The Girlfriend Scale – Do You Judge Your Teens Dates?
My son did himself an incredible disservice in the seventh grade. He started dating Jennifer. It’s not that Jennifer was bad. It’s quite the opposite. Jennifer was, and is, perfect. I know this because I still keep in touch with her on various social media sites five years after she dated my son. Jennifer is beautiful, down to earth, and super smart. When I say smart, I am talking they had to make her take math classes at the local college during her final two years of high school smart. So, my son set the bar super high with Jennifer. Then, after 8 months, which is a long time for a middle school relationship, they broke up. I think I was more upset about that than my son was.
After that, it was like my son was trying to kill me with the girls he dated. I won’t attempt to make up fake names for them like I did with Brittney and Jennifer. Let’s just call them all “Not Jennifer,” which is what I actually called them until he started dating current girlfriend. I use her real name – most of the time. Each girl he dated between Jennifer and Brittney was crazier and trashier than the last. One of them had a sibling that was also a cousin. I will try to explain, but I may need to stop and draw a diagram. OK. Pay attention.
So, when that Not Jennifer’s mom broke things off with the girl’s dad, instead of dating someone else who was outside of the baby daddy’s gene pool, she decided the smart thing to do would be to have a baby with his cousin. Are you following this? She had a baby with her ex-baby daddy’s cousin. No, I am not plagiarizing an episode of Springer. This actually happened. So, in that family there are cousins/siblings and cousin/daddies. I hear banjos and I have given myself a headache. Please feel free to stop reading now and grab a glass of bourbon.
When my son broke things off with sibling/cousin Not Jennifer, she texted me a series of what seemed to be drunken rants about my son. She was 14. Why yes, she did end up pregnant a couple of years later. And THIS girl was not even Brittney. Brittney was WORSE.
My son met Brittney the next year. I knew of Brittney mainly because I saw her encouraging kids to smoke pot in various Facebook comments. When my son became friends with her, I was worried, but I knew that expressing my displeasure would drive him to want to spend more time with her. So, I used all of my ninth grade acting class skills and gave fake smiles with gritted teeth. Within a couple of months, they were more than friends. I secretly beat my head against a wall any chance I got. I thought that if I gave myself a brain hemorrhage I wouldn’t have to live to see this train wreck.
I hate to seem all Judgy McJudgerson about the mothers of my son’s girlfriends, but let’s face it; kids learn more from what we do than what we say. At home, Brittney was learning that getting pregnant with multiple baby daddies and not working was A-OK. Her mom had three kids with three different fathers and she did not have a job. Awesome. She also smoked during all of her pregnancies. Even better.
So, of course, Brittney smoked, too. And of course, we caught our son smoking soon after he started dating her. Just when I was ready to throw Brittney down the stairs and make it look like an accident, my husband got a job out of state. We would need to move. YES!
Certainly, I thought things would break off immediately after we moved to ANOTHER STATE. But, no, Brittney kept her fake claws in my son for TEN MONTHS after we moved. She micromanaged via text message, and she even hacked into his Facebook and deleted any new local friends he made who were female. Whack-o! FINALLY, one sunny day, she released her claws. She was pregnant with another fella’s child within a couple of months – at barely 18. Shocker.
My son did his current girlfriend a huge favor by dating Brittney before he met her. Now, even when she gets on my last nerve, and there are times that she does because well she is here a lot and I have PMS, I just calm myself with this little mantra, “She’s not Brittney. She’s not Brittney.”
So, moms and dads of teens, how do you deal with the craptastic boyfriends and girlfriends that come into your children’s lives? Let me hear from you in the comments.