Do You Mean She's Going on a Date With a Boy?
Somehow -- I'm not
quite sure how just yet -- I seem to always get stuck with
the hard stuff. The yucky stuff.
Mrs. P was away for some reason, and we
were just a couple of nights away from "Homecoming." By
default, I was the chosen one. Chosen to make the trip to
Cold Gravy to pick out an acceptable pair of faded blue
bell bottom jeans that would be worn by our 13-year-old
daughter to Homecoming.
I'm fairly convinced of it now: Mrs. P
must purposely schedule late work nights and out of town
emergencies KNOWING that I'll have to be the one to handle
such duties. (Like I really know what I'm doing.)
Our teen-age daughter simply had to go
to Homecoming, even though she's only in the eighth grade.
JUNIOR High. She's never even BEEN to the high school that
was having Homecoming. Let me just say it seems to me that
it needs to be some sort of a law that says a child should
actually have to either currently attend or have formerly
attended a particular high school before being allowed to
go to Homecoming. Something just doesn't add up. Thirteen
seems a bit young to be going back to see old friends from
a school you haven't even been to yet.
Following our trip to Cold Gravy, I was
forced to sit still while our 13-year-old modeled her
"new" jeans. She tried on the jeans with a pair of black
shoes, and then with a pair of white shoes. She asked me
which looked better. Then she tried on the jeans with a
maroon shirt and then with a white shirt.
She asked me which one looked better.
Like I am supposed to know these things.
I'm a guy. What do I know about what looks good? If it
fits and it didn't cost much, I like it.
So, no lie, my daughter asked me, "Dad,
if you were a guy which would you like better, the black
shoes or the white shoes?"
If I was a guy. Thank you very much.
At the time of the shopping trip and the
clothes modeling, I really didn't know why we were
shopping for faded bell bottoms with such urgency. I
figured there must be some sort of contest to see who
could dress in the ugliest 70s clothes. Then, I was told
faded bell bottoms are back in style again. As I tried to
figure out why we were in a rush to buy bad clothes, the
It was Him.
He asked for my daughter. The one with
the ugly blue jeans.
Apparently, the kid was going on "a
date" with our teen-ager, even though our kid is not
permitted to date. So, they were supposed to just sit
together during the Homecoming football game, then go
their separate ways at the final buzzer.
I did not know this was going to happen.
I did not know it had been a topic of discussion between
Mrs. P and our daughter prior to the ring of the phone.
"Did you tell Dad?" our kid asked her
"Did you tell me what? What? Would
someone please tell me what you didn't tell me?"
"She's going to Homecoming with a boy,"
Mrs. P said, with the kind of nonchalance one uses when
reading a box score in the morning
I pondered the Homecoming statement for
a minute. I thought about all the appropriate responses I,
as a Dad, were entitled to give:
"No, she's not."
"Do I know the kid she's going with?"
"She's only 13. The only boys she should
be interested in should be in magazines or wearing a
But instead, I could only think of
something even more important to say.
"As long as I don't have to take or pick
There is nothing more disruptive to a
grown-up's evening than having to drive a kid to and from
something. Especially late-duty pick up.
Our daughter hung up the phone and
smiled at me. I looked back at her.
"Why didn't we discuss this?" I said,
glaring at Mrs. P, who had positioned herself between me
and my once-smiling daughter. "Nobody said you could go to
a homecoming game with a boy of the opposite sex."
"Dad, why do you have to treat me this
way?" our daughter said, somewhat predictably.
"What way? I'm treating you like any Dad
would treat his daughter when he hears she's about to go
somewhere with a boy he's never met. What, do you want me
to say, 'Sure, go, have a blast. Have a great time. Don't
do anything I wouldn't do. What am I supposed to do, get
my own web site: www. my-kid-can-do-whatever-she-wants
"Da-ad!" she said, in her familiar
two-syllable, teen-age whine.
"Don't da-ad me. If I'd have known we
were buying clothes for you to go on a date, I'd have
bought you a nun's habit, which would be appropriate since
you do go to a school named after a mission."
"Dad?! MOM can you stop him??" Like,
"No, I'm sorry, honey, he's on a roll.
There's no stopping him when he gets this way, you know
that," Mrs. P said, apparently coming to my defense.
"Besides, this is your fault," I said to
"Why is it my fault?"
"You're the one who turned 13, not me!"
"Oh, like I had some say in the matter,"
she shot back.
"Now, about this convent you need to
"MOM, will you HELP ME HERE!!!"
"If you join a convent, you won't have
to worry about boys breaking your heart, and I'll never
have to worry about picking you up after a late night
dance. I think that is a solution that works for everyone
involved, don't you?"
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