Dear Maddy,

As you probably heard, I turned thirteen today, and my parents said I could finally watch Iron Man On Demand (it’s PG-13), listen to “Hip-Hop Nation” on SiriusXM, and begin courting age-appropriate girls; you were at the top of my list. (I attached my Lady List so you could see the talent you trounced.)

There were so many things I wanted to tell you while I was twelve, and now I’m thirteen and don’t have the balls—I’m all sweaty pits and dry mouth. I don’t want to send my feelings over text because I’m afraid you’ll be in the bathroom and leave your phone on the kitchen table, and then your parents or ruthless brother’ll see my romantic emojis on the lock screen. And I can’t send a Facebook message because my dad hates Zuckerturd, and he’s worried I’ll write something and get hashtag-me-too’d like Uncle Bert. (Dad says my passion can be misinterpreted.)

I thought about a Snap of me holding a sign listing my feelings, but I photograph terribly in any kind of light; I’m best in dark shadow. I can’t call because I’ll be in the middle of pouring my heart out and your phone will vibrate, and you’ll think I said “I love you” and not, “I want to love you,” and you’ll get creeped out, and then I’ll back-peddle and explain and come off like an idiot. What if your phone battery dies right in the middle of the “Air Supply” medley I’ll be singing? These are all likely scenarios.

I’m afraid what I did in my opener just now was “mansplaining,” and Mom told me that’s a no-no. I think two years ago I was allowed to explain stuff, but I had nothing to say then, and now I have a lot of explaining to do but can’t because girls think it shows I don’t respect their intellect. I respect your intellect, Maddy, you look incredibly hot when you’re using yours.

I think you’re beautiful and fly, btw, but Aunt Patty told me not to judge girls based on looks, so even though you have the most amazing eyes and a killer bod, I don’t want you to think I’m just into you for your hotness. When we met, I judged you first for looks and then for your brains, so that should make things all right by Aunt Patty. (You’re almost as pretty as Ariana Grande, just heavier.) Bottom line: if you were smart and not hot, you’d be lower on my Lady List, probably tied with Gracie Porter for the number “6” slot.

Here goes: I’m asking you to be my date to the dance next Friday, but promise me you’ll continue seeing yourself as your own person; don’t be one of those girls who loses herself when she’s with a guy.

Now that we got that out of the way, I’ll tell you that last night I was in bed picturing us dancing together, my head on your shoulder, my arms around you, Rihanna singing about love in her brains, we’re moving to those sick beats… maybe I’ll decide to kiss you, but I could never forgive myself for invading your face with my mouth before getting the “okay.” (Uncle Bert told me about the Supreme Court guy.)

Obviously, it will be kind of awkward if we have a conversation about what I can do to you as I’m about to make my move: hold you a little tighter, crawl my fingers into your beautiful blonde hair and tilt your face correctly so I can hit first base. I ran this scenario by Mrs. Gustafson in homeroom, and she suggested I work this out with you beforehand, and so I included a consent card and self-addressed-stamped-envelope (see attachment 2). Question 1 asks if you’ll ignore my palm-sweating issue and hold hands pretty much the entire night. Question 2: If the mood suggests a kiss is recommended, I won’t object to Steven moving on me. Question 3: If Steven is a bad dancer, has boogers in-view, and/or shows signs of dandruff, I will not share that information with Vanessa James who will absolutely post it all over social media forcing Steven to switch schools and join a cult of incels. Once I get the consent card back, I’ll know where we stand so we can avoid any awkwardness at the dance.

The force is strong with this one,

Steven Goldfarb

P.S.: I sit two seats to the left of you in fourth period. I lent you a pen on Monday. Return it whenever you’re ready.

P.S. #2: I just penciled-in a question on the consent card asking if you prefer my holding your hand in the car or stroking your thigh. Just circle your answer.

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