Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

How I Met My Muse, Part III: Unequipped

Fast forward to 2009 (a prologue of sorts, after the fact)

Bernadette, my 14-year-old daughter, is not allowed to have boyfriends until she graduates from college. Recently, she and I had a conversation regarding her best friend’s seemingly perpetual depression over ongoing “dating” woes.

            “Bernadette,” I said, “do you think you would be able to do my job?”

            “No,” she responded without hesitation.

            “Why not?”

            She stammered and struggled in an attempt to answer before I interjected: “Because you don’t have the skills necessary to do my job. Likewise, kids your age don’t have the skills to date. You awkwardly fumble around with things you don’t understand and emotionally stomp all over each other in the process. By the time you are ready to have viable relationships, you’re already messed up in the head.”

            “Daddy, what does viable mean? . . .”

 

            Despite our prohibition against dating, Bernadette has twice succumbed to the boyfriend lure, choosing to defiantly and willingly immerse herself in the middle-school drama of “going out” (this being a misnomer, considering they go nowhere together and have little contact outside of the school).

            The first guy was failing classes, seemed to always be in trouble and treated Bernie poorly. Following an “argument” – a spat equivalent to “I know you are, what am I?” – he smacked her in the back of the head with his binder.

            My wife and I were outraged. This certainly wasn’t anything we wanted our daughter to tolerate from relationships. I accompanied Bernadette as she reported the incident to her principal, who was less than helpful. Nevertheless, our daughter knew where we stood on the issue of violence between the sexes.

            So when she started hanging out with Jerry, we were somewhat relieved to discover that he treated her well, had a sense of humor and made good grades – mind you, she is not allowed to have boyfriends!

            Jerry would walk her to her bus after school every day and was polite on the phone when he would call. He gave Bernadette a zodiac charm on a string, which she wore all the time before losing it.

            We were excited, albeit concerned, when she came home from school the last day before Christmas break with a little present. Jerry had given her this just before she got on the bus and asked her not to open it until she got home. Bernadette unwrapped the small, slender box to find a beautiful necklace inside!

            “I love it!” she told Jerry on the phone, beaming. My wife and I listened in on the conversation and it became apparent that Jerry’s mother was doing the same on the other end of the line. We suspected that she had much to do with the gift.

            As we made our Christmas rounds, Bernie looked so beautiful and all grown up in her new clothes with her silver, serpentine chain shining brilliantly against her beautiful, chocolate-colored skin. She showed it to everybody with pride. “My boyfriend Jerry gave this to me,” she would say.

            Then about a month later, Bernadette revealed to her grandmother that she had broken up with Jerry. My mother dutifully informed me the following day. Upon questioning, Bernie told me that she started to like another boy, so she had a friend tell Jerry she was breaking up with him.

            I was appalled! Yes, this was a typical 8th–grade way of doing things; nevertheless, I expected more from her.

            “How did he react?” I asked.

            “I saw him after school, and he wouldn’t look at me.” Further prodding revealed that she was already regretting her decision to break up with Jerry.

            I reminded her of our earlier conversation about how kids her age are unequipped for relationships. Her impulsive actions and her insensitive way of handling the situation would probably stick with both of them for the rest of their lives, I explained. >click for videoclip<

            “Let me tell you a story . . . .” I began.

 

to be continued

Link to first installment; Link to second installment

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One Response to “How I Met My Muse, Part III: Unequipped”

  1. This is a true story. I loved reading it after I lived it! Keep up the GREEEEATT work.


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