Remember when boys were gross? I miss those cootie days …

I learned two very interesting facts last week:

Helena (8 years old):

Mom! We had a gi-gundo spider on the playground today! Right by the hopscotch game. It was brown with orange spots. It was huge! And hairy! And I think it was filled with pus or something ‘cuz when Jason stomped on it, it kind of exploded chunks all over his foot! It’s OK though. He used his hand to wipe it off.

.Zoe (15 years old):

Ummmm, Mom? “A” asked me out. He’s seventeen.


Guess which one made me throw up?

This isn’t Zoe’s first boyfriend. She “went out” with one boy last year. It didn’t last long and consisted of them pretty much avoiding eye contact while sitting at the same lunch table and talking to everyone else but each other. They didn’t so much break up as totally forget they were going out in the first place.

But now she’s fifteen and the boy in question is two years older.

Two years! That’s, like, twenty in Mom years. Twenty-five, if she’s hormonal.


Zoe: Ummmm, Mom? “A” asked me out. He’s seventeen.

Me (feeling my stomach heave): *choke* *gasp* *hurl*

Zoe: Can I go over to his house today and play Guitar Hero?

Me (passing out) : *thud*

Zoe (peering down at me): Is that a yes?

Me (hoping I’m dead and this isn’t really happening): *silence*

Zoe: Seriously, Mom? You are so dramatic.

Me (realizing I’m not dead, on to plan B: lie here and ignore it and it will all go away): *silence*

Zoe: MOM!

Me (realizing plan B sucks and my back is killing me and why the hell are there so many Doritos on my floor?): *silence*

Zoe: I saw you move. I can see you breathing, Mom! So, can I go?

Me (opening one eye and squinting up at her, accusingly): Zoe, for God’s sake. Give me a minute. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that the last fifteen seconds really happened and that my first born, the one it took sixty hours to bring forth into this world, is trying to kill me.

Zoe: A is really nice, Mom. And he’s L’s brother! So you know him already.

Me (getting up off the floor): oomph … ugh … aaarrgghh … ouch … OUCH … ugh … OUCH GODDAMMIT … wait a sec …

*Ten minutes later*

Me (sweating): Whew. OK. Is the room spinning or is it just me?

Zoe (tenacious, like a woodpecker on crack): MOM! So, can I go? Can I? Please?

Me: Zoe, do me a favor. Look around the floor, would you? I think I just lost ten years off my life. Do you see them anywhere?

Zoe: Like I said, Mom, A is really nice and besides, you already know him! Remember? He’s L’s brother? You like L, don’t you?

Me: Zoe. Just because A swims in the same gene pool as L does not mean that I know A. Let’s review: (1) I know L; (2) I do not know A;Ā  (3) L does not equal A and A does not equal L; and finally, (4) A = W x H so why couldn’t you have just asked me how to compute the area of a rectangle and we could have been done with this conversation fifteen minutes ago?

Zoe (pausing): … That doesn’t even make sense.

Me: I’m simply saying that I do not know your “boyfriend” and until I do, you are not going over to his house to hang out unless you are encased in a plastic bubble with a police escort. So …Ā  you know what this means, right?

Zoe: *Sigh*

Me: Well?

Zoe: You’re going with me.

Me: And?

Zoe: You’ll be going inside the house with me.

Me: And?

Zoe: You’ll want to meet him.

Me: And?

Zoe: And his parents.

Me: And?

Zoe (reciting from memory): And we must be supervised at all times and there will be no kissing, no hand holding, no moony eyes and no physical contact whatsoever between the two of us. We must remain vertical at all times with at least a two foot perimeter between us. Violators will be forced to swallow their own tongues.

Me: And?

Zoe: And? There’s more?

Me: You forgot about the photograph, urine sample, background check, fingerprinting, DNA swab and lie detector.

Zoe: MOM! Geez! We just want to play Guitar Hero!

Me: Well, if that’s all you’re going to do, he can come over here! I’m sure Helena would love to play. And Nate too! You know how he gets with that guitar – maybe he can teach A a few tricks? You know, he’s been practicing those Slash moves for awhile now. And I can take pictures! How about I make us some snacks and …

Zoe (shoulders slumped in utter defeat): I’ll be in the car.


On the ride over, I instructed Zoe that she was not to cross the threshold of the house until I first confirmed that the seventeen year old walking cyclone of testosterone in question: (1) was not a whackadoodle; (2) was not drunk or high or otherwise intoxicated on anything other than Zoe’s presence; (3) was not too busy texting to look up and notice we were there; (4) was not sporting multiple piercings on any area he wouldn’t want his mom to clean once infected and no, don’t bother asking how I would know this, moms just know, let’s move on; (5) was not displaying any tattoos, the only exception being I RESPECT ALL WOMEN across his forehead; and (6) was not wearing his pants so tight or so low that I could easily determine his underwear preference and whether or not he was circumcised.

