Friday night I had two dates for the evening: my husband and my oldest child. William is in his school's JRROTC program. Friday night was the annual "dinning out" - dinner, a small program, and then a dance afterwards. Basically, it's like prom with a meal served.
This year was held jointly with another school. On one hand, I think that was a brilliant idea! There was more people there and so, more excitement in the room. My only complaint was the other school was literally double our size. I think some of our kids felt a little lost.
The female cadets were allowed to wear long, formal, prom-like dresses instead of their uniforms - which I was surprised at. But I know all the girls loved getting a pretty dressed and dressing up! All three of us agreed, that while it was nice seeing all the pretty dresses, seeing a girl stick her elbows out like a chicken then pulling up a strap-less dress is very unattractive! As well as seeing one girl pull a cell phone out of her bosom. At one point one girl passed by us as she was going to the stage to receive an award, and William said, "That's the best dressed here tonight." Thinking I missed some award, I asked him why. His answer? "Because it's green."
Ah, yes. That's my son. My green loving son.
I was a little shocked at seeing at least two girls supporting tattoos on their shoulders. Teenagers. In high school. With tattoos. Really?? William didn't know who they were, so we assumed they went to the other school. (The other school does serve a rougher part of the parish.)
One very odd thing about the evening was the family that sat at our table. I had met the mother several times at the middle school and knew the father was in the middle school as well as they were very conservative. I'm not sure how it came up Friday night, but the comment was made their girls were not allowed to have their ears pierced until they were 16. Which is all fine and dandy. If that works for you, go for it. That's not the odd thing of the evening. It was the boyfriend.
Or rather who we assumed what the boyfriend. Or at least the date. Or the boy that was a friend. Or something...
Early in the evening a teenage boy sat at the last empty seat. The father said, "Oh, hello, Zach." Other than asking if he wanted any ice tea to drink, that was the only comment made to the boy. But the girl and him made eyes and smiles at each other all night. I know this boy from subbing and William knows him from school - he's a good kid. (I doubt he has any tattoos!) But it was just odd sitting there and the parents flat out ignoring him. Their daughter and him were literally sitting directly across the table from one another. I almost offered my seat to her so she could sit next to him, but didn't want to embarrass her in case I was reading the situation wrong and they weren't dating.
Since no one really talked to Zach, I just couldn't tell if this was to be a date or not.....it was just odd and strange.
After the dinner and program the mother asked me if I would take their picture on the stage where many flags were standing. Afterwards, I turned to walk off the stage back to William and Drew, and there was Zach...waiting for the family....so...I guess he was there as a date...??/
Odd. Very Odd.
There's a movement within Conservative Christians to not allow dating for any teen. A part of me gets it. None of us wants our children to get in situations they are not mature enough to handle. But yet, if by the time they leave high school and still have never been on a date, they will be leaving for college not totally prepared for the social side of life. There's got to be a happy-medium.
Maybe this family was trying to find that happy place....a date, but with parents close by.... But I'm sure the girl and the boy didn't need mom, dad, and sister to be sitting in between them!
As we were leaving I told William this would be the perfect place to take a date: dinner, a program, a dance - all at the same location (the local Air Force Base). Time will tell if he'll come out of his shell and find a date next year.