My husband and I had a little talk with my son last night about the fine line between pining for a former love and being a stalker. He's still upset that the Singing Valentine he'd sent to a former girlfriend through the school choir last week wasn't a hit. He said she's been really friendly again lately and he'd like to have her back, but she appears to have a current boyfriend who was less than enthusiastic about B's very public attempt to win her back. Fortunately, no students were harmed in the making of this drama. It seems, though, that B had approached her again at school yesterday and told her she was the only one for him, and she told him he was sweet, but needed to leave her alone. He doesn't want to leave her alone. He wanted help winning her over again. "Please mom, what do girls really want?"
To begin with, I don't really know much about teenage boys. I wasn't one. And I have a sister. No brothers. Plus I was one of those annoying girls who giggled too much and made a complete idiot of herself when cute boys tried to talk to her. Girls today seem to be much better at negotiating relationships on their own terms, I'll give them that. But what do girls want at that age? Social standing, mostly. They want the cutest boyfriend, lots of attention, decent grades and pretty things. They want to feel important. But they don't want a guy they've rejected chasing them around making them feel guilty or weird and they certainly don't want him drawing negative attention to them.
This girl is the one he went to Homecoming with more than a year ago and on whom he has had a crush for a very long time. Well, more than a year, which is an eternity in teenager years. It's a bit too much of a crush, though. I gently explained to him that he needs to move on from the hurt that this girl caused him and find another girl. He reminded me of the disastrous summer relationship that was supposed to help him move on but turned out to be Way Too Much when said replacement girl told him after a couple of weeks that all of her other current boyfriends bought her jewelry. He was smart enough to recognize that particular racket when he saw it, which is a good sign. But he went back to missing the first girl who had a name I've only ever heard used on TV as a stripper's stage name.
Mind you, B's dad has officially stalked me, broken into my home, and been charged with domestic violence in our not-distant-enough past. Thus, any sign of obsessiveness in our son makes me rather nervous. I knew that attempting to discuss this with his father would result in undesirable drama, so that wasn't an option.
Really Great Guy Husband to the rescue! I am so glad I married this man. (At least today. He'll piss me off some time soon and I'll wonder what I was thinking, but for the most part, he's Really Great.) He sat down next to me and said to B, "Dude, where do you find all these girls with stripper names anyway? I would have killed for a girl like that in high school!" I looked at him sharply. "Oh...um...just saying..." he corrected himself. "Anyhow, B, it looks like there are LOTS of girls with stripper names in your high school. You're in serious danger of looking completely lame if you keep following this one around. You don't want to be that guy that everyone in the cafeteria points to and whispers about because his ex-girlfriend's parents had to get a restraining order. That stuff is going to be really hard to live down at school. Plus you never want law enforcement involved in your life."
B looked from RGG to me and sighed. He mumbled something about the fact that he truly loved this young woman with the stripper name and always would.
"Well, of course!" my husband agreed. "You always have a soft spot for your first love. But it's the one that winds up being your LAST love that really counts. I had to marry the wrong woman and go through a lot of crap before I found your mom. It may take you a while to find the right one. Just dedicate yourself to having a really great search. Have some fun with it! Plan on getting married around 30. That's a logical time to settle down. In the meanwhile, date all the girls you can! Get to know them. Figure out what you like and don't like in a girl and warn them that you aren't planning to get married until you're way old. Then they'll try to get you to change your mind. It will work like a charm."
B seemed slightly cheered at that prospect and began discussing a girl from band and the relative merits of the trumpet, at which point I wandered off to let the guy talk really commence.
Think any of this will hold the stalker tendencies at bay? Or will he turn out to be scary like his dad? Only time will tell.