Dental surgery went fairly well, as well as dental surgery can go, I guess.
I'm sore, but since I'm afraid of drugs, especially painkillers, I pop some Advil and gum down some more jello and get on with my days.
My life is just one big party of scintillation.
I was pretty groggy after I woke up and I realized a few days, post surgery, that I posted some comments here and there and on Facebook. I have no recollection of this. If I offended anyone or rambled on about unicorns or magic fairies or even worse, misspelled anything, please forgive me. Drugs and laptops are a lethal combination.
But enough about teeth and drugs and health. I'm sick of health.
I'd like to get away from all the talk of everything health like I'm 80 and the state of my waning health is my only obsession. The next thing you know I'll be eating dinner at 2:00 and complaining about my achy hips.
I'd like to dig into some other areas today, namely parenting a teenage girl.
My hubby and I are kind of laid back parents except when it comes to good grades and no crack and no arrest records, or at least, no lengthy ones and then there's the subject of dating.
We're kind of old fashioned about that. I make them wait until they're 16.
I know. I'm ridiculous.
But here's the thing:
I have come to the conclusion that teenage girls are insane. They really are. The minute those hormones slam into them with their lethal wallop, teenage girls or at least my daughters, turn into a shrieking, hysterical, unreasonable species only recognizable by their straightened hair and profuse collection of Forever 21 jewelry.
The insanity seems to calm down just a tad by the time they're 16 and hopefully, when not in my care, they can make semi reasonable decisions.
My middle girl is 16 now. She is beautiful. She bubbles with charm and she entrances everyone she meets with her sweet sparkly radiance and truly, I am amazed at the deep sense of self she already owns at this tender age. It goes without saying that people, especially boys, are drawn to her resplendence, not to mention the striking combination of her enormous sky blue eyes and auburn hair.
She's been forced to turn down many a date in the last few years, I'm sure she lets the boys in on the fact that her parents are just total assholes who treat her like an Amish child.
But now, the time has come. She is about to go on her first date.
And in honor of her first date, I wrote my girl a letter.
Here you go. The first of what I know will be many dates. I'm very excited for you and this big new part of your life.
I know you won't believe any of what I'm telling you because you think I entered the world as a mom driving an SUV littered with smashed up goldfish crackers and half empty bottles of Gatorade.
But the thing is, I too, once cared more about my hair than the state of the world.
I once thought I knew all the secrets of the universe and I was certain my parents had no idea about life.
I once could eat Doritos, ice cream, thick crusted pizza, french fries, and chocolate fudge cake all in one sitting and not gain a pound. It's probably the thing I miss the most about those years.
I once knew that, there was only one dark haired boy for me and that my heart would crumble into bits of ash if he ever stopped loving me. That boy was replaced with another from romance to romance, but I was always certain that it was THAT boy in THAT space of time and our love was eternal.
I once did stupid things, much dumber than you have ever attempted in your sixteen-year-old life. I will not go into all the sordid details, I will only say there is not much ground I didn't cover in those days and so I actually do know of the things I speak.
I have not always been the funsucker you know making up these awful rules and shaking my finger and taking away your phone when needed.
Because you see, I have lived a life, a wild, heady sort of life.
And it is because of all those days before this one, that I fence you in with all of my terrible restrictions like not allowing other teenagers in the car when you're driving until time proves you to be a responsible, safe driver or no attending certain kinds of parties even though all your friends get to gooooo.
I know a few things.
I also know a few things about this boy already. And I think you're off to a good start.
I know he's taking you to a ball on your first date.
I'm so glad the very first date of your life will be you, the Belle at the Ball. How lovely.
It should be a rule. All girls get to attend a Ball on their first date.
You love parties and people and elegant clothes. And you, my lovely, lovely girl will be Cinderella in your shimmery Christmas red dress you picked out just for the occasion.
And I love the fact he wanted to know the color of your dress, so that he can wear a tie to match.
Thoughtfulness. I'll give him his first gold star.
