DEAR MISS MANNERS: OK, so let's get down to business. There's this boy at school that I really like. The problem (among others) is that I'm a sophomore and he's a senior.
Don't get me wrong; we are actually good friends because of theater. But I'm afraid he'll only think of me as a little sister. Plus, I suspect he likes a junior at our school. He's very popular, kind and funny, but he was not embarrassed to be friends with me even when I was a freshman.
Do you have any tips or ideas on how I can become closer to him or something before the end of the year? Maybe how I can tell him how I feel about him without ruining everything? That's what I'm worried about -- him going away to college before I get the chance (or bravery) to tell him how I feel about him.
GENTLE READER: While ever an enthusiast of romance, there is a reason that Miss Manners favors the 19th-century kind. Yes, its plots can be slow-moving, but wrestling with feelings until one is certain of their reciprocation makes for far less heartbreak and regret.
However, since you have common interests, there is no reason that you cannot ask this young man for coffee to talk about theater -- or invite him to see a show. If he agrees, and does not invite a gaggle of friends along, you have fair indication that there might be interest.
But even if that turns out not to be true, Miss Manners assures you that a two-year gap will soon seem insignificant -- and little sister vibes have a way of changing. If his college is somewhere you'd genuinely be interested in exploring, you can always go visit -- and remind him of what he left behind.