The apocalypse countdown has officially begun.
So much for the Mayans and their blasted calendar. Turns out it’s a scruffy skateboarder with a 2006 Nissan Maxima who will be ushering in the End Times.
We’re talking about officially dating, here, as in, “go forth and spend time together far from the prying eyes and wagging fingers of parents.” This isn’t like what we old fogies used to call “goin’ together,” that pitiful slang that teenagers back in the day used to mean “going nowhere and having no means to get there.”
For months now, The Diva and The Boyfriend have been spending so much time on the couch that I feared they’d grow roots and start to bloom while forcing the rest of us to watch the most asinine TV shows imaginable (probably in hopes that we’d get so sick of “Jersey Shore” that we’d finally shout, “Fine! Go in your room and close the door just don’t make me look at The Situation’s abs anymore!”).
Still, we knew this day was coming. It’s why we put a GPS tracker on The Diva’s cell phone. It’s not like we think she’ll intentionally lie about where she’s going or what she’s doing. It’s just in case she’s abducted by aliens. And if she decides to swing by Arby’s for some curly fries, we’ll have the opportunity to accidently show up and mortify her in public.
With dating comes great responsibilities. The Diva’s freedom comes with more caveats than a Hollywood pre-nup.
She’s only allowed to go out with a group of pre-approved friends, of which The Boyfriend is allowed to be a part.
She can only go out during daylight hours.
She must call her when she arrives, when she leaves and at designated times in between.
She must send photos via text to prove that she is in fact at the movies, at the bowling alley or at McDonald’s.
There will be questions asked upon return, for example: “So what were some of the previews you saw before the movie started?” or “Describe in detail the person standing in front of you in line and what they ordered.”
I also reserve the right to ask for a receipt upon safe return home, and to have the come-to-Jesus conversation with The Boyfriend before departure.
Before all this terror and madness began, I attempted to put an invisible fence around the house to deter The Diva from leaving. Turns out shock collars don’t come in teen sizes, and The Diva is too smart for me to homeschool.
The Diva has earned our trust over the past year and deserves to be given enough rope to … well, you get the idea.
Just before she walked out the door on her first “real” date, The Diva noticed how nervous I looked, and she offered me a … pinky promise.
“This means you can trust me not to do anything stupid,” she said, her tiny finger extended in a hook. “It means a lot.”
Confused, I just stared, until she grabbed my pinky, locked mine in hers and shook – pinky to pinky. Is this the girl version of the fist-bump, or of slicing your hand on a piece of dirty glass in order to become blood brothers?
While I miss the significance, I do appreciate the gesture.
The Diva is not a little girl anymore. And I’ll try to learn to let go … pinky promise.
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com