"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, March 5, 2015

dating years

I've had many an interesting conversation of varied thought on the subject of dating.

It would appear to be a pretty opinionated topic.

In our family, dating begins at 16. And man alive, if a girl doesn't wait and wait to be asked out on a date! Yet, regardless how much pep talk a mom can cheer, she'll still let her self esteem crumble if the requests don't come pouring in.

Now ....

I'm about as traditional as the next gal. I teach my boys to get doors for ladies, pull out chairs, walk dates to the door, pay for dates and ask women to marry them. I teach my girls that every invitation deserves their full enthusiasm, lady-like behavior and appropriate appreciation.

But ...

I do not see why a girl can't reciprocate, show that she's thoughtful, date just for fun, break the ice, and once in awhile do the asking and foot the bill.

It beats sitting around licking a cake batter spoon on a Friday night.

I know this doesn't help current social trends. Women can be considered too forward. The male role can feel devalued. Feels like social medias are stunting the art of conversation. And boys worry about sending their attentions toward sometimes over-eager girls.

Regardless, I know how much Newel appreciated when I took (and sometimes still take) the reigns and planned a little fun. I've tried to teach my girls that every once in awhile a guy likes it when a girl leaves brownies on the hood of his car just because.

And right or wrong, I've also encouraged that rather than feeling lonely on a weekend, planning a group date is way more exciting. Once a girl is recognized as fun rather than frightening, those calls do come in and sometimes the young men really appreciate the asking. 

(And in a not too distant future, I hope they realize a successful marriage is more about giving than taking.)

Sure enough, the give and take has made life exciting around here for quite some time.

What feels like a bit ago now, Celia transformed our living room into a catered dinner party for Sadie Hawkins. Annie served as the best waitress ever.

That flapper dress with all that fringe was a real treasure to sew. ;)

There was the Chopped group date.

Where date "teams" chose a meal course and a crazy ingredient. The race was on to the grocery store and back again to produce an entire meal by a certain time.

Here's a super blurry pic of the dates donning their team t-shirts and heading out the door to shop. I couldn't have been more surprised at how pristine they left my kitchen after the date was over! Such great kids.

Then before we knew it, Christian was 16 and dreaming up double date fun. Along with all that I was trying to teach a daughter, I found there were equally important lessons to teach a son.

Like how important it is to have fun with a lot of different girls with different personalities. And how being a perfect gentleman teaches a young woman how she deserves to be treated. And what a change he can make in how a girl views herself by his interaction with her on those dates.  And that believe it or not, his experience with her can be a memory she shares with her own daughters of a distant future when they experience their own insecurities.

And now, I just love that he and Celia get into planning these creative dates together. 

This was the first of many.

A scavenger hunt at the mall for things like old receipts, a hanger, a french fry from the food court, a tag, a window display photo bomb, the smell of perfume from the counter on your date ....

I heard it ended with hilarious stories to retell and laugh about. 

The date concluded with take out Chinese food picnic style in Newel's office reception and a game of adult Headbandz.

It as so cute, I wanted to go ;)

This time they headed out with Ziploc baggies of change to race against the clock purchasing bowling shirts at Salvation Army. That basket held a white table cloth, candles, champagne glasses and plastic "silverware" from the dollar store to dress up a table at Chick-fil-A followed by bowling.

On this date, they dressed up a table at Qdoba and wore sombreros and mustaches through dinner, then went to an indoor trampoline place for some fun.

Thanks for the borrowed pictures posted on facebook from one of their dates! This was taken after they determined eating was impossible with the fake mustaches.

I never knew I'd love this phase so much. Not all the time, mind you ;) But, watching the dating game is certainly a favorite. And seeing these kids learn and grow, priceless.


  1. Okay, so....that is awesome! Where do you/they come up with all the creative date/group date ideas? I love the Chopped idea. Totally and completely!

  2. Some of it is just crazy stuff they come up with! They are so, so ready for warm weather. They've felt really limited by cold. I think there are hikes and picnics and all sorts of glow in the dark games forthcoming. Let's bring on the summer!!