I was pleasantly surprised to meet a very nice, affable boy who looked me directly in the eye when he greeted us at the door and didn’t flinch when I photographed him, handed him a cup, inked up his fingers, swabbed his mouth and hooked him up to the polygraph.

And just in case you’re wondering, I remain clueless about boxers and brief and turtlenecks.

Can I get an AMEN and a HALLELUJAH?

Oh! And he shook my hand and waited for me to be seated before seating himself. I was impressed.

I should point out that I met my husband twelve years ago and the last time he waited for me to be seated was thirteen years ago.

I had assured Zoe that I would only stay a minute and I was true to my word.

105 times.

If you ask me or A’s parents, that hour and forty-five minutes seemed to fly by. If you ask A, he’d agree, if only to be polite. If you ask Zoe, she’ll bonk you on the head and ask if you’re mental.

So, bottom line, Zoe seems to have a nice boyfriend. I’m not sure how long this will last, considering she is not allowed to actually go on a real, live, actual “date” until she’s sixteen. Or thirty, depending on my mood.

By that time, I’m hoping I can just scan the testosterone’s eyeball by satellite and get all the information I need.



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32 thoughts on “Remember when boys were gross? I miss those cootie days …”

  1. Avatar

    Now in ten years time I want to here the converstation when she asks if A,B or C can sleep over….in her bed…..and stay for breakfast! If you live that long without a stroke or a heart attack you’ll end up looking like me. All haggard and grey and wrinkly and positively drained of all ability to reason.

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    Oh Bravo! You are braver than me. I tried many of the arguments you tried but still never got invited to his house, and only once did he visit ours in 4 months! But we DID know him – from volleyball! Problem is that we REMEMBER being 15 or so and we KNOW what we got up to!! Oh dear!

  3. Avatar

    Oh my.

    First of all, the spider thing Helena told you about? Grossed me out. As in worse than the thing I posted about on my blog yesterday. Blech!!

    Secondly, I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, and at that point I was only allowed to go out in groups for the entirety of the remainder of high school. (I turned 16 in December of my junior year.) My first technical “date” was the junior/senior prom. Not that the boys were knocking down my door or anything, but I’m just saying that I’m proud of you for letting Zoe go over to a BOY’S house, and I’m proud of you for doing as thorough a check as you did. I fully plan to do that myself when Kiddo reaches dating age. Which will be 30, I’ve decided, unless Hugh Jackman’s son asks her out. Then, I think 6 will be okay. šŸ˜‰

    As for the age difference, well both of my younger sisters (3 years and 6 years younger, respectively) married guys that are older than *my* husband. Only by a matter of months, mind you, but still. I pointed out to the family at one point how weird it was that my youngest sister, who was in middle school when I graduated high school for Pete’s sake, was marrying a guy who graduated high school the same year I did. Supposedly the age difference matters less the older we get. Supposedly.

    I’m glad you’re having teenagers first. I shall use your blog as a how-to manual when Kiddo reaches the tween/teen years!

  4. Avatar mom was the same way expect.. we had to have umpteen forms of information filled and ready to be turned in when he came to pick me up for a a date. Did I date much? NO!! Those that I did understood that I had a highly protective mother. It was cool. A few who were interested actually came over and just played video games.

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    I’m going to be very interested to see this from a mom of boys perspective when they get old enough to date. I hope i have knocked enough sense…um… encouraged respect & manners sufficiently that they act like decent young men.

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    My daughter is 17 and doesn’t date. I haven’t told her she can’t date. All I have said is that he has to come to the house, and I have to interview him. I also want to know who’s driving, when they will be back, etc. She thinks I am horribly overprotective and weird, so when guys ask her out she says no, to avoid the embarrassment of having him come in our house. I am praying this embarrassment lasts for the next 5 years, minimum.

    We have a perfectly nice house. The fact the dog does horrendous stinky farts, her little brother is a bit odd – belches like something out of a horror movie, and likes to leave his prosthetic hand lying around in odd places – and my mother who lives with us tends to cuss [“I’m 75! I don’t care any more!”] – I am sure those things have nothing to do with why she won’t bring boys home…

  7. Avatar

    Nothing personal (you know it is about to get personal here, don’t you?) but if he has both met you and survived the grilling by you, and is STILL interested in your daughter, then he must be considered eligible material!

