Saturday, February 26, 2011

Teenage Girls, John Hughes, Dating, and Me

In my house we have two teenage girls. I cannot begin to tell you the drama that can ensue. If it's not one thing it's another. Someone was in someone else's room, someone borrowed a shirt without asking, someone looked at someone wrong. That's just between them. Mix in two parents and a little brother and stir and you have all the makings of a reality show waiting to happen.

My husband while he is a wonderful husband and equally wonderful father likes to tease the children. He is actually quite the instigator. While they were all best of friends when the girls were young, they are older now and somehow have lost the comradery that they once shared. Dad isn't as funny as he used to be. The girls aren't as laid back and forgiving as they once were. All of a sudden or perhaps it only seems all of a sudden to us as we still see our children as just that...children. They seem to have gone from cute cuddly little babies and adorable funny toddlers to angsty teenagers over night. When I think back to my teenage years and all the teenage movies I watched, I just can't remember John Hughes covering this topic.

How did we get here? Where is my movie to draw information from. I know how teenagers can be. I was once a teenager and I now have two of them. What I don't know is how I get myself caught up to it. I also have no idea how the personality can switch over night...nay every moment. One minute you are having a perfectly normal conversation with said teen and the next minute they are madder than a wet hornet and you are left wondering what it is you said to make them mad. Are there research studies being done? Is this normal?

I am pretty sure I was exactly the same way, although to get me to own it would take a tremendous amount of coaching and perhaps a certain amount of rewards like one would reward a child for doing the right thing. I prefer to look back at my childhood and remember myself as the perfect child a parent could ever have. Perhaps this is going to certain extremes on my part but as I haven't any comparison I can claim it. Being an only child does have that one perk. When my counterparts were all off experimenting with drugs, or alcohol, or smoking, or sex, I was watching television where families stayed together and hoping one day I could be a part of one that did. I was also very busy planning my wardrobe and wondering if I had the right shoes to go with every outfit. Fashion was very important to me, and while I did have my eye on boys and thought about them often I was not interested particularly in anything permanent. Boys were for buying you food so you could avoid salmon patty night at home and giving you a ride home so you didn't have to call mom for one. They really had no other function in my mind. I desperately wanted out of my house and I was sure that if I could only get discovered as the fashion icon I imagined myself to be, I would soon enough end up in Chicago living my dream of life in a big city traveling to buy clothes FOR Bloomingdale's not just FROM Bloomingdale's. Because of course when you are the one doing the buying for the big store I was pretty sure one of the perks would be FREE clothes.

My own daughters while they notice certain boys and are fond of them, see them much the same way as I did. They are teenagers but not yet of dating age. They won't be allowed to even think of being somewhere other than school with a boy. No group date, no date date, period end of thought. If you can't drive yourself home from any situation you may face, you have no business being there. Any boy who would come to call on one of my daughters will be questioned extensively before she will ever enter a car with him. No honking of the horn for her to come out, if you aren't man enough to meet the parents, you aren't worthy of my daughter's time. I'm thinking of making up a written exam. Such questions that would be required on the exam would be as follows...

1. When driving where do your hands go? Of course the appropriate answer would be ten and two. Because your hands do not belong anywhere on my daughter. No holding of the hands, no hand on the thigh. If you are that distracted you could end up in an accident and I will hold you personally responsible for any harm that may come to my child because of your stupidity.

2. Do you own your car? Not did your parents pay for it. Did you save money to buy your own car? This shows that you can stick to a goal. If you have everything handed to you on a silver platter, chances are you are going to expect my daughter to hand things to you that you are not going to get. (Side note: My daughters do have very good right cross punches and will not take kindly to your unwanted advances. Also if you try something and I find out about it I will call your mommy.)

You may think that I am getting a little carried away. After all I did date when I was a teenager. Maybe not as long as some but I did date and I had plenty of friends who dated a LOT. I know the stories. Some I wrote. This is why I need my movie. My oldest daughter is very close to turning fifteen. My time is running out here. That dating age is approaching swiftly. I can only hope that she will still have her heart set on Daniel Radcliffe and find all other boys lacking. At present she finds all the boys at school quite immature and lacking in some form or another. I relish in this. In fact when I hear stories from my friends about how their daughters have boyfriends or like this boy or another, I chuckle inside. I think better them than me by golly. How lucky am I that I don't have to deal with all of this? Lucky indeed! But soon and without warning just like the teenage years themselves, it will be upon me.

Some boy whom I haven't met yet or who doesn't even know her yet will one day look up and see her. He will hear her laugh and think it sounds like church bells on Sunday morning. He will see her smile and think it is as beautiful as the sunrise. He will look into her heart and mind and find what I know is already there. The love and beauty of a thousand angels. Then he will ask her out. All I can say for him is...I hope he tests well.

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