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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cheese Update - Part 2 (Cheese Has a Dance-Date)

Dear Readers,

Three days of "Cheese" updates, three days in a row. 

This is Part 2.

- Bro Jo

Aloha, Bro Jo!

Hope all is well with you.

So, Cheese's big 16 is coming up in a few weeks, and I've got a question about her first date. I don't think this is something likely to come up too often, but still curious as to what you think.

She was asked to a formal dance by an EFY brother (who seems like a very nice kid) and Big Cheese and I agree that she's fine to go with him. Trouble is, he lives out of state and is flying up to take her out. He's staying with family that live close to our house, but this kind of threw some wrinkles in our planned dating rules, since he doesn't know many people in our area. So what's your take on out-of-state dates? Specifically:

1) Do you feel like an adult chaperon would be an acceptable substitute for a group? In this circumstance, Cheese was able to connect him in with a group of guy friends from her school who are planning on asking other girls, so the group is set up. But in the future, might an adult supervisor be acceptable? Cheese proposed having Daddy as chaperone might work. What do you think of that?

2) Logistics are kind of complex, since 17 year olds are not allowed to rent cars! Usually we would expect the guy to plan, pickup, & pay. In this case, what if Cheese does the driving? That's the easiest solution, since she has a car. But if for some reason it's *really* problematic for the girl to drive, we can probably figure out something with one of the other guys in the group doing the chauffeur-ing.

3) Ordinarily Big Cheese and I would want to meet this kid well before any planned date. But...he lives far away. We've talked to him and his parents on the phone, and his EFY counselor has highly recommended him, and we absolutely insist on some get-to-know-him time when he arrives in town, but do you think a half an hour the day of the date is ok? Or should we insist on meeting him when he gets into town on Friday before the dance on Saturday?

It seems kinda strange to me that we need to figure out rules for out-of-state dates, but there are actually a couple other scenarios where I could see this happening. Weird, eh?

Thanks for your help!

Mama Cheese

Dear Mama Cheese,

Aloha to you and Big Cheese!

The out-of-state thing IS weird, it CAN be complicated, but it does happen, most-often associated with formal dances and first dates (go figure). You and Big Cheese are absolutely right on target with you've planned (no surprise), and not making many of the grievous errors that many of your peers make (again, no surprise).

To your questions:

1) While Sister Jo and I have, on very rare occasions, been the "double" in the double date (only ever because the date was important to the Jo Kid involved and the other double backed out at the last minute), and I don't personally have a problem with a chaperon, kids find it very lame. I applaud Cheese for suggesting it, but my general answer is "don't". If you do, make it cool (like have him play "limo driver") or make it also a date for the two of you.

2) One of the other guys needs to drive. I've never had reason to bring this up before, so I appreciate this opportunity: when a young lady is driving the car and a young man is in the front seat it puts her in a vulnerable position. Flattering though it may be, if he doesn't have to watch the road, he can stare at her; plus, because she has to control the car, her hands are not available for defense . . . if needed. (Nice guy or not, a guy is still a guy.)

3) There are two reasons we want to know the people our children date: A) so that both kids understand that we support dating, but expect certain standards to be followed (a guy is significantly more likely to be a gentleman if he can easily visualize the girl's father saying "please take good care of my daughter and treat her with respect"), and B) so a parent can kill the date if necessary. We have to be very careful hitting the "kill" switch; son or daughter, a parent runs the risk of what I call the "Romeo and Juliet" syndrome when a potential date or romance gets squashed. In this case, since it’s highly unlikely you're going to kill the date (you've already gotten reliable recommendations and talked to both the young man and his parents, plus, really, the boy is coming all this way . . . he'd have to look like Charlie Sheen from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" before you gave an adamant "no") so I think in this case the 1/2 hour before is fine. Now, if it's not a huge hassle, meeting him the day he comes in is great, I just wouldn't say it's required.

All of this of course gets back to the principle of "Casual Group Dating". (I guess, to be specific, this is more like "Formal-Casual Group Dating" . . .) With Cheese being in a Good Group, you and Big Cheese doing your due diligence, it sounds to me like all systems are go!

Tell Cheese I said "hello", and I hope she has a wonderful time.

Oh, before I forget, while we're on the topic of "leaving the state for a date", as a parent, I'd never under any circumstances allow my minor child to go on a date that far from home. Guy or girl. You and Big Cheese are fine. His parents are morons.

Think about it this way: five years from now, when Chunka is 12 months away from a mission, if he comes to you and says "hey, Mom and Dad, I want to fly out-of-state next month and take this girl you've never met to her homecoming", would you say "that's a great idea, son!"

No way.

You'd say "write her a letter, Captain Wanderlust, and date girls that live close enough that we can see them".

Not that Cheese isn't great, or that you have anything to worry about . . . with her or in the case of Chunka . . . but, like you said . . . at the very least, it's weird. At worst, it's really bad.

When the out-of-staters come to you, that's one thing, sending your own kid out of state is quite another.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for the thoughts! I especially agree on the part about sending our kids out of state on a date.

There's *NO* way Big Cheese would EVER let that happen. Although I can foresee circumstances where we'd allow our daughter to go on a date when she *was* out of state, even without us being there. For example, if she were visiting Mac in (location withheld), and Mac's mom and dad recommended the date (Mac's mom was my college roommate, Mac's dad was Big Cheese's best friend since 5th grade AND college roommate AND Young Men's president in his ward so he knows those guys pretty well.)

And I'm pretty sure Chunka will be too unattractive to ever successfully get a date...hahaha! Plus he hasn't the discipline to save the funds necessary. LOL--he always owes Cheese money, and she charges him interest!

Thanks again!

Mama Cheese

Dear Mama Cheese,

Chunka unattractive?  You wish, Mom!  He's already got that "hey, baby" gleam in his eye - Good Luck!

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Pretty sure you mean "vulnerable," not "venerable."

Dave Johnston said...

You're absolutely right!

Change made - thanks for catching it.

- Bro Jo