “business casual”.

      I think that is a pretty true thing.

      1. I have seen undergrads at academic conferences dressed this way. Business casual should not be club sexy.

    4. my girls are on the large side & cannot easily be contained in a lot of dresses without wearing a tank top underneath and i can’t imagine what dress i’d wear to a wedding that i would wear a tank top underneath…and wearing a cardigan buttoned up over most dresses would not be a very pretty look either so i would opt to have the girls hang out

      i also can’t imagine attending a wedding where everyone is focused on judging one guest instead of focusing on celebrating the joyful event at hand…what kind of people does the LW associate with that they’d rather laugh & glare at their friend’s girlfriend of 2 years?! time for the adults here to start behaving like adults!

  5. lets_be_honest says:

    Am I the only person who wishes Christina Hendricks would put her tits away every once in a while? They often look like their choking her neck and the veins, yuck. She’s very pretty and not traditional Hollywood (i.e. stick thin) which is nice, but I wish she’d enhance her other assets too, not just make it seem like boobs is all she has to offer looks-wise.

    1. artsygirl says:

      I kinda feel the same way about Rihanna. She is constantly half naked and seems to go out of her way to show the world that she does not wear underwear. Seriously lets leave a little mystery in the world.

      1. Agreed – if we walked around like that, we’d get cited for public indecency. Role-model she is not. Not that she ever wanted to be. I understand she is young and certainly reveling in the whole “I’m not an abused woman anymore, need to show my abuser that I’m better off without him” thing, but c’mon – class, tact and taste don’t cost a pretty penny.

    2. I agree. I have huge knockers too, but you don’t see me revealing all to the world. You are sexier when you have a bit of mystery. I’m not saying she needs to wear a turtleneck to an awards show, but she could cover them up and stop trying to hike them into her neckline. We know they are there, they exist. However, they are a part of her body, not separate entities.

      1. honeybeenicki says:

        They kinda look like they’re trying to attack her face. Mine are slightly larger than average too and I try to keep them contained so they don’t hurt someone 😉 Do you think it hurts to have them shoved up under her chin like that?

    3. I agree, and I’m glad this doesn’t happen in the real world as much, because I would get in a lot of trouble for staring!

    4. I don’t mind that she shows them off – I just think she should let ’em breathe a little bit! Those suckers are hoisted up so high she can barely see over them!

      1. Exactly. It’s not the fact that they’re out – we should all feel free to flaunt what we’ve got! It’s the fact that her dresses are obviously ill-fitting, and pushing them up into such a weird place and a weird shape. She must be doing it on purpose, because obviously she can afford to get them tailored to fit correctly.

    5. I think they look quite comfortable and would love to take a nap on them.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I love you.

      2. silver_dragon_girl says:

        Get in line.

      3. Try holding up G-cup boobies for more than a decade and see how comfortable your back is.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        I would happily burn my A cup bra for those. (my back already hurts anyway.)

      5. I’m sure your pretty little A cup bra cost you $15 out of the sale bin at Walmart. My G cup bra is custom made and cost $175. PER bra! And at 25 years old, this custom made bra is the first time in my life I’ve had something pretty! (Instead of an ugly old ill fitting granny bra). Still wanna trade? LoL!

      6. I used to wear A cup, and believe me, they weren’t cheap. In fact, it was impossible to find one that fit. The reason? I’m tall. So, the A-cup straps were too short even when I lengthened them as far as they would go. They just weren’t long enough to go over my shoulders comfortably. So yes, I had to go to a specialty shop and buy the expensive ones as well. Don’t assume that smaller is better. The best is to be average, because then you’re right in the sweet spot of all the sizes.

      7. Let me say it’s really hard to find an A cup bra that doesn’t make you look flat. I have to buy Wonderbra’s all the time. I’m looking into getting full B’s.

      8. I have the opposite problem… I’m really small in the torso, so the straps are always too long and falling down even when I have them as tight as they go. Grrr!

