Happy Sweet 16 (Or, The Perils of Dating My Daughter)

Most parents probably believe, as they should, that their child is one of the most interesting people they’ve ever had the pleasure of bringing into the world. It’s a small pat on our back that we contributed to the betterment of society just as much as it’s blatant bragging.

Following this logic, I’m happy to state that my daughter Sarah is a great source of pride. She has a lot of the basic checklist requirements already ticked up:  an avid reader, a fiend for knowledge, an open mind, and an incredibly kind heart. These traits she has in spades (there’s the blatant bragging bit), but that’s not the most interesting bit about her.  It’s the eccentricities that truly deserve some attention because they flat-out make her a kick ass chick.

Sarah baby

Sarah is not so little any more.  I kept telling her she could’ve been done any time and actually should’ve stopped growing around the time the above photo was taken.  But did she listen?  No.

In fact, she’s celebrating her Sweet Sixteen today, and already has a strength of character that makes my maternal side beam with pride.   No silly boys are going to pull the wool over her eyes.  In fact, I almost pity the unwitting hounds that may try to manipulate her rather than learn what she’s really all about.  She simply has no patience for stupidity and she’ll never simply “settle” for someone who’s only just good enough.  Of course this will automatically eliminate a lot of potential suitors before they even know it.  I can’t say I’m not pleased about that.

Consider the following as an example of her very low threshold of tolerance for the boys in her circle.  In elementary school she had a friend named Michael.  Michael really liked her….it was one serious crush.  A crush that I’m afraid was nipped in the bud early.  One day after a band concert, he says to her, “I’m going to come over to your place so we can hang out.”  To most observers, it may have seemed like a friendly suggestion….but to Sarah it was the height of rudeness since it was said as if it were a given that this date was going to happen…no hint whatsoever of a question mark in his comment. Wrong way to go about it Michael.  So my daughter replied accordingly: “Don’t bother. I won’t be home.” To which the ever expectant Michael responded, “I didn’t even tell you what day I would be by.” She countered, “You can come over anytime you want. It doesn’t matter. I won’t be home.”  Without a way to parry that blow Michael was thus dismissed.

While people are constantly warning me about boys and dating and how concerning and stressful it can be for parents of teenage girls…I just smile to myself.  I worry more about the boys who might try to win my daughter’s attention….they will have a rough road to go.  Which is as it should be, because she’s deserving of nothing less than excellence.  And I’m absolutely thrilled she realizes that.  For some women it takes a lifetime to figure that out, and some never do.

But I will reach out to offer a little advice to the would-be future suitors…to sort of even the playing field a bit. Should a potential candidate for my daughter’s hand want to have even a chance in hell of keeping her attention, he should consult the following list of things he’ll need to sincerely like:

  • Doctor Who references
  • Marvel Comics (especially Deadpool and Loki, and we’re not just talking movies here, the actual comics)
  • Rooster Teeth (because they’re hilarious)
  • Michael Myers (yes, the serial killer…not the comedian)
  • Norse mythology (Loki, nothing more needs to be said)
  • Greek mythology (Dionysus – yep, ritual madness)
  • Creative writing (of all kinds)
  • Lewis Black (great minds think alike after all)
  • Compassion for animals (lack of this is a deal breaker, boys)
  • History (Alexander Hamilton and Achilles are her current favorite topics)
  • John Green (the person, not just his books)

Conversely, here is a list of things he’ll need to hate (with a passion I might add):

  • Hunting (oh boy, don’t even get her started on this one)
  • Camo (or this one)
  • Annoying people (not the action but the noun)
  • Unruly children (don’t ask)
  • Intolerance (of any kind)
  • The Westboro Baptist Church (yeah,  probably better to not even bring this one up at all)
  • Waiting in line (obvious)
  • Mornings (equally obvious)

OK, boys, there’s the cheat sheet. Now I only have one question — are you man enough?

8 thoughts on “Happy Sweet 16 (Or, The Perils of Dating My Daughter)

  1. Happy Birthday, Sarah! It sounds to me like you’ve got a very healthy dose of self-esteem and common sense. Those will serve you well.

    Your mother’s description of you reminds me in many ways of my youngest daughter, now 25, who has a “very low bullshit tolerance.” Yeah, that – exactly. Of course, she’s also spent four years living overseas (three in China, one in South America), speaks four languages, and has seen ten times more countries than I have. And she spent those four years teaching foreign high school kids who were generally just a few years younger than her, so the attitude helps.

    Have a great birthday! Anyone who loves Lewis Black and hates the WBC is well on the road to establishing themselves as a decent human being! Your mother is justified in gushing proudly about you.

    • Thank you for the kind words! I will show her your comment. Sarah has her eyes set on Stanford once she graduates high school (who, lucky for me just announced free tuition programs) but only because she hasn’t considered studying abroad or traveling for a learning/volunteer program. If she ever considers that, I’m sunk (because I’ll miss her)! Your youngest daughter sounds absolutely wonderful! You must be very proud.

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