When did these little ladies become so damn forward?
A girl rang my phone yesterday asking to speak with my 9-year-old son. A lady caller. A harlot if you will.
She was not shy in the least. She introduced herself, and then basically told me to “chop chop” getting my son on the line. I sat, dumbfounded, while he casually took the phone and hid in our linen closet to carry on, what I can only imagine, was a riveting conversation.
The next day, she rang my doorbell. Then Little Miss Thang walked right into my kitchen, looked me up and down and said, “WOW, you and Charlie look so much alike. You know I’m his girlfriend, right?”
Note to self: hide all family pets and pots of boiling water when this thing goes south.
Did it happen like this when we were kids? I don’t remember having significant others at this age. And I definitely don’t remember such boldness in these interactions. Obviously a lot has changed in the (cough) thirty-something years since I was first wooed, but this generation has most certainly taken the guesswork out of relationships. For instance:
Then: You passed notes in class. Typically with something spellbinding like, “HI.”
Now: In second grade, a girl gave my son a bag of quarters and asked him to be her boyfriend. I made him return the money and promptly explained that men and women should really really never exchange money for affection. I’m hopeful he will remember this during his first trip to Vegas.
Then: You slid up to a girl and mumbled, “Will you go with me?” There was no mention of where you were actually going, but it signified a commitment. If things got really serious, you wrote her a love note doused in Drakkar Noir.
Now: As indicated above, these little trollops are not fucking around. If my son’s “girlfriend” can’t catch him on my phone, she FaceTimes his sister or tries to SnapChat our neighbor for a glimpse of her man. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if she burst through his bedroom window one night tethered to a rope.
Then: Maybe, maybe you worked up enough confidence to leave a message on her family’s answering machine. When all else failed, you did a drive-by of her house. If, God forbid, she or any member of her family were outside, you immediately ducked, the car mysteriously rolling by like it was being driven by a free-range toddler on the lam.
Now: You know exactly where your love interest is at all times because you follow every detail of their Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you go out on a date, you must pretend to learn new things about this person that you have been stalking for months. You already know what he had for dinner last night, what his ex-girlfriend wore to the prom ten years ago, and every nuance of every photo from their last family vacation. If you weren’t so creepy, you could be accepted into the FBI tomorrow.
Then: You waited all night for him to show up at your favorite bar. Disappointed, you stumbled home and quickly moved to Plan B: the classic drunk dial. If he didn’t answer, you became convinced he must be hooking up with someone else. You shrugged, picked the last of the Totino’s Party Pizza crumbs from your pillow case, and passed out.
Now: With the invention of FaceTime, now you actually have to participate in phone sex with your boyfriend. They can actually see that you are, in fact, wearing old sweatpants paired with a “Tigers’ Homecoming 2008” t-shirt, rather than a mesh thong.
I realize the dating scene has been forever changed by technology. But I pray by the time our children enter college, apps like Tinder are as uncool as our kids think we are now.