Relationship School

We watch The Bachelorette on Monday evenings. There, I said it. This is the first season that we’ve tuned in. At first, I thought it would provide silly summer entertainment for us gals. During the school year, everything is pretty serious. Clearly, there is no television on Monday nights. So, we heard about the roses and the cute boys and the dates in foreign lands and decided, Count Us In. 

I must say, watching the show with a twelve and fourteen year old has been a surprisingly valuable experience. A tutorial, really, in basic social interactions that girls will someday need. Boys 101. We have learned, for instance, how to trust your instinct, how to sense deception, whether to give someone a second chance, how to recognize narcissism, and yes, which haircuts look best on which face shapes, which is important to know, too. We’ve also learned about which traits are essential in a mate, and which ones are necessary for each one of us.

It helps that the people on the show, for the most part, do not seem insane, like they do on other such programs. The Bachelorette appears smart, hard-working, appreciative and kind. The six contenders who remain seem like terrific guys, clever, fun, funny. We don’t like that one of them says “like” a lot, but we think he does it when he is nervous. We also wonder how six men can fall in love with one woman, and how one woman can date six men at once. We are learning about the television business, too.

Meantime, we understand that next week, people cry about something. Kissing, laughing, crying…The Bachelorette covers it all. 

Boys and Girls…conclusion

I put the note in our neighbor’s mailbox on Tuesday, and spoke with the mom yesterday. Her son never mentioned the incident. She said that boys will sometimes conceal information like this, unlike girls, who might have more trouble keeping it in their brains. She was happy to know about the window, so that she could talk about it with him.

She wanted to pay for the cost of the repair, and take full responsibility. I told her that her son wouldn’t have been in our yard if my daughter hadn’t thrown a water balloon over the fence. And it was great that they were finally spending time together, as neighbors. So, we decided to split the cost. I told her the repair guy did a terrific job and that I’d save his phone number in case we needed it again.

Boys and Girls…update

My daughter took the indirect route. She told other kids about the incident, who confronted the culprit. 

“Did you throw a ball through her window?” one said, loudly.


But no mention of confessing.

Then, the “girlfriend” of the culprit was approached. “He is such an idiot,” one child said to her.

I am not sure what it means to have a girlfriend in 6th grade, but I’m told that in this case, the kids talk on the phone at night. We are hoping the issue came up in  last night’s call, prompting some sort of epiphany about moral character and thus, a break up, leading to sad faces and inquiries from said mother and, ultimate disclosure. Of course, I could just put the note in her mailbox. Am I avoiding this? I think so. I will give it until 5 pm.

Boys and Girls

On Saturday, my daughter and her friend filled up water balloons and threw them over the fence into our neighbors’ yard, where a boy in their grade lives. Before they moved into the house about a year ago, another boy in the same grade lived there. We used to see him all the time, especially when he and the boy from two doors down climbed the tree in front of our house. Or rang the doorbell and ran away. Or tackled each other like puppies. When they get to be eleven, they do less tackling, so we don’t see the newer boy much.

The balloons were an invitation, though, and for about an hour, he and his friend ran around outside with my daughter and her friend. Then, the girls came inside. The boys, though, weren’t done. Our neighbor decided to throw a ball at our house. He was aiming for a foot of brick in between two windows, he told us after the ball came crashing through the window. No one was hurt. Our newish neighbor was paralyzed on our front step, practically in tears. It was an idiotic thing to do, but he was a boy with an invitation. He was feeling cocky. Showing off is never a good thing.

I wanted to yell at him, but I didn’t. If someone were hurt, I would have. So I hugged him instead. His friend smiled behind him, thinking, probably, “She’s not going to tell his mother. How sweet is that.” They left and sat on his porch. His head was in his lap.

I figured that he would say something. At least by the time the emergency glass people came to fix the window, on a Saturday at 6pm, for a lot of extra money. It is now Monday, and clearly, the mother has not been told. She would kill him if she knew. I can’t tell her; she has three other kids and the husband hasn’t lived there since October and I think the boy should fess up and tell her himself.

My daughter will probably interrogate him in gym class today. Meanwhile, we’ve seen him go in and out of his house a few times since the incident, and his head twists away from our direction in ways that are not physically possible. I think it is a matter of time.