      9. As someone who is 36DDD I feel your pain MissDre!

        Shopping for a bra is like going out for a day of torture. Plus, the A and B cup girls always get the bras with the nice patterns! My bras are black, white and tan. 🙁

      10. *hug* I feel your pain as well. 36F to 36G (depending on “that time of the month”). There is no hitting Wal-Mart or Target for me. Nope, the “big girl” specialty store, and even then, they rarely have my size (usually, they carry 38 and up), or JCPenny’s/Nordstrom, and even then – good luck for my size because I’m not the norm for them either. Ordering online is NOT recommended for us Alaskan girls, and we don’t have specialty specialty shops.

      11. I feel all of your pain. I was a 32G at 5’1″. Pain, no cute bras, etc etc. I’m much happier now tho. Reduction surgery is an amazing thing!

      12. ‘Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow…’ eh?

  6. I think it’s very easy to convince yourself you’re being the nice guy in situations like this. But, like Wendy said the nice thing to do would be to act like adults. She’s only 20 hanging out with a bunch of 30 year olds, I’m sure she’s already self conscious. If she wants the jokes explained she should ask her bf later.

    As far as the dress goes, definitely time for a white lie, unless of course she actually did have a stain, rip, dress stuck in panties/hose, etc. then it’s appropriate to tell her.

  7. artsygirl says:

    LW – I have a friend like Elise. She is beautiful, tall, and slender. She is also somewhat immature and probably couldn’t figure her way out of a brown paper bag (a joke she constantly makes). She misquotes things, gets definitions mixed up, and completely misses general references. You know what, I love being her friend. She is sweet, kind, and has yet to meet someone she didn’t like. She has an almost child-like sense of wonder that makes me constantly question my cynicism. Take Wendy’s advice and talk to people who make fun of her. Chances are Elise knows that she is immature and not too bright. In fact, letting the insults wash over her makes her far more mature than those that insult her for her lack of understanding. As far as her whining and complaining about group activities, has anyone ever asked her what she wants to do? I imagine it is easy to disregard her opinions because she is the baby of the group, but maybe she has some ideas that are worth investigating. Respect her as an adult and individual and hopefully she will mature more when she has the opportunity.

    1. artsygirl says:

      I would also like to add that the person who should receive your well intentioned advice is Ken. He sounds like a class A ass since he is dating this girl but refuses to help her in any way. He is the one who should stick up for her when people make snarky comments, since I doubt they are going over his head. He is the one who should explain missed references and proper wedding attire. Instead it sounds like he wants to have a dim, immature beauty queen – maybe because if she wised up she would realize she could do better than a 33 year old man who has to date high school seniors.

      1. LoL for real!!!!

      2. Landygirl says:

        I love this!!

      3. ReginaRey says:


      4. Addie Pray says:


      5. I’ve known more situations where a guy that dates over 10 years younger than himself (at 30) typically is not much of a catch himself than where he is the super sophisticated guy the young girl hoped he would be.

      6. artsygirl says:

        I keep replaying Seth Rogan’s character in Pineapple Express who is dating a beautiful high school-er. He realizes on the phone that he doesn’t want to be with her because she was too immature when she should be looking for a better partner. It is possible that Ken is intentionally trying to stunt Elise’s growth so he will always be the smarter, mature, cooler partner.

      7. honeybeenicki says:

        My husband is 10 years older than me and it works out well because he acts about 15 years younger than his age.

      8. Yea, I’m not saying it can’t work out. Just that typically 31 year old dudes hitting on fresh high school grads are creepers and not the typical “I like to date older men” scenario.

      9. honeybeenicki says:

        Yeah that struck me as kinda icky. I was in my 2nd year of college when my husband got together, which in my book is definitely different than a high school senior. And I grew up fast due to life events and was much more mature than most of the people my age.

      10. This. All over this.

      11. such a good point! who the hell would let their girlfriend out to a wedding of their own friend’s in a way to revealing dress?

      12. landygirl says:

        Creepy Ken would!!

      13. creepy ken reallllly likes that dress….

