Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Hair And Dating

All summer long me and D1 had this argument about his hair. It's curly and longish, and so needs proper care and attention, which my son has difficulty with. For crying out loud, there's been instances of him washing his hair without shampoo, let alone conditioner, and it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that his hair resembles an explosion in a spaghetti factory.
All summer long I've been telling him (maybe every other week or so) that if only he would take a minimally extra care, he'd look so much more presentable. His counterarguments have been ranging from, "Aw, MOOOOOOOOOOOM!" to "Didn't you tell me I've got bigger fish to fry?" (during finals, yes, during do-nothin' summer, no) to "Listen, TheGirl does not like my hair long anyway, she thinks I should cut it."

Now, TheGirl is his current "I'm only going to ever love this one girl, EVER" fancy. He goes through stages where he falls hard for a girl and is completely dead to the rest of female population. Usually, his fancy does not even want to acknowledge his existence, so it's been working out pretty well for me. This one told him at the end of last year when he's made his move that he's too aggressive (in general, not towards her) and she would prefer to just stay friends.
Let me be clear - it's not that I want D1 to be a 27-year-old virgin, but he is only 14 with a brain that sometimes is scarily like that of a toddler. I strongly believe in letting kids be kids and bestow upon them age-appropriate responsibilities first and age-appropriate privileges later. However, the general US parental population seems to think it's ok to let elementary school kids date, so I'm definitely in the minority, and so I have to be cunning.

Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah so the kids were off from school and TheGirl wanted to hang out. I said ok, because also D1 was supposed to hang out with some other friends, so it would be all balanced.
When I got home, I complimented him on how nice his hair looked. I mean, the boy looked like a Caravaggio painting - curls framing his face all nice and ev'rythin', not a frizz on his head. Then we moved on to dinner, D2, the cat, whatever.
Later on that evening, D1 approached me with, "Hey, Mom, since I'm getting "A"s now, could me and TheGirl date?"
Now, the "A"s in question are 2 grades he got for  handing stuff in, not for actual studying. (Yes, that was one of the conditions - better grades before dating was going to be allowed).

What's a mom to do? I did't want to incite another riot by saying "no", but I really didn't want to just simply say "ok, FINE!"
So, instead, I said, "Is this a hypothetical question or has there been actual discussions?" He said that TheGirl initiated the sort of opposite of The Talk ("So, hey, I think we should stop seeing other people.") Actually, I'm being facetious. I don't know how it happened, but it was TheGirl's idea, allegedly.
So I said, "Huh, so I guess she does not find you too aggressive anymore?"
He agreed that, in fact, she does appear to have change her mind on the matter.
I said, "Interesting coincidence, considering how NICE your hair looks today."
He grinned sheepishly and embarrassedly and managed an "Um, yeah."
I said, "How weird that someone kept telling you to style your hair all summer and how a certain somebody would totally change her opinion on your hair if it looked less like a crow's nest, and today it all actually happened! It's like that first someone could see into the future! One might even go so far as to say she may have known what she's talking about."
He said, "Let's not get crazy here."

Meanwhile, now we're talking/bickering about listening to mom and whether she knows what she's talking about, and if it's one instance or a general state of affairs, and NOT, you will note, about whether he should be allowed to date. Mission accomplished.


I shared this story with my long-lost-born-in-Ohio-15-years-earlier-than-me Twin, and she said, "Yeah, but… I was dating all through junior high and the ultimate question didn't come up till end of high school."  And my other friend mentioned birth control, because that's really why I'm so worried about my child dating - the boy has no brakes and goes from full stop to full tilt.
BC is all very nice, except for the fact that D1 has horrible track record for using things correctly. He just sort of manhandles things into place and then wonders why they don't work as intended. Not exactly the mentality you want when you think about BC.  Plus, last week, when H was teasing D1 about "wait till you have kids" and D1 said he was never having any, and H laughed that it wasn't up to D1 to decide if he was going to have kids or not, and D1 said he was going to never have sex or, if that wasn't going to work out, he was going to wear 2 condoms at once. I thought, "DUDE, didn't you pay attention in your sex ed class?"

I definitely hope that D1 waits till he's (hopefully) out of college to start, or at least till after high school. Mostly, I hope he does it with a very serious partner who he trusts and hopes to have a (life?)long relationship, but I'm not blind to the fact that a) he thinks that Daddy is God and whatever Daddy did should be emulated, b) said Daddy had D1 when he was 18 and in a very messed up relationship, and c) even though me and D1 have had many many talks about merits of waiting and not screwing up his life, we all know that children don't always listen the way we hope they would.

But hey, if this girl can keep D1's hair in check, and I don't have to look at a Mr. Medusa across the dinner table, maybe I am ok with this dating thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment