February 19, 2007

I sure hope I know what I'm talking about.

There is a young man in our family--I won't use his name to protect his anonymity--and he has been for the past several months quite smitten with a young lady.

And he wants to give her a birthday card. And a great big Hershey bar. The problem is that he doesn't want to take credit for it, but rather allow some "Secret Admirer" to.

Now all along, I'm not supposed to have even known that he had this crush. For some reason, he was much more willing to tell Mom and Rebecca about it, which was fine, until this latest idea of his. He was worried that she might laugh at him if he used his name, and Reba wanted to tell him that if she did that, he probably was pursuing the wrong person to begin with. But she didn't want to tell him that. I don't know why.

ANYway, I felt it necessary to drop my pretense of not knowing in order to intervene with a little fatherly advice in the Foghorn Leghorn mode. "I SAY, BOY, LISSEN HEAH!" and all that. Also, in truth, mainly because I have it on very good authority (namely, devastating first-hand experience) that such a tactic as he was considering was a no-go.

I got him aside, and after getting past his initial embarassment that I knew his secret, I told him that in this instance it might be good to play it casually. She is, after all, a year and a quarter older, and seems to have HER flirtiness engaged by someone else at the moment. SO, best to play it more in a friendship manner at the start, just to get her attention, and then see where it goes. I explained, again by bringing up quite painful recollections, that if she thinks Secret Admirer is someone else, nothing is worse than seeing that look of disappointment that could come when she finds out the truth. Best just to go ahead and not have that hanging out there.

The second bit of advice was a bit harder to give--namely, try to act a bit less like SpongeBob and Patrick and every other slack-jawed goober on the cartoons. Hard to do for a twelve-year-old boy, full as they are of goofy immaturity, but a little of that goes a LONG way. Humor is a dangerous weapon, after all, and one best used by those trained in its dangers.

Anyway, now I've probably ruined his life for good.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at February 19, 2007 03:13 PM

He sounds like a good boy who deserves to keep his pride a while longer.

Does her know her well enough to give her a funny little birthday card without the candy?

Or is he admiring from afar?

Posted by: Janis Gore at February 19, 2007 04:15 PM

He's a good boy, but I think this one is going to not go quite as well as he thinks. I think the Hershey bar might be a bit of a stretch, but he's set on it. And no, it's not someone far at all, which is why I'm trying to get him to keep his options open and his powder dry in case things don't quite work the way he thinks they should. Nothing worse than having to see someone on a regular basis that you've goofed up on. Again--voice of experience.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 19, 2007 04:32 PM

She's what, 13?

Did you remind him of what a brutal and hateful little snit his big sister was at 13?

(That's not just a criticism of her. I can't remember being a real sweetie at that age, either.)

Posted by: Janis Gore at February 19, 2007 04:39 PM

Think he'll still take your advice once he finds out you didn't gate much in high school? Don't fence him out!

I hope he can find a good group where boys and girls are friends, hang out together doing non-dangerous stuff and don't worry about the dating junk. Datings not all its cracked up to be, especially when you're a kid trying to be all growed UP.

Posted by: Marc V at February 19, 2007 08:00 PM

I had that when I was growing up. It's a healthy interaction.

Posted by: Janis Gore at February 19, 2007 08:13 PM

Yep, Janis--13 turning 14 tomorrow. But thankfully she's not NEARLY so horrid as his eldest sister.

And Marc, as for the Gating Dame, I figure I'll not dump ALL of the worst horror stories on him all at once. And like you, I hope his group of friends is fun. So far, he's done pretty well, and it helps that Rebecca tends to be something of a modulating influence on him since they're both at the middle school.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 20, 2007 08:05 AM