      14. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:


  8. Thank you so much for pointing out that Elise isn’t the only one being immature in this scenario. Although you definitely don’t sound malicious, I do kind of get the sense that you and your friends revel in your perceived maturity and sophistication in contrast to Elise. Your friends do it by being snarky, you do it by just trying to help this poor clueless little soul who in your eyes is apparently is incapable of understanding social norms. This is a grown woman we’re talking about here. She’s had her whole life to decide what she thinks is appropriate to wear to a wedding, and she doesn’t need you to educate her. She obviously has a different idea of an appropriate amount of cleavage than you do, as she’s worn this outfit to two separate weddings. If one of my friends said she was uncomfortable because everyone was staring at her, I would never say something like “that’s because you outfit is jenky” or “that’s because your thighs are too chunky to be wearing that skirt”. I would say, “yeah, that’s rude”. It isn’t like her skirt was accidentally caught in her underwear and she had no idea…this was a concerted outfit choice that she’s stuck in for the remainder of the event. You telling her it is inappropriate when she’s already uncomfortable is certainly not doing her any favors, so I’m not surprised that she took it as you being a mean girl.

      1. Haha, don’t other people say jenky??

      2. I do! All the time! But I spell it “janky.” “Jank-ass” is one of my favorite terms. 😀

      3. GingerLaine says:

        And I use jankity! I’ll agree that jank-ass is the best! 🙂

        And in my usage, the definition of jankity/janky/jank-ass is busted, broke down, raggedy, effed-up, beat-down, so on & so forth. 🙂

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        I’ve never heard it before. I’m guessing it means skanky?? Quick funny story-I’m driving home and my then 7 year old daughter announces “I feel bad for skanks. They probably have no friends because they smell so bad.” After I abruptly shouted WHAT??!?!, I realized she meant skUnks, not skAnks. Damn she’s cute.

      5. I haven’t been feeling well for a couple days, therefore just perusing & not commenting. But this made me spit my sody pop! Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        You’re welcome! and hope you feel better 🙂

      7. That’s adorable! I love it when kids say things like that!

  9. Avatar photo Public Pearl says:

    “Everyone usually just ignores her — including Ken”

    I’m kinda surprised this relationship has lasted two years. You’d think the sex would have worn off and he’d be creeping for another 18-year-old. Poor girl.

    1. silver_dragon_girl says:

      Ken kinda sounds like a dick, IMO. Who spends two years bringing a girl around people who mock her? Doesn’t sound like he’s ever talked to them about it, or leaped to her defense, either…

      1. Avatar photo Public Pearl says:

        That’s what I thought. No, “Hey, you guys know I love Elise, so knock off the condescending bullshit”? Yeah, he’s totally just in it for the sex.

      2. SpaceySteph says:

        THIS THIS THIS! Being a 30 year old man dating a teenager is a giant, baseball field rain tarp sized red flag. Because there are few, very very few, adult men who date young girls for any reasons but the totally creepy.
        BUT then to not defend her, protect her, or tell his bitchy mean girl friends to knock it of… any possible reason to give “Ken” the benefit of the doubt completely evaporates. Ken is a dick and his mean girl friends are snobby bitches. If I were the LW I would distance myself from all of these awful people.

      3. Douchebag has a very calculated reason for his refusal to defend her.

        Constant ridicule = low self-esteem = naive teenager continues trend of being naive and dependent on creepy old predator.

      4. Natasia Rose says:

        Agreed. If your friends go down to the local high school to find girlfriends, maybe you need new friends.

  10. Oh dear Goddess, this girl sounds somewhat like my sister. Somewhat. Add mean, vindictive, snarky, jealous, and drama queen and you’ve described my sister.
    My sister is a total ditz. Airhead. Idiot. I’m talking the kind of idiot that celebrates weekly anniversaries with a guy after 6 months, and expects to go to a fancy restaurant for EACH weekly anniversary. The kind of idiot who burned a flag on 9/11 to protect herself from terrorists (in Alaska).
    When a “Haru Sushi” opened up in our town, I laughed and said it was funny. She frowned and thought it was a Japanese sexual reference. We had just watched “Beverly Hills Ninja” – Chris Farley’s character’s name was “Haru”.

