Sorry! No photo today. I have been offline lately because EVERYONE is off and home for the holidays. Hubby AND the kids. But, I had fully intended to post the other day asking for advice on a teen dating issue with BG. Before I could, the whole situation snowballed and I’m left with a giant what-the-ever-loving-fuck! situation.
A little background… BG made friends with a guy a few months after school started this year. They talked for a while (at least a month if not more) before he asked her out. After the first “boyfriend” she had last year (really kind of an ass), I was cautious, but open minded. She talked about this guy a lot, which was new (she hardly said much about the first guy, which was pretty telling). The things she told me made me think this guy is genuinely a really good guy, sweet, caring, attentive. All boxes that Hubby didn’t just check for me but absolutely annihilated.
It was all positive and I felt pretty good about it, though I also felt a little worried because he showed so many similarities in personality to Hubby. I was worried because BG is only 14 and a freshman. The last thing I really want for her is to start dating a guy at 14 and that is it. I have my own issues with that concept. It can work, but it is rare. I want her to be 14 and enjoy that age. Anyway….
They had only been dating (I use that term loosely as they only see each other at school and talk through text, call and video chat) about a month when they hit their winter break at school. They both planned to give each other gifts, BG coming up with a cute idea of a picture frame with some printed photos a friend had taken of the two of them. Him? A bag full of about 15 different things that had to have added up to close to $100 worth of stuff. Just to clarify… they are both 14 and have been dating a MONTH. Okay… so, yeah. That was a bit much. Sweet, but too much. But we really didn’t make a big deal out of it even though BG isn’t a stuff kinda girl. Besides, what CAN you do once the gift has been given? She had no indication he was going to do so much.
There had been a few times where he had wanted to try and get together outside of school with BG to do something. It never worked out for one reason or another, usually that BG had other stuff going on (crazy busy time of year for her with dance). We had offered to have him over for games or a movie at least once, but he had his reasons he couldn’t come (and I have to say, those reasons felt a bit contrived and odd, but… okay). He and his mom did make it to one of BG’s Christmas programs for dance, which, again, was really kind of sweet. He even brought flowers.
One thing that had happened a couple of times since they started “dating” was that during their video chats he was prone to “introduce” BG to various family members. His mom. His grandparents. It was… just a little odd. BG felt kind of awkward about it, especially when EVERYONE just absolutely fell in love with her. Yes. My girl is beautiful (no, I’m not being biased, she gets it all the time, we hear it from strangers ALL THE TIME) and she is a sweetheart and crazy smart and funny and amazingly caring and an awesome friend. But 2 seconds in a video chat isn’t going to tell you all that. Supposedly, even his mom has said “How’d you get HER? She is beautiful!” and other kinds of over the top comments about her looks and how she is out of his league. Really?! You said that to your own kid?!
BG and I have spent lots of time talking since they started dating and things have come up that I was a little concerned about, one being that as nice as he seemed, they really didn’t have a thing in common. Even conversations between the two were never all that easy or comfortable, but I just chalked it up to being young and awkward, especially since she was content with everything. Mostly.
So… that is most of the background. The issue I’ve been knocked for a loop over was about a date. Now, I’m not one to say that kids shouldn’t date until X years of age or some arbitrary thing like that. I’m probably a bit too open to the whole dating thing. Hubby and I have joked for years that he’d be answering the door with a shotgun while I was sneaking her out the back door. I NEVER saw myself as the parent that would have to put their foot down and actually say “No, that really isn’t appropriate”, but that was because I really couldn’t fathom another parent being okay with… well…
He initially asked her to go on a date. Fine. What, when, where, who. Dinner and ice skating. Okay. Will your mom be there? (she is a single mom BTW, only a boyfriend in the picture, which isn’t a problem for me… normally) Well, mom was going to drop them off for dinner. At a high end steak restaurant. Then take them to an ice rink downtown, again, potentially leaving them to go to another thing blocks away. EH… NOPE. 14? Dating 1 month? Giant cup of nope.
And the nope isn’t just me. BG is incredibly uncomfortable with that. She isn’t a fancy kinda girl. She isn’t a steak kinda girl. Give her buffalo wings or Taco Bell and she is in heaven. Also, the whole leaving them alone would make her break out in hives or vomit. Literally as she doesn’t stress or deal with anxiety all that well and these would have sent her over. He KNOWS this as it is something they have actually talked about.