  8. Avatar

    I had to lecture my 5 year old (!!!) about how it is unacceptable to be rolling around on the floor at school kissing (!!!) a boy. After my lecture of who she can (Mommy, Granny, family, etc.) and who she cannot (Spencer, Cole, Clay, etc.) kiss, I ask her: Reilly, So who did Mommy say you can kiss? She responses with an enthusiastic “CLAY!”. Ugghhh…

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    LOL! I can laugh because my kids aren’t that old yet. And heaven help me when they are. Maybe we’ll move into no-man’s-land and come back when they are 30. :}

  10. Avatar

    I can only imagine all the thoughts spinning through your head with all this!! It must be gut-wrenching. But I am relieved to hear that A seems like a nice boy…obviously very respectful and polite. Even still, I remember what boys were like when I was 15 and I was boy-crazy. I’m gonna dread going through this with my daughter…

  11. Avatar

    OMG – ROFLMAO – I swear – you kill me! My peanut is only 7 and already talks about boys! Ugh. I can only imagine when she’s older. Thank goodness she has an older brother who will warn – I mean interview the boys she dares to bring home!

  12. Avatar

    Barb 05.06.09 at 8:32 am

    Iā€™m not laughing because karma always comes back to bite me in the ass.

    LOL! Whoops did I laugh? I agree with Barb! Mine are too close to teen years and I REALLY don’t want that karma to bite me in the ass! I’m sure it will though, my Grannie always said, “You pay for your raisin’!” ugh….I hope not!

  13. Avatar

    My DD has had one “boyfriend” so far. I did not insist on meeting his family, but I did find out that our pastor was their neighbor, so I called the pastor’s wife and grilled her. *lol* DD and the boy only went out a few times, and since then she’s decided that boys are too much trouble, and that she doesn’t want to bother with them until after college. We’ll see how long that lasts. šŸ˜€

  14. Avatar

    I just found your blog and I have been taking some time reading past posts. And I have to say you are awesome!! I was laughing and nodding in agreement at so many things as I was reading- I love how you can put into words the exact thoughts that go through our heads and be so right on! My daughter will be 14 next and while I haven’t had to experience the boy thing yet- I know its coming. And I will be just like you are. So thanks for the great writing. You are an incredibly talented writer.

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    Oh.Boy. (pun intended)

    I’m glad Zoe has such a grasp of the rules.

    And I’m impressed as well that he waited for you to be seated.

    That’s gotta count for something…


  16. Avatar

    Too funny! I’ve been there and then some! When my older daughter was just barely 17 she wanted to date a 21 year old! Gasp! I told her over my dead, cold, rotting body would that ever happen. She was relentless and argued with me for months. She even used the argument that girls mature faster than boys so that would narrow the age gap! Yeah. Like that was supposed to make me feel better!
    My answer never changed and I told her I had her microchipped when she was a baby knowing this day would come so she had better not try to sneak around. I would know immediately!

    Hang in there! This is just the beginning!

  17. Avatar

    Holy Christ, I am so not ready for that. As of now (at 10.5 years old) Jenna has no interest in boys, so I’m just going to keep hoping that she stays on this path to nunhood. Although, if she’s anything like her mother…

  18. Avatar

    Wow. That was hysterical and nerve wracking to read. I have a 2 year old son and can’t even imagine him brushing his teeth by himself, let alone inviting a girl over.


  19. Avatar

    Well, I learnt some geometry because of you!
    That was just hilarious!! Now I look forward to meeting mothers like you when my son grows up!!

  20. Avatar

    Beautifully written! And – I would say it was really, really funny, too – except for the fact that you were my Dad in a former life!

    Before I could get out of the house for my first ever ‘car date’ my Dad had quizzed the poor guy and given him this HUGE lecture — which was intimidating enough. But as we walked out the door, my Dad looks me in the eye and says, “You’ve got your gun, haven’t ya?”

    I just kept walking – – – my poor date almost fainted as I drug him to the car trying to explain that Dad was just kidding! I’m not sure he believed me. He got me home almost an hour early and never called me again!

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    So funny! When I was 17 I wanted to date a 21 year old and I’m pretty sure it did shave years off my Mom’s life. Could also be that I didn’t tell her he was 21 until after the fact. Aren’t teenage girls fun? I think that’s why my husband breathed a huge sigh of relief when a penis was spotted at our ultrasound last year. Ah ha! Hi from SITS!

  22. Avatar

    too funny… I have two boys and I tell you I am not going to miss being the mother of a teenage girl at all, I think you are terribly brave, I would have been on the floor gasping for air too because I remember very well what 17 year old boys and 15 year old girls are like

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