A memoir of musings, allegories and adventures covering my inspired life...


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do NOT Touch the Girl's Cookies!

Brandon is currently attending cotillion. For those of you who are not familiar with this program, it is one in which children (usually pre-teens or teenagers) attend classes where they learn patterned social dance or “ballroom style” dance (i.e. fox trot, waltz), in addition to learning gentlemanly\ladylike manners, etiquette, and formal dining. For those of you who are familiar with cotillion because you too were subjected to this humiliation as children…my son sends his sympathy. The students are “rewarded” for their efforts with two or three formal balls held in the fall, winter and spring.

So as I impatiently wait for Brandon to adorn himself with the suit I had purchased at the last minute before his first class, I began to wonder what exactly I had committed myself to as a parent. The responsibility begins as follows: spending an obnoxious amount of money on formal attire for a child who has grown 5 inches and 2 shoe sizes this year alone and will probably surpass that by Christmas, chauffeuring service to several 3-hour lessons, chaperoning 3 formal balls, purchasing proper attire for myself to wear to said formals, constant negotiation and threats directed to my uncooperative 11 year old, etc...etc…etc.

As I pondered the mess that I had gotten myself into, I glanced at the clock on the mantel and realized quickly that we were on the verge of being tardy (a violation of rule number 3 of the manual for proper etiquette). The obsessive compulsive in me, who is NEVER late for ANYTHING, began barking orders in the direction of the house from which faint grunts and grumbles were resonating. “I’m Coming!” he said in a voice of defeat.

Then there he was…emerging from the hallway… a stranger…a young man with whom I had not yet made acquaintance. Where was my little boy who used to let me call him “baby bear” and give him public displays of affection? Where was the child who would yell “Mommy, watch this!” from across the room and I would hold my breath in anticipation of another trip to the emergency room?

As I drove to the class I was suddenly saddened with my realization of how quickly time was passing by. My impromptu pity-party was abruptly halted when we arrived and Brandon told me to just “drop him off near the front”. Apparently having me watch while he was forced to dance awkwardly with random girls would only multiply the intensity of his embarrassment. As I loitered near the front entrance concocting a plan to spy on the class, I was joined by 15-20 other rejected parents with peaked curiosity. We devised a plan to come back 30 minutes early (by accident) in order to catch the last part of the class.

Once I returned, I found my place among the eager onlookers, poking my head ever-so-carefully around the corner of the room. There he was…Brandon was dancing with the tiniest little girl. Unfortunately, he was paying no attention to his dance partner at all. Instead, my son, along with several other boys, were snickering and whispering to their friends as they passed on the dance floor. Then I watched as the music ended and the children were all seated. The instructors muffled voice echoed from the speaker system. “Okay gentleman. It’s time to escort the ladies to the refreshment tables for cookies and punch. Remember to escort the lady on your RIGHT arm and hold the plate for her as she chooses her refreshments. Remember gentleman!! DO NOT…TOUCH…THE GIRLS’ COOKIES. The girls do not like it when the boys touch their cookies.”

It was at this moment that the crowd of adolescent boys began giggling and chattering amongst themselves. The instructor, apparently unaware of her double entendre, continued to guide the kids to the refreshment table, then dismissed them for the evening.
On the drive home, I inquired of my son as to what part of the evening he enjoyed most. The cookies, was of course, his absolute answer. It was then that I realized he was not so grown up after all…and when I tucked him into bed that night, his Scooby Doo pajamas confirmed my conclusion.