How Are You Going to Get to the Movies?

Valentines Day is coming, and my seventh grader has a girlfriend. They think it’s an actual holiday.

“We want to go to Caribou and then go to the movies,” Dylan said.

“You can’t just go to Caribou and then go to the movies,” I said.  “You can walk to Caribou, but how are you going to get to the movies?”

“I thought you could take us,” said Dylan.

I’m starting to see how teenagers get chauffeured all over creation without any thought to the parents’ well being.

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “You want me to let you go to Caribou after school, for however long you wish. Then you want me to come and pick you up and transport you across town to the movies. Then I suppose you want me to come back two hours later and pick you up.”

“Yeah,” he said.

“Okay, Dylan,” I said. “You can do something on Valentine’s Day. But please think of the details. Pick a movie that you want to see. Find out what time it starts. Figure out where you want to eat preferably near the movie theater, and how long it will take to eat. I need to know what time you need to be dropped off, and what time you need to be picked up. And also, I need to hear from your girlfriend’s mother, to be sure this is all okay with her.”

The whole conversation took place last night. It is now 18 hours later. Dylan has decided to eat somewhere near the movie theater. He doesn’t know what movie he’s going to see, or what time it starts. I haven’t heard from girlfriend’s mother. It would be nice if we could each take a driving shift.

Then there’s the concern that I’m dropping off two pre-teens for several hours. Alone.

“It’s Valentine’s Day, Mom,” Dylan said. As if it were just a step lower than Christmas on the scale of specialness.

And yet, he hasn’t worked out a single detail. Having a husband who has planned exactly one date in 15 years, I am now convinced that the “planning gene” – or lack thereof – is genetic.

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