Follow-up to yesterday's post: Big Kid's question was related to Valentine's Day customs. After a strong start on his planning (more on that in a sec), he is now second-guessing his decision to go with the personal, not the canned.
"Do you HAVE to give roses?"
"No. There are waaaaay more original flower choices out there. And if you ever do want to give her roses, buying them on Valentine's Day just demonstrates that you have more money than sense."
"How expensive ARE roses?"
"Unjustifiably so. Five times more unjustifiably so in February."
As these words are exiting my lips, my head-voice is shouting: "SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP."
Here's the deal: I am kind of starting to regret just how good a boy mom I apparently have been to date.
You know those Old Spice "Smellcome to Manhood" ads? "Old Spice sprayed a man out of my boy"?
I get it. I totally do. But I don't have a popular line of men's grooming products to blame.
Since the boys were little, I have been telling it like it is: Girls get self-conscious and, at some point, become their own worst enemies. Treat them well. Treat them like people. Yes, you run the risk that they will assume that you LIKE-like them, simply by virtue of the fact that you SPOKE to them, because girls are delusional like that. Just roll with it. When in doubt, be nice. Don't be a jerk. I never want to hear that you were a jerk. And always be true to yourself - to your values, your goals and your personality.
As they got a bit older, my advice became more targeted:
Shoot for the hot geek. See: Olivia Munn and Olivia Wilde.
"Pretty" is pretty awesome, but "unapologetically true-to-self" is even more amazing, and the hot geek is basically the holy grail of girlfriends, if your goal is to outkick your coverage. [P.S.: You goal should totally be to outkick your coverage.] At some point, pretty girls get invited to sit at the popular table, and some pretty girls feel like they need to change who they are inside, lest a glimpse of the real-them gets them uninvited. If a girl can retain her quirkiness under such circumstances, even if she compartmentalizes it: you're on the right track. If said girl has no issue expressing her desire to attend ComicCon, out loud and in public, WHILE WEARING A CHEERLEADING UNIFORM (a school-sanctioned one, not a cosplay one): you have done well, Padawan.
Oh, and learn to know the difference between "authentically quirky" and "quirky as an affectation" (the latter being a variation of "high maintenance").
Let me describe Big Kid's girlfriend to you:
Smart, talented (triple-threat, musical theater-and-dance student), cute as a button. Considering a lateral move from drill team to the cheerleading squad. Friends with kids from all cliques. Thinks she wants to be an interior designer, but "gets" Big Kid's engineer brain, as she is the product of an all-engineer family. Doesn't see herself having kids until her later '20's, because both Mom and Dad should have graduate school out of the way. If she doesn't stay in Texas, sees herself settling in San Francisco, or possibly Portland (a pre-existing preference, not something she arrived at after falling for a boy with Stanford and Cal leanings). Likes superheroes (DC, I believe, has a slight edge over Marvel, just as God intended), good sci-fi (Star Trek: The Original Series, Dr. Who), Japanese anime and procedural crime dramas.
And let me tell you a little bit about LITTLE KID'S girlfriend. Yes, LK has a girlfriend - one who teachers have described as "the complete package" and "one of the coolest girls in school." She's one of two girls who play football with LK and other boys at recess, and LK was most excited to inform me that "the other day, when she scored a touchdown, she raised her first and shouted, 'FOR NARNIA!' when she got to the end zone."
And then: "Mom, I did good, right?"
Uh, yeah. Double-back-pat for Mom!
And then it got to be time to talk Valentine's Day. BK went first:
"Well, she really likes Totoro [Japanese anime character], and if I could find her something Totoro-related - like a hoodie or something - that would be my way of letting her know that I think it's cool that she likes anime."
The hoodie was too expensive (he had the money, but Mom vetoed), so a stuffed Totoro was procured. Then, a few days later:
"She started watching 'Bones,' but she's way behind, so instead of going to a movie or something like that, I thought that I could offer to binge-watch an entire season with her, and we could have a picnic on the coffee table in the living room. Is that a good idea?"
Uh, yeah. And, also: uh-oh. I have created a monster. An "A-plus boyfriend monster."
Then LK piped up: "I'm making [name of girlfriend] a bouquet of origami roses."
(LK makes redonkulously cool origami roses.)
Make that two monsters.
Several girlfriends (of mine, not my children) have pointed out that I will feel better later about how well they listened. LATER. But not now.