    The main reason you correct a person like this is your own satisfaction. To rub it in that they don’t get it and you’re TIRED of seeing a blank look of confusion. You may have had the right intentions about the dress, but SHE was probably tired of the teasing and the constant ribbing and jokes about her intellect and add in the fact that she was mortified/embarassed at being inappropriately attired at the wedding, well – she was venting. Much like the “mean girls” in your group do with you about this girl.
    It’s time to stop making jokes at this girl’s expense. You don’t like her – we get it. She gets it. She puts up with it for her boyfriend’s sake, which is why you all are there – Ken. Which is more important, your egos (which Ken has obviously burst since he didn’t choose any of you, or anyone of your age group for this girl, whom he likes), or Ken’s happiness with this girl?
    Check the snarkiness at the door.

  11. cookiesandcream says:

    Wow, in all honesty, I feel really bad for the friend’s girlfriend. I think the reason why your friend, Ken, is dating her can be summed up in your statement, “she is quite beautiful.” I really don’t see a connection between her and Ken because Ken doesn’t stop his own friends from making fun of her (right to her face!), doesn’t bother to include her in conversations with his friends, and was indifferent to the whole dress matter. Maybe she feels all grown up because she’s dating an older guy and gets to be his wedding date.

    I don’t think the LW was out of line about the dress because if a whole room of people were talking about me being inappropriate, I’d want someone to tell me so I can stop immediately. If anything, if she had worn the same dress to a previous wedding and received similar comments, then it should be Ken telling her to wear a more modest dress.

    1. i actually wondered if she said something to ken and he said you’re fine because he doesn’t see a problem with the dress and since she got his approval she was like great, i’ll wear it again!

      1. cookiesandcream says:

        haha yeah that’s definitely true! That’s actually happened to me before. Once I wore a v-neck sweater to a college interview, and I asked my friend if she thought it was too low-cut. She said no (she has a fairly conservative style so I trusted her), but when I got to the interview, the interviewer definitely thought it was too low-cut! I noticed her glancing down at my chest every so often (SO SO awkward!) and I was so embarrassed because she was from a school I really wanted to go to. I never wore that sweater again….

      2. Everything becomes way more low-cut when you sit down, FYI. I have dresses that are only suitable for seeing my boyfriend’s parents if we’re not eating a meal. If I’m eating a meal at a table, that dress becomes a date dress only.

  12. ForeverYoung says:

    I have somewhat been in the other girls position before. Well actually the only similarity was the mean girl attitude and the age difference. I would like to think I didn’t dress as slutty and wasn’t that dumb. 🙂 When I was 19 I dated a 26 year old. All of his friends were that age and older. The girls were ridiculously mean to me and I had no idea why at the time. (Turns out a month after we broke up he starting banging one of these “friends” of his, so looking back I know why they were all mean to me). But it was awful. Granted I am pretty sure I was smarter than most of them at least intellectually, but emotionally and experience wise I wasn’t. They were more experienced in life. Because of that, looking back I feel like there behavior was even worse than I thought at the time. They would talk behind my back and I would walk in on it, and I know they wanted me to hear it. Things like I wasn’t good enough for him, what did he see with a 19 year old who couldn’t even legally drink, blah blah blah. Keep in mind I was 1 year away from graduating college and most of them didn’t even go to college. It messed with me for a long time. The mean girl attitude of his friends did way more damage to me than the messed up way he broke up with me. That was my first experience to know what it was like for older women to hate you just because of your looks and jealousy. I bent over backwards to be nice to these women, and it just continued. I tried to kill them with kindness, looking back it was actually really pathetic how much I wanted their approval.

    She might be immature, but what 18 year old isn’t? You and your friends are the ones that SHOULD be acting mature here. Instead you’re ganging up on her, and frankly acting extremely bitchy. I’m not saying you, you seem like you genuinely want to do the right thing here and I commend you for that. But seriously? Pick on someone your own age.

    The only thing you can control in this situation is your friends. You can’t magically make her mature. That will take years and many experiences. She might always be an idiot, but she is at least picking up on the way y’all are treating her. She might not get your jokes, but who cares? Yes, she is shooting herself in the foot by being so obviously ditzy and bringing attention to herself, but lay off. You aren’t doing her any favors by pointing these things out, and she doesn’t seem like she really wants you too. If you really want to help her out, call off the pack dogs. I still have self esteem issues over the fact that I tried so hard to get these stupid girls to like me that I was willing to let them treat me like shit. Don’t do that to her.

