Recent occurrences have reminded me of my past adventures. My 12 year old daughter (Mali) and her best friend (referred to as Fate) deeply concern me. They are dealing with their crushes on Amadeus in an entirely inappropriate and familiar manner. I had issues with how to convey affection for guys. I had a friend like Fate during high school and college. Our mayhem produced laughs, embarrassment, and (for my friend) a restraining order. How can I prevent these girls from making the same mistakes we made and should regret?
On the way home from swimming, Mali attempted to persuade me to, “drive by Amadeus’s house. Just this once.” I informed her that I gave up that hobby around 1995. When interrogated as to how she knew where Amadeus lived, she claimed he rides her bus. I remain skeptical.
She also told me, “Fate says he has a mirror in his backyard. Isn’t that weird?”
I questioned, “How exactly does Fate know that he has a mirror in his backyard?”
“She knows everything about him. She’s a stalker.”
She used the word stalker without any negative connotations. This alarms me, but may simply be a byproduct of being my daughter. I decided not to sit her down, tell her that stalking is a very scary thing, and make her watch Fatal Attraction, The Crush, Single White Female, or I Can Make You Love Me (The Stalking of Laura Black) fearing that she may find these films comedic…like my best friend and I did. In our eyes, these movies were hilarious. We would spontaneously expel quotes from them such as “It’s gonna be real hard for us to have a relationship if you keep refusing to go out with me” and “Don’t make me come get you!”
These days, I’m relatively sane. I swear.
I informed Mali, “It’s possible to like someone and not stalk them.” At least that’s what people have told me.
I forbade her to walk to/by Amadeus’s house, but no matter how hard I try, keeping this girl under house arrest remains impossible. Someday, she’ll have a driver’s license. Just Say No didn’t work for Nancy in the 80s, so I’m opting for another approach. If I can’t make them stop, maybe I can teach them to do it responsibly.
This list is based on what I’ve learned from actual events. Hopefully, it will not only help my daughter, but all young women everywhere.
1. Never, under any circumstances, use your real name. Anywhere. Ever.
2. Assume no one shares your sense of humor and act accordingly.
3. When making prank phone calls, never let your friend answer the question, “Who is this?” with the answer, “Your worst nightmare.” Also never answer, “Where are you?” with “Look out your window.”
4. When speaking about the object of your affection, avoid using the following phrases: love, need, forever, and we’re destined to be together.
5. Don’t wear Property of INSERT NAME OF GUY YOU LIKE stickers. Don’t change your signature to Mrs. INSERT NAME OF GUY YOU LIKE or name your prospective children. Equally important, don’t create pictures of the two of you together.
6. Stick with Earth-friendly supplies. Beautify your crush’s car with toilet paper made from 99% recycled materials. Reuse a ratty bra by hanging it from a tree in his yard. Reduce fluorocarbons by using sidewalk chalk instead of white spray paint to write on the street in front of his home.
7. Cut gas consumption by carpooling with like-minded friends when driving by your love’s house. If my best friend and I had used separate cars every time we partook in this activity, the ozone hole with our name on it would be astronomical.
8. Remember: sorting through someone else’s mail is a Federal offense. Have an under-aged person, possibly your younger sister, do it.
9. Wait until there is zero chance of his neighbors watching before transforming a person’s residence into a phony crime scene. Do a better job and take better pictures than we did, please.