Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Enemy at the Gates!

It was bound to happen. We both knew it was coming. As a father of a teenage girl you are never quite prepared when your daughter is going to bring home a friend of the male persuasion! Libby and this boy have been 'dating' (1) for a few months now.

I've yet to exchange more than 10 words with the boy. The interaction has been limited to pleasantries. I felt no need to honor him with any more than that as I consider him nothing more than a nuisance. A pest if you will. Something that you take measures to ensure doesn't infiltrate your happy home, much less your daughters bedroom! Unfortunately as this 'relationship' my daughter has with 'Brendan' (2) has lasted longer than time between oil changes, my wife has suggested it is time to bring the boy over for dinner. To serve him dinner, NOT to serve him as dinner, which is what I had hoped! That dinner will take place in no more than 8 hours.

To be fair, I'm sure that Brendan is at this very moment sitting in his eighth grade classes going over all manner of scenarios which involve him meeting some untimely and unpleasantly gruesome end at the hands of the father of his infatuation. I've gone out of my way to cultivate around myself an air of mystery and uncertainty. Let's be honest it is a good thing when your daughter's male friend doesn't know what to make of the father of the lass he's set his sights on.

I'm not at all worried about this 14 year old boy engaging in some sort of physical act with my daughter, he will not have such an opportunity with my daughter for at least two years. My wife and I are realistic parents. We know that our children will go through the same hormonal urges that we did. Neither one of us has any delusions that we will be able to stop any of our children from engaging in sexual activities forever. But it won't be happening anytime soon and certainly not at the age of 14! We have made it clear to out eldest daughter that there will be NO possibility of unsupervised dating until she is a sophomore in high school. Even then such a scenario will not come to fruition unless we have met and approve of the boy AND her grades warrant the privilege.

What most concerns me most, at this very difficult age in my daughters life, is her feelings. Boys are boys. I was a 14 year old at one time. I know what was going through my mind. I know that a boy in his teens does not generally think clearly or rationally when it comes to matters of sexual politics. I cannot divine what is going through Brendan's mind nor would I try to. What I can do is work to allow my daughter to remain a girl as long as she can and to try to minimize the heartache anybody would try to inflict upon her. Libby WILL have her heart broken, it is as inevitable as is growing up. But my wife and I would try to spare her that pain as long as possible.

So, I will behave myself tonight during dinner. I will smile, I will engage this lad in conversation about which team will emerge the winner of the American League Eastern division, my and my daughters beloved New York Yankees or those second rate pretenders he loves: the Boston Red Sox! I will treat with him over his interests and what right now he sees himself doing with his life.

By the end of the evening the following facts will be abundantly clear to him:

1. The New York Yankees ARE and will ALWAYS BE the superior team.

2. I love my daughter very much.

3. I am generally an eminently reasonable man.

4. Going out of his way to knowingly hurt my daughter, emotionally or physically, through action or inaction, would be a grave error and will render fact #3.....null and void.

5. No God he believes in will save him if he forgets fact #4.

I'll let you know how it goes!

(1) If you would call going to see movies under the strict supervision of either my wife OR the male's mother.

(2) Brendan is NOT a boys name it's the make of a major appliance! (apologies to Jon Cryer, in the 80's movie "Pretty in Pink")


Anonymous said...

ahhhh the teen years.....if that doesn't make someone get on their knees I don't know what will ;)

Actually, I think I'll be praying for Brendan....I wouldn't want to be in his shoes, especially if he steps over the line...

SirRobert said...

I wouldn't worry too much for his physical safety. He's a straight A student like my daughter. He's been very respectful to my wife and daughter as far as I am told.

I'll go easy on him....for now!


Anonymous said...

ahhhh, you're just an ol' softy!

Ed said...

Your daughters first boy friend!

Dude, you are getting old. :)

It's been 50 years since my first date. I can remember my first girl friend, Renee, but not what her father was like. One time I was meet at the front door by a father in his police uniform. The was my only date with his daughter. :)

Can you remember the first girlfriends father you meet?

GG, do you remember the first time you meet your husbands mother?

Anonymous said...

Yes Ed i do....She met me at the door after spending all day cooking a wonderful dinner. She gave me a huge hug and just held me and said, "You are the one I've heard so much about" I was hooked from then on. She has been "Mom" to me in the last 16 years, and we've never had an arguement. She's a beautiful lady, my Father in law always took my side. tee hee ...He and I were close as well until he passed a few years ago

SirRobert said...

My first girlfriend was actually the daughter of a co-worker at my first job.

She was an only child so it was doubly hard for me. BUT, because her Mom knew me AND my dad through the our common workplace... I had an 'in'.

Plus I was a Boy Scout and a good catholic boy....what could possibly be wrong with me. ;-)