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In the teen flick Ten Things I Hate About You, Julia Stiles's character reads off a list of the things she hates about her love interest, ranging from his haircut to his behavior. In real life, however, there aren't ten things that boys do to irritate girls; there are about a million. Some behavior is forgivable; things such as making sexual innuendoes, drinking way too much alcohol, and talking about sports non-stop are impossible to eliminate from the behavior of a teenage guy. Beer, girls, and sports (sometimes substituted by cars): accept them and move on.

There are several unforgiveable actions, though. Most of them can also be exhibited by girls, but are generally characteristic of males between the ages of 13 and 21.

The first unforgivable offense is killing conversation or, worse yet, not attempting to carry one. This happens all the time, as I unfortunately know from personal experience. Be it through text-messaging or in person, guys often kill conversations by replying with one-word answers or grunting. With all that is going on in the world today, it isn't difficult to share some thoughts, even if they are about the weather. Hell, we'll even take sports if the alternative is silence. Girls thrive on talk, which is why this act is so damaging to a potential relationship. Silent dates are never fun.

Somewhat hand-in-hand with conversation killers are guys who are boring. What distinguishes them from the previous group is that they may be able to carry on a conversation, but this is not helpful because their listeners are most likely dead by the time something interesting is said. Once, I was taking a walk with a boy I had not seen in a while, so we were catching up. Considering that we had not seen each other for over a year and that he had just come back from an exotic vacation, one would assume conversation would not be a problem. However, this kid was a double offender: he would grunt curt responses, and when I tried to make conversation by saying things such as, "We should go paragliding/surfing/do other extreme sports," he would ask disinterestedly, "Why?" That relationship died.

Of course, there are the usual male no-no's, such as cheating, lying, and being disrespectful and immature. These things are bad behavior, and both girls and guys know it. But the thing is (and all guys would do well to remember this), girls will overlook most faults if they are kept engaged, be it in conversation or otherwise. -- Jennie Matusova, La Jolla H.S.

Boys, boys, boys...the last thing a teenage girl should worry about. The reason why lies in the fact that most guys my age have never heard the word "manners." If someone attempted to define such a word to a typical guy, the reaction would be a mumbled, "Whatever," and maybe a lovely burp to show how much he really cares. My point: the age of the gentleman has long passed and left us to deal with the simple-minded boy. My experiences with male teenagers have led me to believe that only a few guys out there really care about how they present themselves to the world. I know that some genuine and unique young men exist. They include those who do not release internal gases in public (and if it accidentally happens, the words "excuse me" actually come out of their mouths), dress modestly, hold open doors for the ladies, respect their mothers, and do not cuss. So many young men do not know how to control their use of dirty words. They're used so often, I could almost become immune to these bleepin' words. If a guy uses cuss words in every sentence, it reveals his lack of knowledge for a better and more descriptive word, rendering him unintelligent...in my mind, at least.

If a man can treat his mother right, it shows he was raised in a caring way and knows how to treat a woman he loves. But these days, many boys do not make enough time for their mothers, which suggests they don't care.

Finally, one of the worst things a guy can do (and it's happened to me before) is to comment to one of his guy friends about a "hot" girl while he's with another female. Okay...what am I supposed to do? Agree? Laugh? It's called disrespectful and thoughtless. So, boys, next time you're going to swear, crack a crude joke, or let your pants droop to your knees and call it "fashionable," think again. It's not funny or attractive to do things like that. Maybe one day we'll be lucky enough to see the older generations impacting ours by helping the careless boys become thoughtful, kind, and respectful men. -- Lexie Sebring, Carlsbad H.S. graduate

Sitting at lunch, a group of guys talks about the hot girls around school and waits for any girl to walk by...or should I say step into their court? A court where they are the judges, jury, and lawyers. Before long, a girl strolls by, not knowing the judgment she is subjecting herself to. "Too fat," one boy says. Another one sighs, "Not ugly, but definitely not cute." They continue to bounce rude remarks off each other until the girl is gone or another one walks by. I wish I could say that the majority of high school guys aren't this way. I wish I could talk about how most guys in high school care about personality more than looks. I wish I could say guys restrain themselves from making degrading comments about girls' physical appearances, but let's face reality here: the majority of them don't.

I've heard the comments and seen the girls hurt by them. I've even seen guys who hold up signs with numbers one through ten on them when girls walk by. They even start saying that girls are too skinny, too tall, or too short. Girls can't all look like models and most girls don't have perfect bodies. People wonder why girls have eating disorders or low self-confidence.

All I'm asking of guys is to think about what they are about to say before they blurt out an inappropriate comment. I want guys to think about what scale they are judging girls on; they shouldn't evaluate girls' appearances based on girls that are paid to lose weight, look good, and are usually airbrushed to look better. -- Bryanna Schwartz, Westview H.S.

All these preconceptions and cynicism that each sex has about the opposite sex amuse me. Every man says female drivers are awful, but every woman says male drivers are awful. I can't help but laugh at thoughts such as these because it has become so clear that these notions form when we're teenagers. That said, and speaking generally, teenage boys are foolish. I have a friend, Mike, who serves as a shining example of this characterization. Mike's an intelligent kid, in advanced classes, funny, nice, and a good friend of mine. But, Lord, does he do dumb things. A few weeks ago, he called me over and showed me huge scabs on his lateral pelvic bones; he'd been skateboarding, hit a crack in the sidewalk, and slammed his hips on the sidewalk. "Did a 'Superman' for five feet," he said. "Every time I shower, I scream in agony!"

A week or two later, after we sat down in AP Physics, he started to show me more injuries. I didn't think someone could hurt themself so much and be so proud of it. This time, he showed me scabs on his shoulders, his hip, his chest, his elbow, his knee, and his hand, all from one incident. He said he'd been skateboarding downhill at 30 miles per hour and lost his footing and fell down the hill. The moral of this story is that boys are foolish for skateboarding.

In between these two incidents, Mike hurt himself while at the house of a friend who had a big trampoline in the backyard. After front-flipping successfully one time from another kid's roof onto the trampoline, he decided to do it again, this time missing the trampoline and busting open his lip after hitting his face on his knee.

Finally, as a cherry on this stupid sundae, Mike, just this last week, showing off and acting silly, backed his old Toyota Corolla into my older Jeep Cherokee (on purpose, mind you!) and busted his taillight on my bumper without so much as leaving a mark on my Jeep. -- Laurel Popplewell, Madison H.S.

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