For the regular fans and readers of this column, you know what I refer to teenage boys as; walking hormones. I know this all too well because way back when I used to be one.
From the age of 13 and on, I knew girls were really different, and I wanted to know how and how much fun I could have with them. I blame this all on Barbara Eden of “I Dream of Jeannie” and her revealing genie outfit. Even though NBC wasn’t allowed to show her belly button, there was really nothing left to the imagination.
Let’s face it, boys and men, of all ages, had a crush on Jeannie, and truly wanted to see what was under that costume. Hormones were raging, and they had no place to go until seventh grade. That’s when I met Meredith Miller, who I have mentioned in previous columns. That’s the girl whose brother didn’t like me and warned me not to touch her. Needless to say I ignored some of what he said.
This leads me to what is happening today. My 16½ year old daughter Michelle broke up with her long distance boyfriend Rick from Massachusetts right after her Sweet 16 party. She moped around for a while, and then about three weeks ago she reconnected with a boy who lives around the block, Ryan.
My wife did tell her to find someone closer, but I don’t think she meant that close! Melissa was a wealth of information, telling us about what Ryan and Michelle were doing, since she wouldn’t leave them alone for minute. Melissa can be a royal pain, but she is the ultimate non-confidential informant.
So I made it a point to tell Michelle that I wanted to meet Ryan, and I made sure that Derek Jeter the Louisville Slugger was present as well. I really like to scare the crap out of teenage boys sniffing around my girls. So one day after camp Ryan came over, and we had a short talk, and while Derek was quiet, he made quite the impression on this soon to be 16 year old boy.
To find out how good this kid was, I asked Michelle to ask him to help me move some furniture from the basement and garage to the curb. There was no way I could do this myself, and I didn’t really want to ask any work friends.
Ryan didn’t disappoint me, he said yes. We worked out butts off, and sweated buckets to move five pieces of old, heavy furniture. It’s times that like I wish I was 16 or 25 again.
A couple of days later, Michelle comes home from camp and tells me that Ryan wants to ask me a question, and can he come over? I said okay, and a few minutes later he come downstairs. Very politely he asks if he can take Michelle out to dinner.
I ask where he wants to go, and he says the Chinese takeout place down the street and back to his house for a movie. He lives with his grandparents, so I say okay and away they go.
They have been hanging out almost every day since then, but I still refuse to use the “b” word until I have a real man to boy, heart to heart talk with Ryan and make sure he understands how protective a father I am and I get to know him a little bit better.
So I tell Michelle that I want to have a talk with Ryan the next day, and they both say okay. I’m not a guy to beat around the bush, so when he shows up I get right to the point.
I ask him about his parents, grandparents, sister and school because Michelle had mentioned things about all those subjects and I need clarification. He gave me straight forward answers, and I told him my theory about teenage boys being walking hormones, and that I know what they want, and my daughter will not be an antidote for those hormones.
He answers all my questions, and goes back upstairs to tell the girls about our talk. I probably should have told him to keep it between us, but didn’t’.
All I care about is making sure Michelle is treated with the kindness and respect she deserves, and no hormones get hurt in the process. Trust me; Derek the Louisville Slugger is ready, willing and able to put any walking hormone in its place.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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