    1. “The only thing you can control in this situation is your friends.”

      No, the only thing she can control here is herself. Sure, she can talk to her friends but as for “calling off the pack,” whose to say she has that kind of influence over the group?

      1. ForeverYoung says:

        Yeah I knew that would get flagged. But I didn’t know how to word it right. I meant the only people she can try to address this situation with is her friends – because they are FRIENDS. It doesn’t sound like she’s friends with the girlfriend.

        I think it is her responsibility as a decent human being to try her best to call off the pack. Mean girls get to be mean because no one calls them out on their shit, and then it just snowballs. If she refuses to participate in making fun of her, the snarky comments, and tells them to grow up, she might have an influence on them. I have made people change their behavior for the better before – I think it’s part of being a good friend. I have also had people call me out when I am behaving poorly, and I took it to heart.

  13. AndreaMarie says:

    um I’m always the first to defend age differences in relationships. I’m 27 and the last 2 guys I dated were 37 and 41. We might be 10+ years apart but I’m a grown woman! What in the world could a 30 year old man have in common with an 18 year old girl?? Of all the women in the world to be in a relationship with…a man in his 30s finds the most common ground for a relationship with a girl living in a dorm who can’t buy a drink at the bar??

    I think your friend is what’s inappropriate not the young girl’s cleavage!!

    1. AndreaMarie says:

      and may I also add in regards to the “mean girls”. I’ve felt it at full wrath!!! With my ex, the 41 year old, the other 40 year old women in the group wouldn’t so much as look at me!! Constantly whsipering behind my back. Always saying..in so many words…that he MUST be in it for the sex and I MUST be in it for the money. So jealous and nasty. So I can identify with what she must feel.

      1. ForeverYoung says:

        I know. I will NEVER understand mean girl mentality. It’s so ridiculous. I had a really big high school that was awesome and I never had to deal with gossipy crap, so once I was 19 dealing with women in their late 20’s acting like that I was in way over my head, I had no idea how to respond to their behavior.

      2. cookiesandcream says:

        I recommend reading “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman (it was the basis for the movie Mean Girls). It’s an excellent book about dealing with mean girls and cliques in middle school and high school, but it’s relevant no matter what your age. Honestly, I think once you hit those middle school years, you have to deal with mean girls for the rest of your life. Even though the book is geared towards parents of pre-teens and teens, I found it really helpful because it helped me deal with the mean girl culture in a healthier way. She also wrote another book called “Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads” which I also recommend to parents who are dealing with other moms and dads.

      3. ForeverYoung says:

        I lucked out in not having to deal with it in middle school or high school. Honestly I think it’s atrocious that this behavior is allowed to flourish. That is why I think the LW should bring it up to her friends. If she doens’t laugh at their snarky jokes or encourage it in any way, and even calls them out, hopefully they will become so embarrassed they are forced to evaluate their lives.

        I am now a working professional and sometimes feel like the old office women are my biggest critics. It’s like why can’t we just be here to WORK? I apologize for being younger than you but you should take that up with my mom.

  14. This “Ken” is without a doubt a Class-A Creeper. Where does a 31 year-old man even meet an 18 year-old? I knew of some male high school teachers who did this crap with students or very recent graduates and it is just disgusting. I personally wouldn’t hang out with this creeper anymore. But LW, if you want to maintain a friendship with this man, then you have to be more welcoming to his GF. Your own behavior reeks of immaturity, so perhaps you could connect with Elise on that level.

    1. I totally agree — there is a lot of immaturity on display here, but it is not confined to Ken’s girlfriend. She is a naif, who has been preyed upon by a predator. What kind of 31-year old has a HS girl as his girlfriend? What circle of friends finds this acceptable and amuses themselves by snide in-jokes about the HS kid? Ken is either extremely immature and afraid of a relationship with an actual woman, or an outright creepy predator, or both. His circle of friends seem to be rather nasty enablers. ‘She makes Ken happy’ is a very feeble excuse for this sort of conduct.

      Clearly Ken could not have avoided knowing what his live-in gf was wearing to the wedding — once, let alone twice. Apparently he is a guy who gets his rocks off having all his acquaintances ogling his barely-of-age live-in’s boobs spilling out of his dress. Big man.

