Monday, February 17, 2014

An Open Letter To My Daughter About Dating

Dear Daughter,
   You are getting older every year, and I can see you already, rolling your eyes at that statement. I don't mind because I know that you get that quality from me -- you learned from the best -- but I do have a point with that opening statement. My point is this: one day the boys are going to start noticing you, if they aren't already. And even though you are getting older, you are much too young for that, despite what society might say in argument.
   Soon enough, you will be sixteen, and that is a better age for dating. Nothing serious, you know, because sixteen is still very young. In fact, all the boys you will be looking at will also be very young. You are all much better off paying attention to your grades, playing video games, going to the movies with large (I mean huge, so that in no way can it be interpreted as dating) crowds of friends, and building castles for your future. You will grow up fast enough; no need to rush.
   Now that I think about things a little, eighteen might be a little better for the dating game. Legally, at this age you are an adult, even though you can't actually buy alcohol yet. But still, you are an adult, and not legally under my care, so you could date now.... Except you already have huge college plans now. You don't want to do anything to disrupt those plans. You don't want to have to be worrying about long distance relationships or commitment that might hold you back and become a burden. You are still so young at this age and you are going forth to conquer midterms and finals, building your foundation for your future. This is a very exciting time!!! You need to be free to decide whether you want to go to college near home, out-of-state, or even out-of-country. This is not the time to commit to anything romantic, after all, you aren't even old enough to buy alcohol.
   Twenty-one is a much better age. You are truly legal at this age, if being able to buy alcohol counts for anything at all. Which come to think of it, buying alcohol doesn't count for anything. And you don't want to date at this time, because a lot of your peers are going to be going through those alcohol driven, raging hormone, I'm-a-hot-mess phases, and you don't want any part of that. Of course, a lot of them won't, but some of them will, and the drama of figuring out who is and who is not, is drama that you need right now, because if you still want to be a scientist at twenty-one, then this means that you will still be plugging away at books snug in some University somewhere, and you don't want to mess with alcohol-fueled kids who think they are adults just because they can buy a drink. Best to wait until the newness of this has worn off, and everyone has settled down a bit. After a few hangovers, quite a few of those kids will be done with massive liquor-fueled nights forever, or at least moderate their drinking.
    No, after all, waiting is best. Mid-twenties is a much better time to really get into the dating games. The boys will have turned into men, and they will at least have made progress on any life-goals that they have. Except, around this point, you will be finishing school. And as you have wanted to be a scientist for years and years now, I am assuming this will still be your goal. However, this is your life, and I don't really care what you do, so long as you love what you are doing. But my point is, what about your life goals? You have always been a very motivated girl, and I wouldn't want you to put your own goals on hold. So maybe starting relationships right now is not a good idea after all? You want to become established in whatever career you decide to go for.
   So let us give you some time for that. After all, the twenties are still very young. The hobbits don't even consider their young to be out of the 'irresponsible tweens' until they are about thirty-three, if I am remembering right. So lets model your life after a mythical person's, and say that you will finally be able to date after you are thirty-three. You will at least, at this point, have gotten through high school without being eligible for the show Teen Moms; you will have gotten through all your college years without being corrupted by lushes who think with the wrong head, and you will have started your career and made a place for yourself. This is a good time to start dating and finding your soul mate and all that drama. But hey, you can afford a little drama now.
    There is just one thing, at this point, that I need you to do for me. Whoever your soul mate ends up being, I need you to let that person know, that no matter what they have done; whether they have found a cure for AIDS, or built the next wonder of the world, painted the next Monalisa, built a habitable, sustainable city on Mars, or whatever impressive goals they may have achieved, I want them to know that whatever they have done, they are still damn lucky to have you, and when you finally marry (at fifty) I want you to let him know that if you are ever treated like less than gold, that your seventy year old momma is gonna come whoop his ass.


No comments:

Post a Comment