My daughter Katie is a senior in high school with perfect marks and off to college in the fall. She is VERY PRETTY and has plenty of friends!
But Robin, she has never had a boyfriend or even a date! Many of her friends have boyfriends and I have to assume this makes her feel somewhat insecure even though she is far prettier than all her friends! She did not attend Junior Prom last year and says she doesn’t really care about going to Senior Prom!
I tried to speak with her about this a few times but she laughs me off and says she’s fine and focused on friends, studies, and getting into the best college she can. I just don’t want her to miss this important part of growing up!
My husband thinks I am insane! My friend suggested I write to you. Love the blog, by the way!
Unlike your husband, I do not think you are insane. Not at all!
I would never call you that and I think your husband should apologize to you.
However, there is a strong possibility you may be profoundly bored and not all that bright. In addition, your excess use of exclamation points suggests you are a very excitable woman.
You might want to see someone about that.
That wasn’t nice.
I’ll try again:
I have diagnosed you with the condition of “vultus pro stercore™,” which is a very loose latin translation of “looking for shit.”
I invented this soon-to-be-trademarked term for people suffering from so few real problems (that they are willing to identify and solve) that they spend time creating concern where none should exist.
We exchanged some emails over the past few weeks and I have consolidated all the information contained therein for a “DesCamp Scoreboard Analysis®” bullet-point list. Please review this list the next time you become concerned your daughter isn’t getting finger-banged by a drunken hormonal zit machine at a keg party:
Katie the Rockstar
- As you mentioned, Katie earns perfect “marks.” What are you, 85? Or is this an east coast thing? Anyway, her GPA is 4.0 and that’s great, especially since she takes advanced classes at a very difficult private high school.
- Katie also plays soccer and her team went to state last year. She was scouted by a few colleges but has decided she wants to focus on her classes without distraction. She’s a little go-getter, that Katie!
- Katie is not only smart, she is a kind young woman who volunteers at your local homeless shelter every two weeks.
- As you mentioned, Katie has a nice group of friends around her.
- Katie has never expressed any discontent over her apparently-intact hymen.
- She is very pretty. Thanks for sending me those 12 photos…one would have been fine.
I noted Katie’s physical appearance last in our Scoreboard Analysis because it is the smallest and least-consequential thing about Katie but given your original email and our subsequent communications I’m sad to say it is one of the things of which you are most proud.
Mom, did you ever consider:
- Maybe Katie is gay or gender-questioning and not ready to come out to her family yet?
- Maybe Katie has been getting it on at keg parties with any number of drunken hormonal zit machines but she does not wish to discuss it with you?
- Maybe Katie, like so many kids these days, does not “date” in the conventional sense of the word? I have found that teens today conduct entire relationships from start to finish via text messages, Instagram, SnapChat, and the like. Those relationships can range from two hours to a whopping two days!
- Maybe Katie is so focused and determined that she does not wish to be distracted by relationships with boys (or girls)?
- Maybe Katie’s self-esteem is so intact that she does not need a romantic partner to fulfill her?
- Maybe Katie has never met anyone she has deemed worthy to shuck her oyster?
Your attitude towards your daughter’s lack of boyfriends could damage that intact self-esteem I mentioned above. Why on earth would you want to imbue this exemplary young woman with the idea that, despite her accomplishments, her life is lacking because she’s not dating?
Not every girl wants to go to prom.
Not every girl is defined by her looks.
Not every girl needs a man to complete her.
Not every girl dreams of her wedding day.
Some girls are OK dancing alone in their room.
Some girls are more concerned with making a beautiful life than a beautiful reflection.
Some girls know they are whole, capable and independent beings, not mere appendages of another.
Some girls dream of bigger life events than donning a white dress of lies and hitching their wagon to someone else’s aspirations.
Advice for Katie’s Mom
Katie, your youngest of three children and your only daughter, is about to leave your unfeathered nest and saddle you with the boredom and preoccupation with nonsense that comes from having done nothing outside the home for 24 years.
Your letter to me wasn’t about what you thought it was about.
I believe you are so terrified that your life choices have left you empty that you are already pining for the grandchildren you think you deserve.
You told me your eldest son is 22 and has been dating the same woman for under a year, and yet you are dropping hints they should become engaged.
You told me your other son is 20 and single and this bothers you.
My advice to you:
Think about what you can do to enlarge your own life in meaningful ways. Get a job or volunteer or for fuck’s sake woman: JUST DO SOMETHING.
Leave your children to tend to their own romantic activities and proclivities and butt out. Your efforts to “make them happy” are likely to make them unhappy and distant.
Oh, if I had been loved at the age of seventeen, what an idiot I would be today. Happiness is like smallpox: if you catch it too soon, it can completely ruin your constitution.
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