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Monday, November 14, 2016

What G. Learned at the Formal

Photo by Little Zoker
I’m mad at a seventeen-year-old boy right now. So furious, in fact, I’d like to go find him and smack the snot out of him.
He dissed G.
G. is my dear friend’s fourteen-year-old daughter. She used to babysit my kids before my oldest got old enough to take over that job. I’ve known G. and her family since G. was five years old.
I love my G.
The high school winter formal was on Friday and G. went with her crush, K.
G. and K. performed together in a stage play. I saw it. Were I in high school I might nurse a little crush on K., too. A cutie, that one is.
But right now I’d like to tan his lanky blond hide.
K. accepted G.’s invitation to the formal, then spent the entire evening pursuing the company of another girl.
There is no Emoji angry-looking enough to sufficiently convey my feelings about K. right now. Maybe a series of Emoji will do:
When G. told me what happened she said, “I guess I learned my lesson.”
I asked G. what lesson she thinks she learned.
“That boys can’t be trusted,” she answered.
Whoa, girl. Hang on now.
No, G. That’s not what you learned. Here’s what you learned:
Some People Are Immature/Clueless/Jerks
K., at seventeen, is probably just an Immature. The Immature may realize you’re crushing, but doesn’t know what to do about it, especially if s/he doesn’t return the crush. Honesty, integrity, and sacrifice are nebulous and as-yet unattained attributes to the Immature. Immatures are a lot of fun at a party, but not so great to need something from, or to count on for anything. Like, sticking by you on a date.
The blissfully Clueless, though a lot of fun to watch (unless they’re blissfully clueless-ing on you), share some similarities with the Immatures. But they actually don’t know they’re attractive/you like them/there’s drama. When a Clueless asks you what’s wrong, and you say, “Nothing”, they foolishly and genuinely believe you. Don’t hold this against them, because they’re as innocent as fluffy little lambs frolicking in a field, unaware that a pack of wolves is watching from the woods.
The wolves are the Jerks. They are the boys (and girls and men and women and everything in between) who genuinely don’t give a flying farthing about anyone else’s needs or feelings. They focus ever and only on their own happiness and pleasure and consumption, and will drop you like a microphone as soon as you no longer feed the buzz of their happiness and pleasure. You will recognize Jerks by the speed of their revolving-door relationships, and the trail of wounded people bleeding on the road behind them.
Sometimes you will be one of those people.
But Your Girls Got Your Back
Boys will come and boys will go, but your besties are forever.
I’m so glad you had your girls at the dance. They circled around you and physically prevented you looking at the cretin as he flirted with someone else across the room. They offered to go smack the creep in the head for you. And your girlfriends will make sure that the knucklehead knows he’s persona non grata now.
And G., in another year or two, when the rest of your gorgeousness grows up, and you run into K. again, he’s going to circle around you, smack himself in the head, and rue the day he became persona non grata in your world. Trust me on this.
It’s One Dance on One Night of One Year in Your Life
You cried, then you moved on. You felt it, but didn’t let it fell you. You took the high road.
There will be other (better) boys, and other (better) dances.
(And full disclosure, there may be worse of both from time to time, too.)
But this—listen to me here, G.this was not about you. You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are charming. You are more than enough.
You might’ve shot a little further than your bow can fly just now, targeting a senior when you’re a freshman. But dang, girl! Why not go for what you want? As Robert Browning famously said, “Ah, but a man’s (or girl’s) reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”
So you didn’t bag your quarry this time. Big deal. The Harry Potter books got turned down by twelve publishers before one said yes. Twelve. (And I’ll bet those twelve are still kicking themselves in the seats of their pants right now.)
Aren’t you glad J.K. Rowling didn’t give up and say, “I guess publishers can’t be trusted”?
So don’t you give up, G. Don’t think “That’s how boys are.” That’s how that boy was. On that night. That time. That’s not nearly enough data to declare any kind of trend.
So you keep asking for what you want.
You keep being your own fabulous self.
Because you’re G.
End of story.

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