The Goose and I are coming up on a big anniversary. The 30th, I said THIRTIETH, anniversary of our first date. I failed math three times in high school, but this appears mathematically impossible to me seeing as how I’ll turn 31 in two months.
The truth is, I was 17 at the time. He was 21. Seems kinda sketchy now, but looking back, he didn’t ask and I never told and, to his credit, I was out of high school. To my detriment, though, he did sport a giant porn mustache and why that didn’t scare me away, I’ll never understand.
It took us three years to get married. I still had another two inches to grow and we had to finish school. By the time those three years were over, there were still plenty of things we didn’t know about each other and that kept it interesting.
The reason I bring all this up is that kids today (OMG, did I just say that?) just aren’t doing the relationship thing correctly. When a boy was interested in me, he had to call my house and repeatedly scream his name to my mostly deaf father on the phone to talk to me. So many times he would come to my room saying something like “Honey, there’s a man from the park calling you. Did you do something to get in trouble at Stone Mountain again?” only to get to the phone to find out it was someone named Mark, not park. It kept me on my toes. Then I would stand and twist myself up in the cord going in one direction and then spin back around the other way while this boy or the other stammered through the details of our upcoming date. At no point did we discuss our thoughts, feelings or what he was watching on TV (limited to three channels) or what he was eating at the moment.
If there was a new boy on the scene, we couldn’t stalk him on FB, we had to implement actual phone book intel to discern his address and then gather our girlfriends to covertly institute surveillance upon his house. We had to call friends of friends to hear the scoop on him and that might take days, even weeks. We had to do it all seeming as if we didn’t care. The less interested we seemed, the more desirable we became. Works to this day.
Last night, my son, The Boy and his friends were complaining about girls. Complaining not about the lack of, but the annoying surplus thereof.
No matter how many times I counsel girls on the genius of “hard to get”, it is impossible to implement this strategy if they are constantly textually active. Sometimes The Boy will just turn down his phone and turn it over. When asked why, he’ll say he is caught in a group message with several girls and the conversation is boring and confusing. Well, duh, girls are mature and smart at 16 and a boy cannot hope to follow along. My boy still frequently arrives places without remembering to put on shoes.
By the time a teenager has been “talking” to another for a week, they have been texting all day, every day, for the entire time. They have been texting in their sleep. They have commented on their clothes, music, who they hate, who’s hot, who they love, their teachers, their parents, their exes and within the span of another week, they are done. It’s like using the fast forward button. Just when I fall in love with their girlfriends, the relationship has become tired and over and I’m left feeling like I’ve been broken up with!
These kids have no hope. They know too much about each other to ever find anyone interesting. Remember how much fun it was going on dates? The excitement and anxiety? Spending all day lying in the sun, with sun-in in our hair, heating up the hot rollers, using pliers on the zippers of our jeans because they were too tight? I have a callus on my disfigured finger to this day from lying on floor to zip up my Gloria Vanderbilts. Seriously!
Kids don’t go out on dates anymore. They “hang out”, which means they lie around in my basement, in their pajamas, watching Netflix and eating Bagel Bites. Now how can a girl hope to be alluring and mysterious in Sponge Bob pajamas? Where is the eye liiner, I ask you, where is the strawberry lip gloss?
I was telling the boys last night that dating back then didn’t require a commitment. It was just for fun. I would go on a date with a boy from one school on Friday night and a different boy from another school on Saturday night and my son’s friend looks down and murmurs “there’s a name for that” and they laugh. After I smacked the living daylights out of him, I reminded him that the entire group of healthy 16 year old boys were home at night playing cards with a mom. No one really listened to me though, they were getting a text.