My daughters are currently obsessed with One Direction, the boy band that Simon Cowell created. It’s bad enough I have to listen to their music on long car rides, I also have to listen to the girls going on and on about the boys. Shannon is hopelessly devoted to Harry, the one that looks like a young Mick Jagger. (He does have great hair). Maggie thinks Niall is sooooo cute, and she loves the way he says POH-TAY-TOW (It’s that Irish accent, I must agree).
All day long I am forced to answer questions like “Mom, Which One Direction boy is the cutest?” and “Mom, How old would I have to be go out on a date with Niall?” I try to focus on the fact that they also love and appreciate some really good music, and that this is just a passing phase. I liked the Bay City Rollers when I was Shannon’s age for god’s sake, and Sean Cassidy.
As I answer yet another question about the varying degrees of cuteness, I realize I’m not only upset about their poor musical choice, I am also concerned that all of a sudden my girls have gone boy crazy!
It’s time to put a stop to this. So I’m thinking about telling them a few things…
1. Give up on the One Direction boys. If 2 million other people want a guy, he’s not the one for you. There is almost zero chance that you will ever meet any of them. Even if you did, they are all at least 10 years older than you are. And there is a pretty good chance that at least one or two of them is gay.
2. Give up any notions of dating at all. Your father and I forbid it! (until you’re at least 16). Work on cultivating friendships with as many girls as you can. Strong, kind, independent young women who care about their education, enjoy reading, know how to express themselves, set their own trends, and have ABSOLUTELY no interest in dating yet. And cultivate friendships with as many boys as you can. Young men who are strong, kind and independent, care about their education, enjoy reading, know how to express themselves, set their own trends, and have ABSOLUTELY no interest in dating yet.
3. Forget every fairy tale you ever read. There is no Prince Charming, no white horse, no castle full of talking teacups. You have to make your own way, find your own self and forge your own path. Build your own castle and buy your own damn horse. Go lots of places, do lots of things, and meet lots of people. Try those people on for size, and see if they fit. If they don’t fit, don’t keep them around. Send them off so they can find places where they do fit.
4. Even though I’ve made you watch it 100 times, forget about The Princess Bride. There is no such thing as “One True Love”. You can have more than one true love in your life. You can have three, or five, or twenty. If you have the chance to love, you should always love truly. And don’t think you have to hook yourself on to any one person. Remember that while an anchor can keep you from drifting too far away from home, it can also keep you from sailing on a course for adventure.
5. If you do want to get married some day, don’t pressure yourself with a deadline. With the way our life spans are increasing, you may have the opportunity to be married for 30, 40 or even 50 years. You will probably have many (many) years with another person in your life, complicating things. Don’t rush it. There will be some years when you can’t even find a moment to be alone with an original thought. Enjoy the 30 or more years that you will be lucky enough to have to yourself.
6. If you must hook up with a musician, let it be a good musician. Find someone who is creative and passionate and original. Or at least find someone who writes their own songs, plays their own instruments, and doesn’t lip sync!
Of course, I am not going to tell them any of these things yet. I’ll just answer the same questions over and over for the next few months…Yes girls, I still think Liam is the cutest boy in the band. And sure, if they should show up at our door asking for you, you can go out with them.