Monday, October 18, 2010

The Boyfriends

I have two girls in addition to the boy I mentioned in my post entitled The Dog, The Boy, and Tess. My girls are eighteen and nineteen. They, of course, think they’re grown. Well, at least one of them thinks she’s grown and the other one occasionally thinks she’s grown.

Because of their age and my reconciliation with the fact that neither of them are virgins—and why would I try to protect that anyway?—there are NO curfews at my house for my girls. Except when they have to get up early the next morning for school or work. Both work, but only one, “J”, goes to school and works. The other one, “T”, should be starting school in the spring—we’ll see. But the rule here is that you work and go to school. Life is not a free ride, and along with the good times, work MUST be included. So “T” does at least work even though she’s not in school.

As long as they give me good grades and make their own play money, I’m good to go. Or should be. Yeah, right. I’m accused of butting into their boyfriend business quite a bit. Well, I do. Why? Because they both have had some pretty lousy taste in dudes. I guess maybe they inherited that. Hmmm…

Anyway, “J” just got past a relationship with a guy who honestly was verbally abusive. Maybe more—but if he was, she knew better than to tell me at least while they were still together or may be too embarrassed now to admit to it. You know the kind of guy. One second he would tell her how much he loved her. How gorgeous he thought she was. How smart. Then two minutes later he’d take it all back. Call her names, etc. For nine long months I had to sit and watch this crap. “J” literally cried every day. There was NEVER an up day. And I sat back and wondered where I’d gone wrong. I’d raised her to know all the signs of an abusive relationship. Raised her to be strong and independently natured. Always told her how pretty and smart she is. So why did she allow this guy to take control of her and demean her in such a way? I have yet to figure that all out. Thankfully, she finally bit the bullet and followed my advice almost three months ago and is free of that jerk. She told me yesterday that she couldn’t believe she’d ever even liked him. Well, duh! I guess each woman has to endure one of those idiots so it sinks in. I just kept praying that she’d see the light. Some girls aren’t so lucky and stay in these relationships.

The new guy—yep there’s a new one. At that age guys are kind of like M & Ms. They come and go by the handful. LOL But this new guy is really cute. Has THE most incredible bright blue eyes. I like him. He’s the good ole Southern boy type. Very unassuming. Polite. Holds down two jobs. And he’d definitely take his gal down a country road and check her for ticks. *snicker* And “J” really likes him a lot. He’s 26. Seven years her senior. Do I see that as a problem? Nope. I am praying it means his frontal lobe is fully developed. LOL And after a month? I kind of think it is. At least he hasn’t pissed me off. That’s a damn good sign too. They usually do it within the first week.

As for the eighteen-year-old? Sighhhhh I just don’t know about “T”. Her issues seem to surround never being able to find a guy who will EVER make above minimum wage. Now before you throw rotten eggs or tomatoes, there’s nothing wrong with minimum wage earners. However, there’s nothing wrong with having a little ambition either. A little OOMPH to your goals. And her guy seems to have no goals other than:

1. Getting the brakes to work well enough on his ol’ junker to get him where he’s going THIS time.
2. Scrounging up enough change for Mickey D’s dollar menu. Sharing the small fry with HER.
(Okay. He shared with her and that SHOULD get him points. Uh huh. Yeah.)
3. Buying a hundred-dollar-pair of sneakers with his paycheck that was only $180.00.
4. Setting the seat in his car so far back that he is LYING DOWN to drive.
5. Outfitting said junker with bling that makes it AND him look stupid.
6. Borrowing money from HER so that she in turn must borrow from ME because he NEVER pays her back.

All in all? Big ole RED “L” is painted on this dude’s forehead. LOOOOOOSER! Okay. Some day one of these guys may turn out to be the next Bill Gates. But I seriously doubt it. I had a round with “T” this morning about this guy. She was telling her sister that her guy had not been paid yet again this week—yeah, not been paid seems to happen to him frequently. For some odd reason his boss keeps holding back his paycheck. Sounds to me like said dude is borrowing on his pay check and owes his boss. Then borrowing from my girl. Who borrows from me. THIS vicious cycle is now officially broken. So not happening again.

So, I’m doing what I do best. Snooping. Yep, I’m doing the old police check today. Yep, criminal records tell you a lot about a person. And then I’ll be calling on some people I know in the area where said dude and his dad live. Time to find out just WHAT this is all about.

Am I going too far? Should I just let it lie? Let her make her own mistakes without interference? Yep, I should. Except for one thing. Her mistakes always come back to haunt me somehow and forewarned is forearmed. I already told her she could hand over her hard-earned money to this guy again this week, but she better not ask me for a dime. Like that’s gonna happen. But she will learn the hard way this time that NO means NO. I dread it.

So how far have any of you ever gone to protect your kids from a relationship that was harmful? I’d really like to know. And some of you may even be able to give me some tips.

See you all next Monday!


Unknown said...

