Saturday night Braeden went to Tolo with one of his friends. For those of you not from the Pacific Northwest, Tolo is a girls' choice dance and I don't know why it's called Tolo here but it is so there's your vague cultural lesson for the day.
The girl who asked him to the dance isn't in his usual circle of friends so they were going to double date with her friends while a big group of his friends were going separately. He was disappointed to not be going with his friends but I was proud of his amiable spirit about it all. She asked him first and he was rising to the occasion. He offered (and was quickly taken up on the offer) to pay his own way, he dressed up, he was determined to have a good time.
I sent him off with a hug and an admonition to behave and drive carefully and be a gentleman and all of that.
His date's parents wanted her to drive so he drove to her house at the appointed time. His date was in shorts and a t-shirt because her mom was sewing finishing touches on her dress. Her date's dad took the opportunity to send Braeden outside to move his car. He followed Braeden out and gave him a Talk. He smacked his hands together in a threatening way and told Braeden that if anything happened to his daughter, he was holding Braeden personally responsible. Braeden said "Yes, Sir," and shook his hand.
To all of that, all I could say is, "Are you kidding me?"
Maybe there was a little Napoleon complex going on (the guy hit Braeden about shoulder height) but he did not have to speak threateningly to my boy. For one thing, she asked him on the date! For another, she was driving! Back. Off.
I know it's a time honored tradition for dads to look out for their daughters and maybe that's The Thing for dads to be all threatening but I'm glad my dad never felt compelled to act that way. For one thing, I think he trusted our choices and for another thing, I think the boys we brought home respected him (and were a little intimidated) without him even trying.
I think if anything, moms should be able to have a talk with their son's dates.
I would never hold a date personally responsible for my son but I would like to request (pretty please) a modest dress.