Rule #34: Arrange Your Teenager’s Dates

in Rules of Parenting

Arranging dates for your daughter is sort of like buying an insurance policy.

Arranging dates for your daughter is sort of like buying an insurance policy.

A good date is to a teenager what dentures are to your Uncle Morty: a necessity for social status and the one surefire way of getting a decent meal at Red Lobster.

But just as you wouldn’t expect your uncle to gum his way through life, your child needs an assist when finding a squeeze.

Think about it. You’ve been arranging your teenager’s social circle since the first toddler play date and have managed to control her choices and tastes…which, interestingly enough, look a hell of lot like your choices and tastes.

Your child doesn’t resent this whatsoever, which is why she’ll be thrilled when you arrange dates for her.

It’s Not Meddling if You Have Good Intentions

Let’s face it: You made more than your fair share of mistakes in your dating career, and the last thing you want is for your child to repeat them (especially those involving cameras, the backseat of your father’s station wagon and most of the 1980s).

Your record isn’t exactly blemish free (witness your spouse), and your child offers you a rare opportunity at a second chance to make things right.

You want and deserve this. And even though it’s your child’s time, it’s sort of your time, too. And even though it’s your child’s delicate social status at stake, it’s sort of your delicate social status, too—and these tactics will help seal the proverbial deal with all able suitors:

Ignore the Usual Suspects

Forget Johnny Quarterback and the brooding, sensitive kid with the acoustic guitar and the Jonas Brothers hair-cut. These fellas may seem like good choices to the misguided hormones of your teenage daughter, but you see right through the false veneer.

Dating one of these guys will only lead to heartbreak for your daughter and (more likely) an embarrassing purchase of a pregnancy test. Spare yourself the drama and “grandparent” title and instead:

Weed Out the Freaks from Geeks

You could cull dates from a variety of ne’er-do-well organizations like the Boy Scouts or even the school’s 4-H club, but these radical-minded guilds harbor all manner of shady characters.

Instead, finding your daughter’s dates can be summed up in two words: show chorus choir.

These enthusiastic young men are always available on weekends (holidays, too—um, let’s just say they’re always available), boast excellent teeth and posture, truly understand the emotional hopscotch girls have to endure each day, and can sing every part from “Phantom of the Opera.”

They also won’t paw at your daughter, ogle her swelling breasts, or do much of anything that resembles normal teenage-boy behavior that’s a cross between a horny field mouse and Mickey Rourke.

Seek Out the Truth

Your daughter's date will feel right at home. Especially if he lives in a urine lab.

Your daughter's date will feel right at home. Especially if he lives in a urine lab.

You’re way too progressive for drug testing; instead, a battery of psychological tests—in the form of a simple survey—might be in order.

Questions can take many forms, but be blunt with your queries. For example:

“Do you prefer the chicken breast or the thigh?”

“What’s the name of the last adult film you’ve seen?”

“How many push-ups can you do?”

“Can you pee in this cup for me anyway?”

If the answers are a derivative of “neither,” “none,” or “I just went,” you know you’ve got a loser on your hands. Which means you’ve got a perfect candidate to date your daughter.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

kevin February 17, 2009 at 12:18 pm

you should also be asking the kid, “how big is that baby carrot of yours?” just to make sure that your daughter doesn’t have to go through an orgasm-free adolescence. too much?

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Mcfly February 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Speaking as a former show chorus member (all county 1992) until an unfortunate accident (I was, um, late to hit puberty) stole my chances of high school stardom, I can say with some conviction that all of us who decorated our lockers with pictures of Andrew Lloyd Webber would jump at the chance for a parental match making. I can say too that we would also appreciate a brief explanation of bra strap etiquette. I mean hooks? Really?

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jason February 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

and it won’t make it seem so bad when you arrange their marriage too.

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Rachel February 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

um, it’s show CHOIR.

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Mommielicious a.k.a. Niki February 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I just arranged my teenage sons first date. That was so much fun. He took his “girlfriend” to dinner for valentine’s day. He got money and a rose. They ate pizza at the restaurant within walking distance from the house. She of course had to be introduced first. Poor thing, I think she wanted to die. Everyone was at house. His grandma, his aunt (she’s 15 btw & my son is 14), his little sister who wanted his date to stay and play with her, me & my husband. His date turned the most lovely shade of red when matt shoved the rose in her face and said “here, flower”. My son has some mad skills as you can tell

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Father Knows Worst February 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm

@Mcfly: Who needs a date when you’ve got Andrew Lloyd Webber?

@jason: Exactly. Break the hope early.

@Rachel: Didn’t mean to strike a nerve on that one…

@Mommielicious: You should be proud. (That story is hilarious, btw.)

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Blinky St. James February 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Or you could do like my mom plans to and prevent your kid from dating until she’s 30 or 40. But that wouldn’t help the social status thing, would it? :P

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Nicole February 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm

LoL I just have to say that I think it’s hilarious that your “key word cloud” has “getting the most out of your kid” and “scarring children’s memories” as the most blogged about key words…

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bri February 10, 2010 at 9:13 am

thats wrong we should be able to date who we want then let you decide if you think they are a good guy or girl or not

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Gregory February 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

@bri: Let us know when you get your first date.

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mike August 23, 2010 at 1:11 am

is it a joke that rule 34 makes note of cameras and the 1980′s

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Father Knows Worst August 23, 2010 at 6:00 am

@mike: No. Nothing on this site is a joke. Why would you ask?

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