When Cupid Makes You Stupid

Many people remember the instant it happens.  And nothing is ever the same.  The sun is brighter.  Mr. Bluebird lands on your shoulder because you’re just so darned happy.  You’ve become so annoying that your closest friends are actually plotting Mr. Bluebird’s untimely demise.

And that’s a sure sign that you are head over heels in love.

Every teenager experiences that universal rite of passage known as falling in love – usually with a person who doesn’t even know they occupy space on planet earth.  For me, it was probably best if I remained unnoticed by my high school Crush de Jour.  With my unibrow, a space between my front teeth big enough to park a Prius and a wardrobe from the Sears flammable collection, not being noticed was probably best to keep at least one tiny shard of my fragile teenage ego intact.

But eventually those unacknowledged teenage crushes pave the way for Real Life LOVE.  It’s On the Job Training for that life changing moment when Cupid runs over you driving that Mack Truck of full of Flaming Amore Arrows.  You can’t eat.  You can’t sleep. You can’t talk about anything but your One and Only.  That special someone has swept you off your feet.

It’s hopeless when you’re smitten.  Then it’s all over except for deciding between the FryDaddy Jr. or the George Foreman Grill for the registry.  What the heck, you only have a few weddings in this lifetime, make them special.  So don’t be greedy, you can ask for the Foreman on the next go round.

Those were the days.

It used to be simple.  But now with eHarmony, Speed Dating and Relationship Agreements, the Rules of Engagement as I learned them have been redefined.

Online dating confuses me.  Should your search for true love involve a search engine?  We’ve become so desperate that we’ll believe that skeevy eHarmony guy who I’m convinced is the Pina Colada Song Guy from the 80s.  Are we gullible enough to believe our soulmate looks just like Brad Pitt, who is a food and wine connoisseur and spends weekends at his cabin on the lake? While his online mugshot may resemble Young Brad from Thelma and Louise, it’s a much bleaker image in reality.  Your Online Sweetie’s country cabin could possibly involve wheels and cinder blocks and he may consider serving KFC from a bucket while swilling Miller Lite a gourmand’s delight.

After your encounter with Online Bad, you’ll fully understand why love is occasionally blind.

And now looking for love no longer has to waste time – with Speed Dating.  One night, twenty dates, four minutes each.  No awkward small talk or worries about food plastered on your front tooth.

Apparently it works.

Just ask the couple whose engagement announcement recalled their first speed date.  The groom-to-be summed it up succinctly in the New York Times, “She was articulate and worth seeing again.”

What sweet nothings will you utter at the altar, Romeo?  You’ll Do?

With that attitude, he’ll probably not even make it to Kim Kardashian’s martial finish line.

Now thanks to Mr. Facebook, we have Relationship Agreements to define our dating life.   Mark Zuckerberg may know a thing or two about online relationships but apparently he needed help with his real-life one.  Mark and his then-girlfriend wrote up a dating accord that required him to take her on one date and spend one hundred minutes with her a week.

So when you start swooning, make the call – to your attorney.

Maybe New York Times Bride-in-Waiting should follow Mark’s lead. She could definitely use a Relationship Agreement – with another guy.

 

 

 

The Truth About Dating

I thought I’d stumbled upon the Watergate story of the Parenting World, complete with an anonymous source.  But there are no break-ins, wiretaps or tapes.  There are no cloak and dagger-style espionage or late night meetings in semi-dark parking garages where my informant is wearing dark glasses and a trench coat.  It was simply through solid investigative journalism that I cracked this story wide open.

In the spirit of Woodward and Bernstein, I will protect my confidential source.  You can subpoena me, make me pay fines or throw me in jail like Judith Miller.

Because I’m not talking.

I will tell you that I call my secret informant Smart Girl.  And that won’t narrow it down one bit.  Because as far as I can tell, there are a whole lot of them in this valley.

While I will not reveal her identity, I will share the intel I obtained on that fateful cloudy day.  It was so shocking, as a member of the Parenting Tribe, I knew this information could not be dispensed on a need to know basis.  Because parents You. Need. To. Know.

Smart Girl told me Middle Schoolers are Going Out.  That’s right, they’re dating.

Sensing this story was Big News, I remained objective as a good reporter should and asked a well-reasoned line of probing questions.  “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY ARE GOING OUT?” I shrieked hysterically. “YOU ALL ARE TWELVE AND THIRTEEN YEARS OLD.  NONE OF YOU CAN EVEN DRIVE YET!  WHERE ARE YOU GOING AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW ARE YOU GETTING THERE?”

I’m glad I was driving so I couldn’t see her roll her eyes.

Without giving Smart Girl time to answer, I continued my careful inquiry. “HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON?” I screeched at a windshield rattling volume.  “AND BE STRAIGHT WITH ME, IS MY KID GOING OUT?”

That was about the time that Mango Melon SoBe hit the windshield.  Smart Girl was laughing so hard it shot out her nose.

When she regained her composure, Smart Girl asked me, “What do you think Going Out means?”

“It means that you Go Somewhere, like to dinner and a movie,” I replied.  “You know, like a date.”

Smart Girl remained remarkably poised although it was clear she was trying hard not to spray the windshield with SoBe again.

But she continued.  “It’s not like that at all,” she explained.

“YOU HAVE TO TELL ME,” I loudly blathered on, “WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”

Thanks to my line of razor-sharp questioning, I had her exactly where I wanted her.  “It means they sit together at lunch and don’t talk to each other,” she said matter-of-factly.  I can’t confirm or deny this but I’m pretty sure there was another eye roll at this juncture.

So nothing has changed since I was in 7th grade.

Except when I was in junior high, there was one boy who really could have gone out.  Elvis Ray James flunked 7th grade so many times by the time I landed there he had already voted in a presidential election. He routinely inquired when they were adding a student parking lot.

Elvis Ray was every mother’s worst nightmare.

So on that day with Smart Girl, I’m glad I didn’t overreact.  It was a relief to learn that the Middle School version of Going Out story wasn’t even worthy of the National Enquirer.  But I remain on Red Alert for the Next Big Story.  You never know where Elvis is going to turn up.

 

 

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