We talked about nixing the dinner and just sticking with the skating. It is a nice step into the dating pool, either as a first date with this guy or her first date EVER, which it is. There were still several problems with that. One, downtown and unsupervised? Hell no. For me or BG. Second, she has been sick and is still not entirely over her cold and this rink is outdoors. There is a rink that is less than 10 minutes from our house that is indoors that would have been a much better choice.
This is where I was thinking I needed some advice. Was I being stupid and overcautious about the trip? She would have been 30-45 minutes away depending on traffic. At this point, I wasn’t comfortable that the mom wouldn’t say she would stay and not take off. Any parent that thought it was no problem to take 14 year olds to a high end restaurant and leave them there isn’t really thinking like much of a responsible adult in my opinion. Combining that with BG never having done anything at all like this and her comfort level, I was really torn. She kind of wanted to go skating, but wasn’t sure she felt up to it. She did want to hang out with him, though, so we weren’t sure what the best solution was.
Hubby and I talked and decided to just invite him here for some games and to hang out. We don’t really know the kid other than what BG has told us. WE would be supervising (and this is one of my issues that I have major problems with because of my own history at 14). It would be inside. Problem solved, right?
Apparently not. First we got a response that part of the deal was that his mom wanted to hang out with BG. Um… she is dating him, not his mom. Then his mom had to think about it because, and I quote, his mom was “furious” that BG said no to the skating because he was willing to pay for it and BG loved skating. Oh hell no! One, and minor in the grand scheme of things… BG never once said that she loved skating. He somehow got that from her telling him she had fun the one time she went on a school trip with her friends. Second, the girl has been SICK! And you are “furious” she said no to something that could make her feel worse?!
Finally, and most importantly… where in the ever loving hell does ANYONE get off being “furious” for someone saying NO?! Period. No matter the reason. Uh, uh. Not fucking happening. What in the hell are you teaching that boy? It is NEVER okay to get upset when someone says no. You want to talk about “furious”, let’s just go there, shall we?
All of this came out at like 10pm last night and they were supposed to be getting together today. BG was upset and felt insanely uncomfortable about the whole thing, Hubby and I were both really pissed at the attitude and response. We all spent some time talking about and BG decided, for herself as we were still willing to try to compromise if it was what she wanted, to just scrap plans and maybe do something some other time and let him know that. We then spent hours just sitting around and talking about the whole thing and how seriously screwed up, weird and downright bizarre the whole thing ended up. I don’t think we made it to bed until nearly 2am.
The situation with the mom is crazy as far as I’m concerned. In this whole thing, I’ve been asking “Where is the adult in the room saying that this really isn’t appropriate for 14 year olds that have only been dating a month?” They both have acted like these kids are in their 20’s and he is planning a frickin’ proposal. This isn’t a first date. It especially isn’t one for kids. As open minded as I have always been, as much as I have experienced in my life, which I recognize is way more than a lot of people in these circumstances (ie dating at that age), I didn’t think I’d be the one that would have to be the reasonable, rational adult.
It was all so much and so over the top crazy that it has left a bad taste for BG. So much so that she is seriously thinking this is actually too much for her and this “relationship” and is most likely going to break up with him (so not looking forward to the fall out of that). That pisses me off because she is now probably going to back off entirely from dating and she will now be totally gun shy about doing it again. I don’t think that she is actually ready emotionally, so on that level that is fine. I just don’t want it to prevent her from doing so when she IS finally ready.
And I’m questioning whether I’ve become hypocritical, that I’m overreacting, at least to parts of this, not the end reaction. That was straight up bullshit. But the other parts. Was it too cautious of me to balk at letting her go skating unsupervised? Yes, her health was part of that, but I was really uncomfortable with the idea of her being alone with him outside downtown. The area isn’t bad, but it isn’t exactly safe either. Am I letting my negative personal experiences color my reactions? I’m not very trusting. I know this. I am cautious and careful, but am I too cautious? I do not want to ever see my daughter, or my son for that matter, have such an ugly experience in her life if I can help it. Is that worry and fear playing too big of a part in shaping how I deal with these situations?
What a mess. Teen drama, folks. Loads of laughter and fun.