Your best friend told me what he did the other night. She told me all about the after school field trip—a Madrigal Dinner, where for extra credit, this boy signed up to be one of the wait staff. She told me how after putting your plate down in front of you, he leaned over and kissed your hand.
This is good. Very good.
He displayed the signs of being a good and proper gentleman. A man who kisses hands, appreciates a woman in a genteel way. And a man who serves a woman food? That's even better. And a man who will cook for you? That, my girl, is the ultimate. Although, you know nothing else since your dad has always done most of the cooking for us.
I know he is, like you, a straight A student.
Always seek out those who aspire. Who are motivated by passion and desire to make their life their own. Who want to work hard and who understand that nothing is given for free, that life's rewards come to those who strive and strive hard for them.
I know you like him a lot and that you're both interested in becoming a couple.
I say take your time.
And I know you don't want to hear that.
But you've got the rest of your life for serious.
And I know you're definitely not going to want to hear this. But he will not be the one.
He might become your everything as time progresses, but there will be other boys who will take his place in your heart.
And you most likely think I'm a loser who knows nothing of love because I drive an SUV with smashed up goldfish crackers and, from what you've seen, I've only dated your dad which you find totally gross.
But I know about love, my darling girl.
I know that before your dad, my heart was broken so many times, I'm surprised I didn't require a heart transplant.
I may have broken a few hearts myself, along the way.
See, my mom told me I came out of the playpen, boy-crazy.
I still am, if truth be told.
I love men. Your father above all others. Well, there's also Bono and Mark Ruffalo, but since I've never met either of them, my love for them, sadly doesn't count for much, except in stalker court.
But from the playpen or somewhere in my early teens, to the time I met your dad, I dated a lot of boys. A Lot. Of Boys.
I even at one point, dated two brothers. At the same time. And one of them didn't know I was dating his brother. This is not something I would advise. Because, trust me when I say this sort of brotherly situation has no choice but to end in an ugly, explosive scene. And you don't want to be a part of that kind of ugly. One of my key pieces of advice would be to stay away from brothers.
I learned so much from all those boys. Things I wished I'd known from the start.
And I'd like to share with you some of those lessons with tales of just a few of the boys of my dating past.
Be yourself. You are such a starry eyed, hilarious girl. You love to sing at the top of your lungs. You have my quirky sense of humor. You're ambitious and you're never afraid to step right into the midst of life. Don't change any of that for a boy.
I once dated a boy who chewed tobacco.
I would hold his spit cup for him.
You can't even begin to know how I much I wish I was kidding about this. But no, there I was all cuddled up against him in his truck as he would spit his nasty tobacco juice into the cup that I HELD FOR HIM. He also loved the group Alabama and so, of course, I did, too. Even to the point where I was smuggled like an illegal Mexican at the border, into an Alabama concert because he didn't want to pay for both of us. I was lifted over a fence by a couple of his buddies and him. Three sets of hands on my ass should have been my wake up call that this was not going to work out.
And for the record, I hate Alabama and most definitely, spit cups.
Any boy who holds you back from being who you are, isn't worth the dust you leave in his wake.
Possessiveness is NEVER love. Don't let a boy control your life. Ever. Ever. Ever. Go out with your friends. Keep up with your dreams. Pursue your passions. And if anyone tries to get in the way of that, it's time to say goodbye.
I once had a boy try to convince me I should give up my tight fitting jeans and heels for matching parachute pants and high tops.
Yes. I will admit I dated a guy who wore parachute pants.
I didn't budge on the morphing into one entity through the use of parachute pants. He also told me I needed to cut back on my work hours, hours I needed to pay my way through life, so I could spend more time with him, most likely so we could go shopping for more parachute pants.
I also had a boy who was over the top possessive. I found out that he paid a friend to spy on me when he couldn't be around to watch my every move. That was the one time in my life, I threw a drink in someone's face and let me tell you, it is as satisfying as it looks on TV.
I have a feeling some unfortunate girl out there has a permanent restraining order against him.
Know that trust and respect are everything in a relationship.
