So. After my ten-year-old daughter announced to her friends that she was going to go on a date (“Dating in Low Heels”), she set about convincing her father and me. We were a tougher sell.
“But every single girl my age has gone on a date already,” she argued.
“In Barbie Fairytopia, yeah. You are not going on a ‘date.’”
“You guys are crushing my spirit.”
Woah. First time we’d heard that one. Had to give her props for outstanding achievement in manipulative skills.
“Define ‘date,’” I said.
“Well…we’re not going to kiss, if that’s what you mean. I can’t even stand to watch you two do that.” She shuddered.
After a great deal of discussion and assurance that the parents of her main squeeze were on board with a brief and thoroughly public rendezvous, we agreed that they could arrange a meeting. The happy couple decided on the bench near the play structure at their school. Recess, high noon.
The morning of the big day, she argued less than usual about brushing her hair. Her socks almost matched. And she chose a tee shirt with only one hole.
“How did it go?” I asked as soon as I picked her up from school.
“Okay.” She shrugged.
“What did you do?”
“Uh huh, and what did you talk about?”
She frowned. “Talk? We didn’t do that.”
“What did you do?”
Time to put on the reporter’s hat, obviously. “While you were sitting, did you hold hands?”
She wrinkled her nose. “No. Mom, c’mon, he’s a guy.”
“So, you think you want to date again?”
“I guess. But this time, we want to invite more people.”
“Ah, a double date.”
“What’s that?” I explained that she would have two more people on her date. “Oh. No, we want more people than that. Like, enough for kickball.”
“Ah. Good thinking.”
“Yeah. So, see, Mom, I am old enough to date.”
Absolutely. Last night, though, two months apres The Date, she told me she is through with men until she is at least fifteen. “They’re too complicated.”