The Diva is dating.
The apocalypse countdown has officially begun – so much for the Mayans and their blasted calendar, turns out it was a scruffy skateboarder with a 2006 Nissan Maxima that’ll be ushering in the End Times.
And we’re talking about officially dating here – as in, “to go fourth and spend time together far from the prying eyes and wagging fingers of parents.” This isn’t like what we old fogies used to call “goin’ together” – pitiful slang teenagers back in the day used to mean going nowhere and having no means to get there.
For months now they’ve spent so much time on the couch that I feared they’d grow roots and start to bloom while forcing the rest of us to watch the most asinine TV shows imaginable (probably in hopes that we’d get so sick of Jersey Shore as to finally shout, “Fine! Go in your room and close the door but please don’t make me look at The Situation’s abs one more time!”)
Still, we knew this day was coming. It’s why we put a GPS tracker on The Diva’s cell phone. It’s not like we thought she’d intentionally lie about where she was going or what she was doing, but just in case she’s abducted by aliens or decides to swing by Arby’s for some curly fries we’ll have the opportunity to “accidently show up and mortify her in public.”
But with dating comes great responsibilities. Or, in the case of The Diva, her freedom comes with more caveats than a Hollywood pre-nup. She’s only allowed to go out with a group of pre-approved friends, of which The Boyfriend is allowed to be a part. She can only go out during daylight hours. She must call us when she arrives, when she leaves and designated times in between. She must send photos via text to prove that she is in fact at the movies, at the bowling alley or at McDonald’s. There will be questions asked upon return, for example, “So what were some of the previews you saw before the movie started?” or “describe in detail the person standing in front of you in line and what they ordered.”
I also reserve the right to ask for a receipt upon safe return home and the come-to-Jesus conversation with The Boyfriend before departure.
Before all this terror and madness began, I attempted to put an invisible fence around the house to deter The Diva from leaving, but turns out that shock collars don’t come in teenager sizes and The Diva’s too smart for me to homeschool.
The Diva’s earned our trust over the past year and deserves to be given enough rope to … well, you get the idea. But as if her spoken assurances weren’t enough, just before she walks out the door on this first “real” date, The Diva, noticing how nervous I look offers a … Pinky Promise.
“See, this means you can trust me not to do anything stupid,” she says, her tiny finger extended in a hook. “It means a lot.”
Confused, I just stare at it before she grabs my pinky, locks hers in mine and we shake – pinky to pinky. I guess this is the girl version of the fist-bump or slicing your hand on a jagged piece of dirty glass in order to become blood brothers? While I miss the significance, I do appreciate the gesture.
The Diva’s not a little girl anymore. And I guess I’d better learn to let go … pinky promise.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org