I remember, as a young teen, reading articles in magazines like “Seventeen” that gave girls like me sage advice on how to keep a boy interested. The most important tip: to listen to whatever he has to say with rapt attention, and never upstage him with your own opinions. Ignoring the queasy feeling in my center, I absorbed the message, certain it was the price of love and approval. It’s a message I’m still unlearning, decades later.

Written by

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at www.JanMFlynn.net.

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