Sunday, June 30, 2013

{Parenting in Real Time} - Adventures in Dating

We have 3 daughters.

Three cute daughters.

As a result, over the years, there has been no shortage of nice young men overly willing, tripping over themselves to assist us.  They eagerly offer to take our groceries out to the car.  No thanks, we've got it.

As we walk up to the mall, there are always GROUPS of spritely gentlemen willing to drop their cigarettes and open the door for us.  We've got Benjamin and Eli right here to do that, thanks.

And, waiters are always extra attentive (who doesn't need 5 refills, and 4 baskets of bread at dinner).  No tip, Jack.

Bless their hearts.

I still remember the first time a boy called for our oldest daughter.  Billy answered the house phone.  The following is what I heard come out of his mouth...


"Who is this"?

Dad, obviously, not used to hearing a male voice on the other line asks again...

"Who is this"?

Still confused, and certainly unwilling to acknowledge the voice of another male on the other end of the line, dad asks a third time speaking s-l-o-w and loud...

"Who is this"?  (It carried a similar inflection as saying, "What the what"?)

Dad's face finally registers with the brevity of the situation...

Cuts boy off mid sentence...

"I'm sorry, no.  Just, no.  She does not take phone calls from boys."

Dial tone.

We've interviewed (for lack of better term) many a young man over the years.  We believe we have quality girls -- and if you're not a quality boy -- you shouldn't even try to step to them.

(That would be a good bumper sticker for my van).

When Billy puts on his "Mr. Ramsdell" hat and asks, "How do you manage your porn habit"?  Well -- let's just say, it's game on.  As to whether or not it's better to have an answer or not have an answer to that question, I just don't know.

Some were keepers.  Many were not.

Since dumping the house phone, a few (very few) young men have had the courage over the years to call Billy directly.

One such conversation...

With an official tone in his voice, the young man (who couldn't have been more than 14) starts with, "Mr. Ramsdell, I would like to know if we could get together soon for coffee.  I'd like to discuss with you my options with your middle daughter."

Mr. Ramsdell responds with formality, "I would like to thank you for calling.  I appreciate your respectfulness, and with all due respect back, there are NO OPTIONS with my middle daughter."

Dial tone.

Tonight, we get another one of these calls.  Yes, I often wonder how much of this we can take.

Boy (whose approach is to sound like Billy's best bud) asks if he can take him out to lunch this week -- his treat.  Interesting.  This is new.

Billy says yes.  When I give him "the look" that says, "Really?  Is it necessary that we have to get to know ANOTHER one"?  He puts his hand over the mouth piece of the phone and simply whispers, "Hey, I've gotten good at these meetings.  This time, I'm gonna get a free BBQ plate before I tell him no."

Dial tone.

It's amazing that the girls continue to give their dad's number out.  Boys beware.