Last night before bed I took Gilmore for a walk down the block. We live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, manicured ‘common spaces’, and gazebos. Nice, right? ‘Scandal’ in this neighborhood means that someone went two weeks between lawn mowings. Oh! And once we had someone ride a 3 wheeler on the grass by the pool and leave — wait for it — “tracks”. We also have these street lights that are supposed to be motion activated. Which they are, I guess. Except they go on a good 15 seconds after a car has passed. So our street is pretty dark most of the time.
So, anyway, last night Gilmore and I are out walking down the dark street. We reach the end of the block and turn around. We begin to hear shrieking and movement ahead of us but can’t really see much. As we get closer we begin to recognize the sounds. Yup, it’s drama. Teenage girl drama. A teenage girl and her ‘boyfriend’ are having a fight. Punctuated by fierce make out sessions up against the car. The girl is shrieking something about who does she think she is? and Why did you look at her? Then, SHE’S HOTTER THAN I AM! Between each of these statements there is kissing, grabbing and . . .unfortuantely, thrusting. The boyfriend is sort of pushing her up against the car, but it’s kind of awkward. The girl seems to be caught on the door handle somehow or maybe her hair is stuck under the guy’s arm. I’m sure it looked way sexier when they saw it on ‘The Hills’ or whatever those crazy kids are watching these days. Anyway, these youths are between me and my house so I have to pass them. And just as we get directly across from them, Gilmore takes a ginomous crap. Which I have to try and pick up with the plastic bag in the dark. It doesn’t go well. I have the sense that the teens have stopped their lusty fight to watch me struggle to pick up shit. I drop a few pieces and golly is it fun to find them in the dark! AT LEAST I DIDN’T DROP MY DIGNITY AND SELF RESPECT!! I yell. But not really.
The rest of the way home I think about Zoey and all the relationships she will have in her life. How can I help her choose healthy and safe relationships? This question actually really throws me. I mean, I know all the easy answers: through modeling, through talking to her, through enrolling her in activities that build her self esteem and sense of self. But here’s the thing — my parents did all of that for me. Still, I opted for some baaaad relationships. In high school. In college. In grad school. Part of that is how we learn. But part of that is . . . something else. Whenever my parents cautioned me, I would do the opposite. So, if Zoey brings home a guy or girl and I tell Zoey I don’t like him/her she may end up married. Or with a really bad tattoo. So, maybe Demetri and I need to threaten any potential dates. Let’s be honest, that’s going to have to be all me as Demetri is the kindest person on the planet. Demetri: Oh? You want to take out my daughter? Here’s 50 bucks for the virtual reality show. And do you want to borrow our hover craft? Me: Oh? You want to take out my daughter? Yes, well, let’s have a little chat over here by this lovely laser gun and set of really really sharp knives . . . Somehow I don’t really think that’s the answer either.
Help me out. What do you think?