Sunday, August 30, 2009

Well, It's Official

My 15 year old daughter, young Galadriel Tanqueray Onassis, has a boyfriend.


Now, I'm not foolish enough to think that Jimmy is her first boyfriend. Jimmy is just the first one that she's actually told me about.

It happened like this. I took her to pick up her friend Alyssa on Friday. They were going to the Chief's game on Saturday with some other folks. On the way back I heard GTO ask Alyssa what time she was leaving on Sunday. I didn't really follow the conversation but me ears perked up when I heard "hanging out with me and Jimmy".

"Me and Jimmy". Yeah.

But I didn't say anything, I just sort of filed that away.

Today she texted me. She was pissed off at her mom. Not exactly breaking news. The reason for this particular instance of her pissedoffedness was the fact that her mother, who had previously agreed to drive GTO to Blue Springs and pick up Jimmy on Sunday, was now backing out because she had "plans". She wanted to know if I could take her.

Summoning all of the casual innocence and passive, dismissive curiosity I could muster, I asked. "Who's Jimmy?"

"Jimmy's my boyfriend."

Dum, Dum, DUMMMMM.

And there it was.

I took the news in stride and focused on what I considered to be the two most important points:

1. She felt confident enough in our father/daughter relationship to know that she could tell me she had a boyfriend and know that I wasn't going to freak the fuck out.

2. She was actually going to let us meet each other. That means she knew I could handle meeting him and she didn't view me as some embarrassment that she needed to hide from her boyfriend.

I told her I could probably squeeze the excursion into my busy vacation schedule. Just before we ended the call, she said "WAIT. He has ear gauges. Don't say a word!" I agreed to keep my mouth shut, even though she knows I think that shit is STUPID.

As things turned out, I didn't get to meet him. He turns 16 tomorrow and his mom was taking him out for his birthday, so there would be no hanging out today.

When she told me this, I asked her to send me a picture of him, which she did.

This isn't him, but the ear gauges are about the same.

He has holes in his earlobes about the size of a quarter.

Now, I'm not crazy about this, but it's OK. Other than the facial mutilation, he's not a bad looking guy. And GTO tells me he's an atheist, like us, and that makes me happy. Makes me think he might be intelligent despite the visual evidence to the contrary.

I'd much rather see her hook up with an atheist hipster with holes in his ears than some fundamentalist football quarterback who wants her to "get right with God" and save her soul.

I take solace in the fact that this won't last. One of them will break the other one's heart and she will move on to the next boyfriend who will be different from the last boyfriend. This is how it works. It's a winnowing process. Eventually she will discover what she wants and doesn't want and, I hope, she will find the man (or woman) who will make her happy. Which is my only concern.

In the meantime, I'm just nurturing the "you can talk to me about anything" aspect of the father/daughter relationship because I know that will become increasingly important in the coming years.

With honest and open communication, anything is possible. Between parents and children, between boyfriends and girlfriends, between husbands and wives, between life partners and life partners, between business's and customers, between politicians of opposing parties, and between nations who seek each other's demise. Nothing is as powerful or important as communication.

If you aren't communicating, you are powerless and inconsequential.


Spyder said...

So Mom had known about Jimmy? And was going to meet him or has already?

How she sees you treat women is how she will allow herself to be treated. So yes your relationship is very important. You could almost say life or death even.

m.v. said...

that's some scary looking gaping holes in his ears.there is no way in the world I could keep myself from making fun of this dude.otherwise I agree.I nurture the notion:your dad is crazy non-American,he will not hesitate to track down said boyfriend and rearrange his body parts,so make sure they know what they are dealing with

Dan said...

Well written and thoughtful. Congratulations on your daughter growing up with you, rather than away from you.

May said...

Indeed. Way to be a dad your daughter can tell things to :)

Logtar said...

LOVE that last line! LOVE IT!

emawkc said...

I need ear gauges like I need a hole in my head.

Anonymous said...

When you meet him bring along some fruit and ask if you can keep your banana in his ear. Oh wait! That might get you arrested.

No, stop somewhere for drinks and ask him if you can borrow one of his cup holders. There, that won't get you arrested.

Your daughter is lucky she has you. I was "dadless" until I was almost 10. Then I got my step dad. He taught me how to change a tire, but I never talked to him about boys. Of course, I didn't talk to my mom either. I still don't. :)

Joe said...

Spyder is close to what I want to say. If the relationship with you and GTO is good, odds are she'll have good relationships with men. If not, then she's got a tough row to hoe. Fortunately, it seems you two are on the same page, which is a good thing. Trust me X, I've married three women who have "daddy" issues. Work every day to see GTO doesn't. Lecture over.

...JustCara said...

With so many girls growing up without fathers it is so cool that you are more than a father - you are a DAD. I could tell mine anything. She's lucky to have you.

But the ear gauges? I don't get.

Ear Gauges said...

I love ear gauges.. i cant say the same for my mom though haha...