I'd definitely do what you're doing. :) I'll do just about anything to protect my girls. My son too, but the girls more so.

Tess MacKall said...

Okay, Amber. That's good to know. Glad I'm not the only one and not just plain crazy.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's not old enough for this yet, but I'd do the same thing. Especially if my daughter has the taste in guys I had before I met her dad. Hubs was the best after a long line of duhs. So I don't see anything wrong with watching out for your kids.

Tess MacKall said...

Another vote for the interfering crazy woman. Thank you, Nanny! It doesn't seem to matter how much I warn and talk about what I experienced. sighhhh

Anny Cook said...

How far did I go? I placed my kid in a boarding school for incorrigible kids for 22 months. Did it save her?

No. But she didn't get pregnant by the guy until after she married him--in prison--when she was of age.

Honestly? All you can do an help them reach adulthood. Depending on your state, that's anywhere from 18 to 21. And after that, your only recourse is to say "NO!" when they want you to enable their bad behavior--whatever it is.

Eventually, she divorced the bum. He's been in and out of prison since she's known him. And she FINALLY saw him for who he was.

Elizabeth Black said...

"I am praying it means his frontal lobe is fully developed."

Giggle... snort. :) I hear you there. I like to say I prefer men whose skulls have already closed. LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Being a GOOD parent is hard work. From the sounds of it you're doing a hell of a job, Tess!

I will go to any and all lengths to protect my kids and they both well know it. I don't consider it snooping, either, just good parenting.

I've said it before and I'll say it a million more times. If I screw up raising my kids, then my life isn't worth jack.

Madison Scott said...

I think we have to do whatever we can to protect our kids. My girls aren't old enough to worry about this yet, but I will do whatever it takes.

Regina Carlysle said...

I think you are doing the right thing, Tess. A moms job is to protect and if it means a little snooping? So be it! Maybe they don't understand it when it's going on but later, when they have kids of their own, they will.

Tess MacKall said...

Wow, Anny. You've sure had trouble, hon. I am glad to hear that she finally saw the light. Had to have been sheer torture for you. So sorry that all happened.

I'm going to keep checking on this guy for sure.

Tess MacKall said...

Closed skulls. That's a good way to say it, Lizzie. lol Just saw "J"s boyfriend a while ago. He's just so personable and easy going. Comfortable with himself it seems. I'm really liking this guy. First one she's had since she was fourteen that I DO actually like. A good sign.

Tess MacKall said...

Whatever it takes. Thanks, Madison. I was beginning to feel like I was just crazy and being over protective. But after these comments? I'm thinking that we're all tigers when it comes to our cubs.

Tess MacKall said...

You're so right, Anne. If we screw up raising our kids then our lives aren't worth jack. Guess we leave NO stone unturned. I'm going to keep poking around and keep listening. My gut tells me this is a bad situation.

Tess MacKall said...

Yeah, Reg. It'll be years before she understands why I am the way I am. I often tell her that I pray she grows up to have a kid just like her. lol

She can be so smart about some things and so dumb about other things. sighhhh

Natalie Dae said...

This man sounds too familiar. There are many of them out there. I'd do what you're doing.

I've called the cops several times on a certain person. I'm glad to say he's mainly out of my girl's life, but he always sneaks back in when she has money.

I won't type any more on the subject of him. It would take all day.


C. Zampa said...

I'm ashamed to say I bordered on obsessive with my only child when she became old enough to go out on her own.

I mean obsessive in the sense I NEVER went to bed until she was home from her date or outing.

She resented at the time, but looks back now and appreciates that her mom wanted to know she was safe at all times.

She told me that it was a little sad that some of her friend's parents never really knew where their kids were.

Keeping them in line nowadays? Wow. Tough question.

Tess MacKall said...

I think it's impossible to keep them in line these days, Carol. Too much out there for them to get into. Too many places for them to go. And attitudes of parents and kids in general have changed.

The idea that it's okay to let them be young seems to have taken hold. And for some reason, drinking, drugging, and sex seems to be a part of being young.

Now while I am all for them being young, there also needs to be some structure to all that. And I've been called a prude.

Crap...some of those parents should read what I write. LOL

Molly Daniels said... 'stepdaughter' seems to always finds these guys too. Wish I could slap some sense into her.

Tess MacKall said...

Slapping is another option I'm not above at this point, Molly. LOL

I watch NCIS, and well, he gets away with slapping people upside the head all the time. Why not me? LOL

It's tough to be a MOM and sit back and watch your babies making all these mistakes when they could avoid them so easily and simply breeze through life with all our wisdom. sighhh

Tess MacKall said...

Take all day, huh, Nat? Well, we know that's not good. And I'm praying this dude is not the same type. But I'm afraid I'm not hearing good things. Why do they gravitate toward these losers? Makes NO sense.

And "T" has very expensive taste for sure. And this guy sure as heck can't spend any money on her. sighhh