Gathering momentum.

I was more or less NOS' age about the time I realized girls were, regardless of how bewildering and confusing, worthy of protracted attention on my part. Ovah the course of the summah, his becoming keenly awake to that has become more, uh, apparent.

Which is fine and to be expected and thus the human race careens merrily toward the 22nd century and beyond. The thing that is weird and worrisome is that I had engaged in a series of semi-functional behaviors as I ambled awkwardly towards eventual marriage, a noble estate. Most of these behaviors, seen from the sober and lofty perspective of someone for whom respectable middle age is nearly at his throat, cause me to wince freely.

NOS, regrettably, has just entered the labyrinth that one day, it is hoped, will lead him to marriage and children and the day when his oldest son begins to make a complete and utter idiot of himself in the hopes girls will pay him due attention. Yesterday my sister's daughter (she's +/- 7 months older than NOS) decided to have an impromptu pool party. She sent word to NOS who has just loitering with his best friend and blissfully pondering what they ought set alight. They accepted and off they went.


Turns out that La Cousine had some of her school friends there. These girls from all reliable reports are somewhat advanced (ahem) than NOS recalled. This, naturally, piqued his curiosity and it was at this point when he decided the shortcut towards adulation from the distaff element lay in the direction of aqua-acrobatics, of the sort only 11 year old boys are capable (or capable of considering to be entertaining) and therefore he engaged in a fusillade of belly-flops, cannonballs, and assorted diving maneuvers which left him considerably worse for wear and, from all indications, not really closer to making a hit with these girls.

I could, of course, pull the lad aside and give him a man-to-man talk but I know it will have no effect whatever. Acting like an idiot to entice girls is something that can only be outgrown* and that only comes with the realization that it's not working.

This sort of realization, incidentally, usually arrives in tandem with the realization of something that does seem to have some positive and desirable result in these endeavors. Embarrassingly for the lad in question -- I know whereof I speak, and let's leave that at that -- the latter realization involves something he had been doing all along but never really bothered to highlight.

Oh, sure, NOS has several advantages I never enjoyed. He is generally considered cooler at 11 than his bookish father was at that same age. He certainly is far handsomer than I was at his age, and more gregarious. He has rather unconventional tastes but yet he likes showcasing them instead of enjoying them solipsistically. He also has infinitely better wardrobe choices than were available to me in the late 1970s; if nothing else, they are far less flammable.

And yet...he persists in acting like an utter goofball before any and all attractive girls that cross his path.

So, in the meantime I am wincing retroactively at the imbecilities in which I engaged at his age AND I get to wince vicariously.



* Many never do, and even they manage to get married...usually more than once.


teachergirl said…
But how adorable. Which is why, despite all its aggravations, I continue to teach 10 and 11 year olds. One Valentine's Day in particular comes to mind. I watched an adorable young man hand out his cards to the young ladies of the class; I could hear him say to each one, "Don't get excited. My mother made me do this." Right.
Oh this is all utterly delicious.
Stomper Girl said…
That is absolutely beautiful that he tried to attract the girls by belly-flopping into the pool. Meanwhile, probably just as well he doesn't figure out he's on the wrong tack for a while longer, he's only 11 isn't he? You could lead him down the wrong path for a few years, given that he is already good-looking and charming and cool; tell him girls LOVE boys who can burp the alphabet and crack armpit farts
Joke said…
The interesting part is that he is starting to get to that age where He Knows Everything, so any advice would be lost on him for quite a spell.

Caro said…
The mental image of all that belly flopping brought a smile to my face. Ah, youth.

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