Daring to Date
The Payne girls had to be sixteen to go on a car date. Boys could sit with us in church, or we could go on group dates, like a banquet at church when we were fourteen, but nothing where we would be alone or unsupervised.
I had a big crush on a guy at my high school. I had been wishin’ and hopin’ and plannin’ and dreamin’ for this guy to ask me out. All those positive thoughts came to be when he invited me to a football game. I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! I counted the days until Friday night came.
Another rule was that we were not to answer the door when our date arrived. Mother or Daddy was to let him in and spend a reasonable amount of time getting to know him before we could make our entrance into the room.
Don knocked on the door and Mother invited him in, as I anxiously waited in the hallway outside the living room. After the introductions were over and the “What does your daddy do?” and “Are you planning to go to college?” questions were over, I knew it was safe for me to enter.
Nervously, I made my way into the living room, where my dream date was seated…also nervously. You can only imagine how mortified I was as I stood in disbelief at hearing the words that were escaping my father’s mouth. “Now son, I give you to understand that my daughter isn’t a salt block for any old bull that comes along to lick on. Have her home by eleven. You two have a good time.”
He did NOT just say that! You could hear a pin drop. “Dad-deeey!” I moaned. Don picked his bottom lip off of the floor and escorted me out the door. He didnt’ have much to say to me for a few minutes. It was an awkward silence. Even though Dad said he was teasing, it didn’t sound like it. I felt it totally unnecessary to make such a remark, and I was mad at him for days.
The date went well, but we didn’t date for long. Summertime came and since we didn’t have a telephone, it was hard to ask a girl out. I guess he figured it wasn’t worth the drive to see me if he was going to have to face the judge and jury every time he visited. I can’t say that I blame him.
Our cufew was always ten or eleven o’clock. That is until I agreed to go to Harry’s prom with him. Harry was a pitiful, ugly guy from church that noone would go out with. He had a crush on me. He asked me to the prom three months ahead of time. I didn’t have an excuse to say no, so I agreed. I dreaded going so badly. My parents knew this. Harry wasn’t a threat! When he came to pick me up that night, Daddy told me it didn’t matter how late he kept me out!! Again…mortified! I endured the boring date, and told him that I needed to be home by nine, because I had to study my Sunday School lesson. He bought it. Poor guy.
I can’t really fault my parents too much. I owe them a debt of gratitude in many respects, but when I was sixteen going on seventeed, I didn’t understand. I made a lot of the same rules for my own daughters, though I didn’t say things that would embarrass them in front of their dates. My daughters would tell you that they are thankful for the boundaries that we set. It showed that we cared. I agree that it did.
I learned from my dating experiences that:
1. Boys didn’t always have my best interest in mind.
2. That my parents did!
3. That the embarrassing your kids approach was not something I would perpetrate in parenting.
Come back for my next post, when I tell you about Donna’s mortifying experiences with Mother and dating. You won’t believe this one!