“Come on Mom, it’s not that hard.”
“Sweetheart, it totally is.”
“Mom … (whispering) … you are really good looking. I mean it. You really are. It’s not that hard.”
It’s come to this. My son, smelly and dripping wet courtesy of the rigorous hockey schedule that now consumes five days of our week, has become my wing man. And the man on the other side of the glass is in his crosshairs.
And my son has good taste. Very good taste.
“Sweetheart, this isn’t something I’m very good at.”
“What do you mean? Just go and ask him out. Like you did with Dad.”
With Dad. Except that I didn’t ask him. It was a standing joke between us that the only reason I got married was because he wouldn’t go away after invading my sweaty bubble at the gym on an early Sunday morning, and it was our standing joke that he was no good to me dead. But he did go away, and he is now very much dead. And has been for four very long years, the first two of which provided a seat front and center in Dante’s Inferno. And then the Ferryman, paid in tears and anger, let us cross back over to the land of the living.
And living includes dating. Which is like being tossed right back into the fire.
“What should I say?”
“Just ask … ‘Are you married?’ And if he says no, tell him you need a date.”
“Hmmmm. So what do men like?”
“They like girls like you, you know, ones that are in good shape. And they like when girls are fun. And pretty. Definitely pretty. Just think about Addie and what I like about her. That’s what men like.”
“What about clothes?”
“No dresses. Men don’t like dresses.”
“Jeans are good.”
“Can I wear my sandals?”
“Ooooh. That’s a hard one. Because men like girls like you that work out, so sneakers are good. But sandals are okay.”
“No makeup. Men don’t like makeup. Not good.”
“So, what do you think I should do?”
“Well, you need to go places where men are. But not really scrubby men. And not old ones. You need to go places where the ones, like, your age are. Like the grocery store.”
“The grocery store?”
“Yup. But are you ready for the most important part?”
“What is that?”
“This is really important. Are you listening? … Okay. When you are in the grocery store, just walk around and pick up your things. But don’t act like you want a date with them.”
“Maybe you should help me with this.”
“Mom, I’m sorry, but I can’t. I don’t have time. I’ve got hockey and basketball and school. You’re on your own for this.”
Yes. Yes, I am.