Monday, October 19, 2009

Guys don't carry girls' books anymore; it's all online

Some events roll into your life easily, like the familiar expectation of the chocolatey, Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. Others take you a bit by surprise, like discovering that your pizza has corn on it (Sorry, I just find comfort in food analogies.).
The latter event proved to be the case this past Saturday evening. I had known for quite a while that my fourteen-year-old daughter was anticipating her high school homecoming dance. I had known that four of her friends were coming over to our house to eat frozen pizza and get ready beforehand. And, I had known that my girl had never before been to a mixer with boys as old as eighteen.
What I hadn't accounted for, outside the boundaries of this intellectual information, were the emotional reactions, most notably from my daughter and me.
This wasn't a shindig where a one guy asked one girl, or vice versa; no wrist corsages, no gunny sack dresses, no parking at Inspiration Point afterward. Sounded good to me. I was certain my girl would just frolic around in her safe gaggle of buddies, maybe chatting up the occasional guy, and then retreating back into the crowd for a juice box and some goldfish.
She and her four friends all crammed into our phone booth of a bathroom, equipped with flat irons, curling irons, maybe even waffle irons for all I knew. After about an hour of changing, re-changing and re-re-changing their tight tee shirts and skinny jeans, it was finally time to go. They piled out the door and into the mini-van, leaving a cloudy, greenhouse gas cocktail of Aerogel and hormones.
I felt some apprehension, but fortunately, my alma mater was battling Arizona State on TV, and, being a guy, I was easily distracted by such a shiny thing to watch.
My daughter finally arrived home around midnight, absolutely aglow. She said, and I quote, "I had the best time. I love high school. I slow-danced with (name redacted)...twice."
"That's great," I said, "I'm really glad you had fun. It's good to hear that you love high school. And how awesome that you what?"
"I slow danced with (name redacted)."
That's when I dug really deep. Time to play it cool.
"Is he a good guy?"
"Of course, otherwise I wouldn't have danced with him. (you freakin' bonehead, Dad)."
I just let it go at that point.
"All right. I'm glad you had a good time. See you tomorrow."
I really am happy for her, and I do know that this is a natural step in the coming-of-age progression. I guess the thought of an adolescent male slow-dancing with my baby just makes me feel a little...vulnerable.

1 comment :

  1. Inspiration Point? Really, Chachi?

    I love the gunny sack reference. Those were mandatory at my prom.