I once had a boy, a boy I loved with all my young heart, who told me he was going out to the movies with his buddies. I was going out with my girlfriends on that very same night. As I sat at the table, sharing a pizza with my girls and drinking sangria I gushed about this boy, this boy who knew he held my heart in his hands.
I was so busy gushing, it took me awhile to realize that boy was sitting a few tables away with a beautiful blonde. He didn't see me. That is, until my friends made sure to cross his path one by one on the way to the bathroom. They all stopped with a fierce hello and a point in my direction, "Hey, I'm here with your GIRLFRIEND, THE ONE RIGHT OVER THERE."
My friends took me out for hot fudge sundaes after that disaster. All the ice cream in the world couldn't help me over that heartbreak.
And even worse, on the flipside, I once backed out of a Homecoming dance the night before the dance. I went to a different high school than this boy. I knew him from my brothers' wrestling tournaments. We'd flirted it up at some wrestling matches the year before and then out of the blue, he called and asked me to his Homecoming dance. I remembered that steely muscled wrestler and I immediately said yes. I bought a baby blue dress, probably to match my eye shadow.
He met me the night before at the football game. It had been almost a year since we'd seen each other.
I didn't recognize him when he called out to me. His muscles were gone, replaced by flab. He'd quit the wrestling team and since cutting weight was no longer an issue, he'd packed on the pounds.
I have never told this story out loud until now. To my great and utter shame, I blurted out, "I can't go to the dance with you tomorrow night. My parents put me on restriction."
His face fell. He told me he'd already rented the tux. He had a corsage.
I was such an asshole.
I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for being that vacuous girl who didn't care enough about his feelings to look beyond a few extra pounds.
Respect works both ways.
Know that your parents' instincts are always spot on.
Okay, here's one of my worst stories. I had a boy, one time, who might have been just a little older than what I told my parents. I was still in high school. He was older. By a few years. Or a few years squared. It doesn't matter. What matters was, he was too old for a 17-year-old girl and he was a loser in every single way.
I didn't see that. I saw his thick, wavy hair and his big biceps and his Italian good looks. My parents saw his sliminess, his earring, the shiftiness in his eyes, the way he tried to schmooze them.
My parents were easygoing. They really never interfered too much in my dating life. They told me they didn't like this guy and they wished I wouldn't see him anymore.
I scoffed at them, knowing they had no idea what they were talking about.
I didn't see the fact that he never took me anywhere except to the martial arts movies he wanted to see. Our other "dates" consisted of us sitting around his apartment with his friends while they all partied and I just sat there admiring my Italian Stallion until my teenage curfew was up and he had to take me home.
And then there was the night he took me out with the promise of dinner in an actual restaurant. Before dinner, he pulled up to a seedy bar in an even seedier part of town and mumbled, "I'll be right back." And as I sat there in his car and the minutes ticked into an hour, scared to death, as shady men stumbled in and out of the bar, leering at me through the darkness, I had this defining moment of clarity and I was all, "What the hell am I doing?" You must remember this was the dark ages of dinosaurs and no cell phones. So I was alone, stranded in his car in a dark, sketchy parking lot.
When the hour turned into an hour and a half and he ambled out of the bar and climbed in the car and had the nerve to try and kiss me, reeking of cheap whiskey and cigarette smoke, I hissed, "Take me home right now."
And when he tried to protest and actually tried to force me, FORCE ME into kissing him, I used my lethal weapon. I mentioned the magic words, my three brothers, my three quite big, wrestling champion brothers who made it known in simple, basic terms to every single boy who picked me up throughout my high school years, what would happen to them if they messed with me. My brothers also had an entire national champion wrestling team behind them.
And in that moment, as I tried to push this brawny scumbag off of me, I just might have mentioned something about my brothers killing him.
For the record, my brothers would have never killed him. There would have most likely been some limb damage and a great deal of pain and probably stitches, but my brothers to their credit, are not murderers.
And that scumbag might have been a loser, but he wasn't stupid. He drove me home in stony silence.
That boy, actually man, had the audacity to call me the next day.
