rooted, but still growing

Anyone else smell Teen Spirit?

Posted on: September 27, 2009

You know how women who say they don’t have a lot of experience with boys mean they haven’t really dated, or even spent a lot of time around guys? I used to be one of those women. I didn’t date in high school and college — not because I didn’t want to; it just didn’t happen. After graduation I had some dates here and there, but nothing significant until I met my first serious boyfriend at work. Steve was the next serious guy after that relationship, and we all now know how that worked out. 🙂

So while my knowledge of the male species has significantly increased over the past few years, I’m still lacking when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of the young male mind. But oh Mylanta, did I ever get a crash course this week. Steve was in Rhode Island for five days for work, and OF COURSE all the planets and stars aligned in such a way that it fell on the exact five days that N would meet a girl, date a girl, and get dumped by a girl.

Within 24 hours.

I picked him up a few hours after cross-country practice Wednesday, as he had texted me to ask if he could hang out in the park with his “buddies.” It was pretty obvious when he got in the car that these “buddies” were not,  in fact, a group of boys but a singular giiiirrrrrlllll. He gleefully announced that this Savannah was his girlfriend, they had made out, she was really pretty …. and that he did not know her last name.


N was thrilled, and it was rather cute. He proclaimed himself “successful,” because he is on the cross-country team, had good friends, was making decent grades, is beginning jiu jitsu lessons and had secured a girlfriend. I believe another term he used to describe himself was “badass,” or “BA,” as all the cool kids call it these days.

He went to bed giddy. The next day I got another text asking to hang out with Savannah after practice. All was fine until I pulled into the parking lot to pick him up. He looked constipated, and it was clear he was deep in the throes of emotional turmoil. “I just hope she really likes me,” he said. “Oh, and the homecoming dance is Friday night. I want to go now that I have a girl.”

Something was up.

He was quiet the rest of the night, spending most of the evening lifting weights in the garage. When he came back in at about 8 p.m., he sat next to me on the couch. “Well, we don’t have to worry about me going to the dance,” he said. “We decided it isn’t going to work.”

And then, “I just hope this doesn’t ruin my reputation.”

Then, “My friends said she was crazy, anyway.”

And, “TJ used to date her. I hope he isn’t mad.”

And on and on. He was so full of angst, he could find nothing better to occupy his time other than cleaning his room, an activity he usually ranks right up there with eating garbage and digging ditches.

I did the best I could. I advised him to not worry so much about having a girlfriend unless he meets a cool, mature girl who shares common interests — someone he genuinely likes. That high school is full of this type of stuff, and it would be over in a few years. That drama is as dramatic as one makes it. And, for heaven’s sake, to find out the girl’s last name before you ask her to be your girlfriend!

Thank God Steve is home. I’ve  been fighting some sort of nasty head cold/mucous/coughing nastiness all week on top of single-parenting an adolescent. I’m wiped out, and spending the rest of the day in bed trying not to think about the next time N decides he likes a girl.


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