June 30, 2009

Boys are Dumb, Throw Rocks at Them

My daughter is 13, soon to be 14. In some ways she is going on 40, in other ways going on 6. She is in that beautifully awkward place between woman and child, that place that seems awkward, but really is more like a tightly closed bloom. Beautiful in its own way. She still plays with dolls, but she leafs through Vogue. Lacking the confidence to design for herself, she designs for the dolls, stitching and accessorizing, creating a fashion parade.

Boys exist, but with the view of a Disney movie of the week. They are something she will someday kiss, but today she is content to text with them. I'm not naive, I know there are "other girls" kissing, but she isn't one of them. She has a true innocent charm.

This morning, at the store, she received a text from a boy she is friends with. They sometimes hang out as part of a group and often get teased that they like each other. He's a nice, funny, geeky boy. In other words, I approve. He lives behind us. He sent her a text, "Will U go out with me?" In teen vernacular, that means "be my sweetheart", not go on a date, since she isn't allowed to date and neither is he.

Panic ensued. She couldn't answer him without a text conference with every female she knows. I suggested a quick phone call, which was answered with an eyeroll and the comment "Calling is so nerdy, mom!" I ignored my obvious lack of cool and said very calmly, "Honey, do you like him?"

Her crimson face looked back at me and she nodded, shyly. I said, "Then the simple answer is yes." Apparently her tribe of girlfriends sent in their endorsements and so she texted him back, those three letters. Y E S.

About five minutes later, he texted her back, "U do no I was joking, don't U?" Rounding the candy aisle, her eyes welled up and her crimson deepened.

I said, "You do know he's got a lame way of finding out if you like him first, right?"

She fumed, "I'm just so mad. He tricked me. What should I say?"

Thinking that the joke is on him, I suggested, "Why not text him back, Well I wasn't."

She did. He hasn't replied. She wants to text him back a million other explanations. I told her to let him feel as stupid as he acted. Leave it at that and resist the urge to overexplain.

Now you and I know, he is sitting there thinking, "Oh fudge, what an idiot I was."

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