Monday, May 17, 2004

Some things just write themselves

The Eldest Aardvark Child had her first date Friday night. It was a less than auspicious beginning perhaps. But on the other hand, she can only improve from here on out.

Friday was the annual Band Banquet, where awards are presented and officers elected for the coming year and letters are awarded. If you're a band weenie, it's a pretty big deal, otherwise - not so much. In order to qualify for any leadership positions next year, the kids are expected to have a minimum number of "service" hours. As in working concessions at the TCU football games, basketball games or whatever other form of slave labor (I kid) the adults can come up with as a fund raising activity for the band boosters. The EAC had the most service hours of anyone this year. As an added benefit, your service hours also entitle you to a discount on the Band Banquet ticket. Normally, they're $20, but the EAC got hers for $1.50.

Her freshman year, she didn't have a 'date' for the banquet and so dad was drafted to fill in. We had a good time, but then again, I'm used to awkward social situations, having spent most of my formative years (I'm not still there, am I?) being socially inept. Last year, she decided she'd just go alone and sit with some of her friends, so I had the privilege of dropping her off and returning several hours later to sit in the parking lot and wait as the banquet went long by about 45 minutes. This year, she was determined to go WITH A BOY. (gasp!) And so, she spent most of this year, winnowing down the list of candidates to a very short list of who she would be seen with, publicly or otherwise. Her first choice would have been the boy she admired from afar last year. However, he inconveniently already HAD a girlfriend and presumably would be taking HER to the Band Banquet (Hmph! Loser!). Which left Michael.

Michael is a boy the EAC has several classes with and he is not in band but participates in several athletic activities (if you can call golf athletic, that is). The best I can tell, they kind of like each other, but only in the "he/she is ok to talk to" sort of way, not in the "I'd like to date him/her" sort of way. I gather he is somewhat shy as the couple of times I've met him (before Friday) he kind of has that deer in the headlights sort of stare and gets all fidgety and nervous the way teenage boys do around a girls parents. Since Michael isn't a band kid, and since the EAC asked him, it was only right that she paid for his ticket to the Band Banquet. His part of the bargain was that he would have the privilege of picking her up and escorting her to (and from) the banquet.

Michael lives about three blocks away from us, four at the most - down the hill across the street and over just a ways. The EAC gave him directions several times and even drew him a map. He still had to call TWICE between his house and ours. The last time, he was parked outside the house (still unsure as to which one it was, I guess) and the EAC said, "My dad is opening the front door. Do you see him?" As I waved at Michael sitting in his car (Mitsubishi Galant, in case you wanted to know).

Not wanting to be too intimidating (yeah, that me...Mr. Intimidation), I didn't wait by the front door for him to come in, but went and sat back down - leaving the door open. I didn't even go the "cleaning the shotgun" route with the kid. (mostly because that would have entailed actually OWNING a shotgun, or at least knowing someone who did so I could borrow it...and then there's the whole tendency to hurt myself with anything more mechanical than a pencil...) So I sat and waited, expecting Michael to come to the door. Any minute now, he'll be at the door. Yes sir, WHERE IS THAT BOY?!? (Not that I minded that much, because I was somewhat nervous myself trying to figure out just what I was going to chit-chat with him about while we waited.) The EAC was still working on getting ready and so it was a good five minutes or more before she came out of the back of the house and looked around. "Where's Michael?" she asked. "That's what I'd like to know" says I. (Steeeerike ONE!)

She called him on his cell phone and told him he needed to come in. DUH! He sauntered up to the house and endured having his picture made with the EAC. (Parents are so square. Oh, wait a minute, "square" is square now, isn't it?) We told the EAC that she needed to be home by 10:30 and shooed them out the door. (peeking through the curtains, naturally) Michael was gentleman enough to get in and start the car and at least wait until the EAC got herself in before driving away. (Steeeerike TWO!)

A little after 9:00, the EAC called to tell us they were on their way back. She walked herself to the door. (YOU'RE OUT!) The only saving grace was that she really isn't interested in Michael as a boyfriend, only as a boy friend. We told her we were less than impressed with his chivalrous manner and that anyone who wants to seriously date her is going to have to do better.

She had a good time, though, coming home in full Chatty Cathy mode. Michael was a little dismayed that they sat at the head table (the EAC was an officer this year - Band Historian) since everyone was going to be looking at him. The EAC didn't make him sit on the end of the dais, though, instead letting him sit beside another one of the guys he knew and taking the end for herself. She got her letter (well, the stripe that indicates three years anyway) and found out that she will be the band VP next year. The band President is one of her buds, so she was pretty happy with that. On the ride back, Michael opened the sun roof and they rolled down the windows (since she didn't care if it messed up her hair anymore) and cranked the stereo. Michael was appalled that she wasn't up on all the rap stuff he listens to (I told her the "C" was silent) - "Dude! I can't believe you don't know Ludacris!" She didn't care much for the music, but interpreting what she said, she liked the whole experience of being out without adult supervision and basically being a normal kid - "Turn it up, dude! Yeah!"

"I stuck my hands out the moon roof" she said, ducking her head while raising her eyebrows (in that 'Tee hee' sort of way). Mrs. A responded with, "You wild thang, you!" and we all had a good laugh.

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