  15. ele4phant says:

    Jeez, can’t agree more with Wendy that women in their late 20s/early 30s who are still making nasty mean girl comments IN FRONT OF someone have a lot of growing up to do too.

    I get that this girl is clueless, annoying, immature and maybe not who you would choose to hang out with if you had your choice, but at least she’s only 20. There is still time for her to grow up and mature.

  16. LW, I think you should still help her out– she’s in an awkward position & even if (for whatever reason) she interpreted your help as catty, she could’ve just been compensating for her own embarrassment. OR perhaps, for the moment, she was mentally lumping you in with the -actual- catty girls of the group. Whatever it is, since she accepted your apology, I’m assuming she just got caught up when venting about the experience to Ken. I do feel bad for her from your description, and just keep in mind that although a 20-year-old is not a child, a lot of maturing goes on between that age and say, twenty-five? I’m 24, and I wore a dress to a wedding a few years ago that I would NEVER wear to a wedding now– it wasn’t particularly slutty, but definitely kinda tacky. So there’s that.

  17. ReginaRey says:

    Listen, I get the desire to want to give help to someone who’s totally clueless, making a fool of themselves, and needs to get their shit together. There’s one person in particular I’m acquainted with who literally makes me SHAKE with annoyance at their daftness, their hypocrisy, and their divatude. But 9 times out of 10,the reason I find myself wanting to clue this person in is for MY own benefit – because I’m so damn annoyed and frustrated with the idiocy that I can’t stand to be silent for another second. I know that nothing I say to HER would actually help – because she’s oblivious to her own issues and likes to foist blame on to anyone but herself. So what good is my commenting to her going to do? When you find yourself wanting to make a comment or “help” someone more for YOU than for THEM, it’s best to just say nothing at all.

    Though it may drive you crazy to allow her to exist in her baffled, air-brained state, you’ve seen once that trying to clue her in isn’t going to do any real good. If you want to do something positive, then just make an effort not to contribute to any nasty remarks about her and don’t purposefully be mean or negative toward her or Ken. Hopefully she’ll grow up and out of it, and maybe Ken will eventually part ways with her and date someone his own age (though if he’s attracted to her, perhaps they share a similar maturity level…). There’s really nothing you can do to “help” this situation, other than smile in silence.

  18. Landygirl says:

    Ken is creepy and that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

  19. Suuuuper creeped out by Ken.

    This Elise girl sounds nice enough but the fact that he was OVER 30 and she was IN HIGH SCHOOL when she started dating him is just too creepy. I was in a high school today (substitute teacher) and walking through the halls I felt like I was about twice their age when in reality I’m only about 6 years older than them. It’s a world of difference.

    Not to mention the fact that he will never stand up for her ever. Sounds like he’s just not that into her. I’m shocked it lasted 2 years so far. Not sure it will last that much longer.

  20. heidikins says:

    If you really are good friends with Ken, you might want to let him take this bull by it’s horns. Tell him your thoughts, let him–AS THE BOYFRIEND–navigate the Mean Girls and his girlfriend’s feelings and “ZOMIGoodnes! Ken! No one likes me! Your friends hate me! They are always mean to me!”. It’s part of his emotional and relationship-y responsibility if he wants to date someone with so little experience in “Real Life Relationships” (as opposed to high school relationships) to make sure she either fits in or is at least comfortable around his friends (who are clearly not in the same place she is). It’s not your job to solve this problem, although alerting Ken to the situation would be a kind gesture for HIS sake and for ELISE’S sake.


    1. cookiesandcream says:

      I definitely agree with you that Ken should be stepping up here. From what the LW wrote, it doesn’t sound like Ken is being world’s best boyfriend. I really hope this isn’t her first relationship because it would kind of suck if your first relationship as a teen was with a 30 year old whose friends hated her.

    2. heidikins says:

      After reading the rest of the comments, Artsygirl has already said basically the same thing. Man up, Ken!


