Like many of you, we visited with friends for Memorial Day. This particular family has been friends with my family for a long time. They married about the same time Hubby and I did, had their first son a year before The Girl was born, and their daughter two years after The Boy came along. Mr. Friend is an Ex-Army Ranger and saw some interesting times during the Gulf War while I had to play around state-side and pout.
The interesting side-effect to having two families interact regularly over the better part of two decades is that the children know each other well. But not too well. They live about a half-hour away now so we live separate lives, really only seeing each other a few times a year on long weekends when we don’t have other family obligations.
When The Girl was about four and their son was five, I recall her chasing him around at a BBQ. His dad took pity on our tiny daughter (she was always a favorite, being a petite thing and he was always tall for his age so they looked more like they were three years apart than one) Mr. Friend pinned his son, not knowing what The Girl had in mind. She promptly walked up to her friend, kissed the resigned child, and declared them married.
All the adults laughed, naturally. The Girl was very proud and her new groom seemed unusually accepting of his fate.
Fast forward twelve years to last night. Do you see what’s coming? Let me set the scene: another BBQ with the families, a petite 16-year-old who only reaches the shoulder (not kidding) of a towering 17-year-old who’s been sporting a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee for a year (I’m serious). The Girl has little interest in video games, the towering 17-year-old has little interest in academics or books, although they’re both a bit nerdy. Thank you, Stan Lee. Maybe.
The Girl has put in her time the last few times the families have met watching her brother and towering 17-year-old/‘soon to be boyfriend in another high school’ competing at insert-some-video-game-here and cheering on her brother’s opponent. Because naturally she wouldn’t cheer on her brother. (He’s her brother. Everyone understands that, it’s nothing weird.)
The kids were all settled on their computers, together and yet in their own little worlds, leaving the adults free to do our own thing. (Except for the youngest — another time.) Hubby, for some reason, had to go grab something from the den where kids were. Here’s where things get interesting.
I should back up and explain something. On Friday, The Girl came bouncing up to me almost crying that it had been too long since she’d seen her ‘soon to be a boyfriend in another high school.’
Naturally, I said, “Talk to your father.”
Hubby said, “You have their number. Call and set something up.”
She did. Then she called her friend from across the street who descended on our house Monday and spent an alarming amount of time ‘making over’ our fresh and innocent daughter into something I would expect to find climbing a pole. I was frantically thinking about my phrasing when The Girl approached me later, in heels, to show me the results. She winked and mouthed “It’s okay,” which I took to mean I was supposed to go along with this for her friend’s sake, so I enthusiastically approved of her overdone make-up and capris with heels. Then I pulled her aside as soon as her friend left and gave her my best WTF look.
“I’m changing, and taking it off,” she said and immediately when back upstairs.
“Why the charade?” I called.
“She wanted to help for my date.”
My date. That was our first clue. Up until that moment, it was a BBQ. Everyone else thought it was a BBQ. I wondered if the ‘the soon to be a boyfriend in another high school’ knew it wasn’t a BBQ.
Now, back to the den. Hubby went to go grab something knowing The Girl, The Boy, and ‘the soon to be a boyfriend in another high school’ were in there. (The extra child was with me killing off humanity. Another time.)
Hubby opens the door and innocently finds The Boy at his computer playing something. The ‘soon to be a boyfriend in another high school’ at his computer, with The Girl on his lap. Her arms are around his neck, he’s got one arm around her tiny waist, and the other on the keyboard. So . . . holding her, but playing his video game. Huh.
Not to embarrass The Girl (that would be dangerous) Hubby just got what he needed and left. Besides, The Boy was there, they were chaperoned. And all three of them knew The Boy would take any opportunity to tattle on his perfect sister.
Upon relating this tale to me later, I pointed out to Hubby that The Boy is bribeable — assuming The Girl thought of it, which she wouldn’t; she is nearly perfect and doesn’t tend toward corruption. ‘Soon to be a boyfriend in another high school,’ however, could very well think of it and, once the idea is floated, The Girl would know how to buy off her little brother.
Hubby and I are sort of laughing, but in the back of our minds, we’re also cringing. When you have a cute little teenage girl, you really don’t like it when life gets interesting.