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THE DAWSON DILEMMA-ED BEST FRIEND
So you’ve known him since the days when mud was an acceptable food group and when rollerblades were the height of coolness. So you swore off the possibility of your hygiene-challenged burp-and-fart-factory of a best bud turning into a dreamboat after one summer in Florida. So you’ve kicked yourself many times for ignoring the Valentine he gave you in the fourth grade. So you’ve obviously caught the love fever–and your best friend-slash-man-of-your-dreams can either be the one you’ll be quarantined with, or the one you’ll be quarantined from. And it’s all up to YOU. Throw the rule book out the window and don’t pull a Molly Ringwald by hopelessly sighing behind his back. Do something about it already! Because the worst thing about falling in love with your best friend is that he knows you soooo well, he’d inevitably feel that something’s up–whether you tell him or not.

The Litany of Doubt: What if he rejects me? Will our friendship be ruined? Does he even consider the possibility of us being more than friends? What if he gets so ilang, he’d avoid me for the rest of our lives?

Baby steps to the BIG leap: Alright. It helps to have at least a bit of love insurance in this particular case. Face it–there’s a risk of the situation turning into an all-or-nothing deal. What’s a smitten best friend to do, then? Watch out for little “signs” before your heart takes the plunge. I’m not talking signs of John Cusack-Kate Beckinsale magnitude–a tender look deep within his eyes or giving up his jacket for you to wear when it’s cold can spell the difference between boy friend and boyfriend. And while you should start wearing more of your heart on your sleeve, we don’t suggest you run up to him and profess undying love in the middle of his basketball game. Slowly come clean with your feelings by doing the little things that will spell out the difference for him, as well, like sending him a care package when he catches a cold, or renting him a DVD of an old movie you know he’s been dying to see. If he responds with an uncharacteristic smile and hug in place of his usual, “Anong nakain mo, panget?!” when you do something nice for him, then a romantic future is not too far ahead. Then talk to him. Just like that. No profound speeches, no candlelight, no violin music in the background. Breaking the news on Burger Friday when you have your usual grease-fest is as good a time as any; it’s comfortable, natural, and real–just what guys look for in a girlfriend. And what he just might realize he has already found in you.

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THE RELUCTANT “KA-CHING!” MACHINE
You’ve been stringing beads together since you learned to thread a needle in third grade home ec class. Your uncanny ability to create a masterpiece out of strings and colored stones has earned you the prestigious title of “Manang Bead-ay” among your friends and family… and their friends and family as well. You enjoy this creative outlet so much, you find yourself creating dazzling accessories whenever your hands are free, and it’s no secret that you’ve fattened up your piggy bank with the moola you’ve saved from making personalized gifts instead of shopping for them at the mall. Then it hits you: Piggy can gain a few more pounds if you start selling your creations! Why not let people shop from you?

The Litany of Doubt: I don’t have enough capital! What if no one buys, since they’ve gotten so used to just getting my accessories? I don’t have selling skills! What if I lose instead of earn money? Will I run out of ideas to keep my accessories fresh and trendy?

Baby steps to the BIG leap: Observe the people you know. If you see at least half of them sporting your stuff, then you’ve got what it takes, girl! Obviously, you have a knack for knowing not only what people want, but what people want to wear. Make the most of having both style insight and talent—throw your uncertainties out the window and start a business plan. How? Figure out what makes your creations unique, and make it your basic formula. If Indian glass beads set you apart from accessories you can find in stores, ask Mom to bring home more of them on her next trip. Search the Web for new patterns and combinations (Indian beads and copper wire, perhaps?), and hold an FGD (focus-group discussion) with your friends so that they can inject more flair into your work. Money matters? You don’t need six figures (not even five!) to get by on your first run. Use your own savings if you can afford it, or charm your ever-reliable dad to “invest” in your biz. (But don’t forget to pay him back!) When your wares are all ready to be marketed, hire your buds for some free “advertising”—they can walk around with your pretty adornments on them, and are bound to catch people’s eyes! Or, like accessory maven Happy David , you can carry your items around in clear plastic boxes that practically scream, “Check these out!” Don’t forget a catchy name! “Manang Bead-ay” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

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Lora Gahol
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