12 June 2006

Crusher of Dreams

Original post deleted by author on 6/12/06. Edited to minimize potential embarrassment of the parties involved and re-posted 6/13/06/.

Before my current career in the food service arts, I worked in social work/nursing/educational settings. I spent years with teenagers. Having filled this role I know, through both clinical and a practical experience, a bit about adolescent development.

So I’m not too freaked out that my kids are starting to develop their fledgling skills with the opposite sex. It’s normal. It’s age-appropriate. It’s even healthy to have interest in relationships.

All this being said, I failed miserably at the first test of my intellectualized parenting techniques.

Sunday evening was to be my younger daughter’s first official “date.” Granted it was only having her new friend over for dinner and a small gathering, but it was a planned meeting with a boy in whom she had more than a friendly interest. She did the inviting and supplied all the necessary information of time and location.

The date preparations began early. Hair up, hair down. Repeat. There were several costume changes and multiple layers of glitter lip-gloss applied. Some minor lamentation over not having earrings that matched the final outfit. Lotion, lots of it and perfume. Between each stage of primping, she’d demand the time.

On this exciting cusp of hopeful embarkation into her first boyfriend relationship, I decided to give her some advice gleaned from my personal experiences of dating.

“Don’t be disappointed if he doesn’t show up. In fact, he probably won’t.” Stellar!

Her whole expression sank. She looked away and said softly, “He’ll be here.” but there was a deflated tone just beneath the affirming statement.

“Yeah? I wouldn’t wait by the door all night.” Superb!

Only after she did wait by the door and Prince Charming did arrive (ten minutes late!) did I start to feel like the jerk I really am.

Perhaps tonight I could follow up with some wisdom like, “He won’t stick around long.” or taunt her with “Bet your ‘boyfriend’ didn’t call today, did he?”