Romance is in the air at the Hula-gen house. Teen Angel has a new fella in her life, and boy, is she smitten. They’ve been on two dates in the last seven days, and you can practically hear the birds singing when they walk out the door. It’s J. this and J. that and text, text, TEXT. I can pick out his ring tone from across the house. I’m not complaining. He’s a very nice boy. And handsome, too. He is 13,000% better than the last boy she dragged home, and for that, her dad and I am extremely grateful. We like New Boy a lot. We’re just amused at the way they moon over each other. It sure brings back some memories; memories which make me feel a little old.
Teen Angel’s only been allowed to date for the past year, and most of that time was spent pining over a boy who treated her poorly. He stood her up more than once, didn’t keep his word and generally mistreated her. It got to the point that her dad and I finally told her he couldn’t call or pick her up for dates anymore. It took her a while to figure out that it was okay to expect some respect in a relationship, and she finally ended that romance last summer. She coasted through the first of this school year, determined to find a decent boy. She hung out with girlfriends and didn’t worry about a relationship, which thrilled me to no end. And then two weeks ago, she drifted home on a cloud of pheromones with the news about her first date with New Boy. We all anxiously waited for Friday night for the big first date. Which ended up being postponed because of snow covered roads. Oh, the gnashing of the teeth and wailing over the weather. We were relieved when Saturday came and the sun melted enough of the snow for the big date to take place.
He was polite when he arrived, shaking hands and saying all of the right things. Bless his heart; he even tried to take his shoes off at the front door until Teen Angel explained that we have hardwood so we don’t have to worry about that kind of thing. He opened the door for her as they left, and we watched them pull out of the driveway, trying not to let them see us peering from the dining room window. And that’s when the memories came flooding back.
Being a teenager and waiting for that special boy to pick you up. Praying to God that your parents didn’t say or do anything embarrassing while he was there, and trying to get out the door fast enough to prevent dad’s Great Inquisition or Mom’s nosey questions. Hoping that he doesn’t notice your grade school photo on the wall. Feeling like you’re on top of the world while you’re sitting in the car with that boy, and thinking that time has never passed so quickly. There’s shyness, laughs and that first kiss that stops your heart.
For a long time after they left that night, Hubby and I talked about those teenage dates. He gave me the boy’s perspective, which I had never thought about. Nerves, worrying about whether that special girl would actually say yes to his invitation to dinner and a movie, tentatively knocking on her front door, enduring her dad’s stare and trying to get out of the house with that girl as fast as possible without being rude. One time, he picked up a girl for a date, and her dad never said a word to him the whole time Hubby was in their house. He never responded to anything Hubby said and to this day has never spoken to him. The man had four daughters. It’s easy to understand why he was protective.
This past Saturday night was Homecoming, so we went through the whole special dress, matching shoes, pictures in the living room experience that I remember doing so many years ago. Her red dress was lovely. His matching tie was elegant, and the warmth radiating from their big smiles almost required sunscreen. They were cute, cute, cute, and I nearly laughed out loud when I remembered that all of us girls wore knickers to Homecoming my senior year of high school.
I remember those times well, and it’s fun watching Teen Angel go through them, too. It will be a long time before she realizes that this was probably just one of several big dates in her life, that there will be other fancy dresses and other kisses. I’m just glad she seems to have figured out now that stepping out that door with a boy who is nice and caring and respectful is the most important part of the evening.