  21. warning..I’m about to go on a rant…

    You know what, I honestly feel bad for Elise. So she’s ditzy and doesn’t get your oh-so-mature 30 year old jokes? Have you ever considered that in her group of friends you probably wouldn’t get the jokes, pop-culture references, and they would think that you are a total bore? You don’t like one of your friends girlfriend’s. Get over it. Support her and be nice to her because you are supporting your friend, Ken. And it doesn’t matter if any of you don’t get the reason he likes her. Someone who is in their 30s should’ve have learned by now that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. I think she’s probably trying to be nice and find things in common with all of you. When I was 20 I wouldn’t have wanted to hang out with a bunch of 30 year olds all the time. I would say “No way, people that are 30 are old and boring”. And I’m sure Ken doesn’t have the best time hanging out with her friends. But you know what? They are trying to make it work. Since it appears that you are the only decent female in your group of friends, you need to take the lead and talk to your girlfriends and say “Hey, Elise may not be our cup of tea, but we need to cut out the mean talk and be polite to her”. Oh, and did you ever consider that someone who’s 40 would find you and your group of friends NOT as mature and put together and you consider yourselves to be?

    I guess the reason I’m so sensitive about this topic is because I can come off ditzy and vapid sometimes. But I’m also well educated and can be very well-spoken when the situation calls for it. I also consider myself relatively attractive, so I am subject to this ridiculous and unjustified hatred from people who take themselves too seriously (aka your group of friends). Basically your friend’s poor behavior is a reflection of THEIR personality defaults, not Elise’s. If you honest to god want to “help” this girl, even though I don’t understand why you need to fix her (would you like someone trying to fix your personality?) I would hang out with her one-on-one. If I was Elise though, I would break up with Ken because his friends are a group of horrible jerks.

    1. Landygirl says:

      I think the person who should get your noodle lashing is creepy Ken, not the LW. We know why Ken is with her, and it most likely isn’t for her brains or wit. He is the one who should be defending and protecting her and telling his friends to lay off the mean talk.

    2. ForeverYoung says:

      THANK YOU!! I cannot thumb this up enough. It’s funny how awesome all these women must think they are. I bet a bunch of 50 year old women think they are immature and annoying. Age is all relevant. But they are way older than this girl and should know better. You could make the argument that 18 isn’t that young, but whatever – they are behaving horribly.

      This is one of those situations where I totally believe in Karma. What goes around comes around. I hope they will get a wake up call when they are ever in an uncomfortable situation and have a bunch of snotty old women degrading them.

    3. I was told I sound not as smart as people find me to be? Kind of a back handed compliment I guess. It is because I talk slow…which is over-compensating my natural desire to talk really fast when I’m explaining things after being told I talk too fast….so yea…good point of “don’t judge a book until you’ve read it.”

  22. Regina Rey….after Ms. Wendy gives birth…can you please Please PLEASE write some guest columns?!?!?!? I love your advice as much as I love Wendy’s!!!

    1. ReginaRey says:

      Haha! Actually, I’m already set to answer guest columns once every few weeks after Wendy’s baby comes…so look for them! Thanks for being so enthusiastic! 🙂

  23. WatersEdge says:

    I might be the only one here who feels this way, but I’m just going to say it. If the girl asked you a direct question about her appearance, you had absolutely no obligation to lie to her. If she didn’t want to hear it, then she shouldn’t have asked. If someone said to me “I feel uncomfortable because everyone’s staring at me and I don’t know why”, and I knew why, I’d tell her! Maybe I would get some personal satisfaction out of it, maybe not. But I’m honest with my opinions. I really don’t fault you for saying something to her. It’s not your job to protect her from the natural consequences of her terrible decisions.

    My cousin is engaged to a girl like this and it’s just bad. I wouldn’t want someone 10 years my junior hanging around complaining about group activities, wearing trashy clothes, and whining about jokes until someone stops and explains them to her either.

    To answer your question, it’s sweet of you to try to help her out but she’s clearly not interested. Be thankful that she seems like a nice person overall, if a bit annoying, and that she makes your friend happy. It could be worse- they could fight all the time and ruin every outing like my cousin does with his fiance. If it were me I’d back off with the “helpful tips” about wardrobe and take my explaining the jokes right back with me, too. Be kind and polite, but let her fend for herself, because she obviously gets the wrong impression.