When I told him simply that it would be in his best interest to never call me again, he said, "Whatever floats your boat." And hung up on me.
I'm sure that Italian Stallion made some woman very happy, indeed. I only hope she likes martial arts movies . . . and assbags.
And the most important thing and I know you don't want to hear this because you roll your eyes at me and look like you're going to vomit when I speak of this and I do speak of this all the time, because it is necessary that you understand this one true thing about boys—boys want sex.
It is their main goal in life, to have sex, no matter their age.
And I'm not disparaging boys in any way. They can't help this. It's in their genetic makeup. They are molded from testosterone. And that testosterone drives them to procreate and fill the earth with offspring.
It also causes them to constantly change the channel, never settling on any one thing, just as it also makes them only pretend to listen when you talk about feelings and of course it causes them to never, ever ask for directions, no matter how lost you might be.
But thanks to testosterone, boys will say and do just about anything to get sex.
Your job is to tell them No. No. No. And your No is a sacred one. All boys MUST honor your No. There are absolutely no exceptions to the rule.
Keep saying the word No, for a very long time.
If there is one thing I wish you would trust me on, it would be this. You will never regret saving sex for that good, special man. And I do mean man. Just like I mean, when you're a woman.
Wait. Wait until all the drama of high school is over. Wait until you know who you are. You can never know what you want from a man until you know what you want for yourself, first. Don't give yourself away because of pressure or to be cool or to think it will make that boy love you more. It won't.
You can never take that back. So honor yourself and keep that act, a sweet, sacred holy thing because you are the finest treasure and that treasure needs to be saved for only the most worthy.
Good guys wait. They do. And you should wait until you are in a deep, committed relationship with someone you trust with your whole heart, of course, after you've done all your growing up.
Don't complicate these beautiful, carefree years with adult situations. Wait until you have lived a little.
You'll know when it's right and it is never right in the backseat of a car or behind the locked door of a boy's stinky-sweatsocks smelling bedroom when his parents aren't home.
If you're in a situation where you have to worry about being caught, that's your flashing light warning that it definitely is not the right time or place.
Love waits and so should you.
Remember the word No and use it well.
And one more thing. Be prepared for the fact that this boy and all the boys to come will be given a tour of your father's impressive collection of firearms.
You might not have three big brothers, but you have a father who is an expert marksman.
Know that these boys will be shown the big, fancy guns your father owns, those guns that everyone at the gun range oohs and ahhhs over. Know that these boys will understand before they leave the house with you, that your father is incredibly skilled and can hit any target dead center no matter how fast that target thinks it can move.
And I'm okay with your dad letting them know that. Because the thing is, he's got a man's supply of testosterone and he is not afraid to show it, especially when it comes to his daughters.
And one more thing: Go to that Ball and dance your heart out.
I never understand it when people tell me, they don't dance. Dance is a pure expression of joy. I dance. I'm not very good at it. I'm rather an Elaine from Seinfeld with my jerky, graceless moves. But I dance. As does your dad. Who is also not very good at it. In fact, oftentimes I have to close my eyes when I'm dancing with him, just to keep the beat. Because he doesn't. Keep the beat, that is. But neither of us care. We spin and whirl and snap our fingers and flail around like it's 1999 and we have the time of our lives. Dancing.
Find a guy who will whirl you around the floor. Because, life's too short not to dance.
Have fun, sweet girl of mine. It's time to step through a new doorway. Now go put on your Cinderella dress and light up the world.
I love you forever and ever,
Your Mom Who Knows
Today's Definite Download: Taylor Swift's "Love Story"
For my girl, who loves Taylor Swift. For this beginning, for all the beginnings. May all your love stories be sweet and lovely. And always remember your first love story began the minute they put you into my arms. I love you with all my heart, Darling, Darling Girl.
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess.
It's a love story. Baby just say yes.
Posted by Joann Mannix at 12:21 PM
Labels: bono, celebrity boyfriends, Facebook, Lovely Daughters, mean people, teeth, The Hubby, whiny illnesses