    1. i completely agree with you!

      if someone seems clueless, its not mean or whatever to clue them in. thats kindness. now, you can definitely do it in a kind OR and not-so-kind way, but if it is done in the correct way, it can be kind.

      i would’ve told her that her boobs were hanging out too.

      unfortunately, people like this cant be helped. the clueless are doomed to always be clueless, unfortunately.

      just dont be mean to people, period.

    2. landygirl says:

      Thank you. Everyone is giving the LW a difficult time and I don’t think she deserves it.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        I don’t either. I have been subjected to more fucking stupid young boyfriends of friends than I can even count. Once I flippantly said something happened in 1989 BC and the boytoy in question was like “BC? Huh? What? BC…is that like the OC?”

        It’s exhausting. And maddening having to dumb down every single conversation because somebody has the intellect of a 8 year old.

        And then when you try to help out — you often do become the bad guy! Hah, we once went to the beach and somebody’s latest 19 year old went swimming in white boxers — WHITE. WET. BOXERS!!! — well, you do the math. It was SO not pretty and here we were at a family beach. Finally, I suggested he wrap my towel around his waist. Only to be told that I was being mean, and harsh and hurt his wittle feelings… Meanwhile, you could see EVERYTHING!!! (And I mean everything…) Random people were making RUDE comments… Strangers, I mean. It was all very NC-17.

        So, yes. It’s annoying. Hey, sure, your friend gets all the fun — They get to bang the hottie. Meanwhile, you are left babysitting a small child at various get togethers — one who never grows up or gets any smarter either, it seems — for the rest of their relationship. The trick is to have fun with it. I once got some twink to believe I spoke fluent Chinese simply by constantly stringing together various menu items out of context. “Moo Shu Gai Pan Goyoza! Tempura Pad Thai!” This went on for weeks until he actually started trying to learn it from me… “Wait, Mark. Wait, I thought Teppanyaki meant…Hello.” Whoops. 😉

      2. *laugh*

        Ah, you mess with the little pukes too! I do this to the morons my sister dates. It’s bad when you convince a soldier that he needs to put blinker fluid in his car before they stop working; only to find out he actually is a mechanic for the army – AND. HE. BELIEVES. YOU. Unfortunately, this one bred with my sister. I wept for the species that day.

    3. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:


  24. caffeinatrix says:

    LW, I sympathize with you as well. I have a coworker who sounds a lot like your friend’s girlfriend. Normal social cues sail right over his head. If he ever does anything wrong, he’s incapable of owning up to it and tries to either argue his way out or shove the blame off on someone else. He’s a know-it-all, but has no idea what he’s talking about with customers (we’re in sales), so he’ll just make stuff up- leaving someone else to deal with an angry customer later on. He also douses himself in so much Axe body spray throughout the day (every time he takes a smoke break) that our break room now constantly stinks of it, and a cloud of that icky stench follows him all over the store.
    It sounds like you have some sympathy for the girlfriend, LW, just like I have for my irritating coworker. Like you, I feel bad for disliking him as much as I do, even though I know everyone else I work with agrees with me. But there is nothing to be done about it. She knows that none of her boyfriend’s friends like her (and I concur that the boyfriend probably doesn’t like her that much either, if he shows no inclination to stick up for her when his friends trash her to her face). So, she’s likely already feeling defensive in any social situation that involves hanging out with all of you. Even if your intentions are completely altruistic, she won’t see it that way. The better thing to do would be to suggest to your friends that they lay off her. Then leave her alone so she has a little time to think about what the hell she’s doing dating a 30 year old who’s looking for a high school bimbo.
    As for me and my annoying coworker, the only coping strategy I have come up with is job hunting.

  25. Stilgar666 says:

    Ken sounds like a loser. Most of the time if a dude is dating someone that much younger, it is because he can’t get with somebody his own age. Unless the younger woman in question is wise beyond her years…

    Until Ken wises up, no more plus ones.

    If he was a decent guy, there would have been a conversation with her about wedding etiquette, after the first appearance of the dress. But it sounds like the only thing he cares about is the way she looks…not about her social discomfort or his friends’ sanity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *