Spouse doesn’t have any sisters – it’s just he and his brother. He went to an all-boys high school. Guess what he doesn’t have experience with? Yep – high school/teenage girls. It’s interesting, and often a whole lot entertaining, watching him trying to process his daughter.
If you have a teenage girl, or ever were a teenage girl, you know this is a process, right? First off, you NEVER laugh when a girl is in the midst of a PMS tantrum. And whatever you do, don’t point out she’s in the middle of a PMS tantrum. I tried to tell him, but he did laugh, once. I gave him the staredown/headshake but it was too late. It took a couple of days for them to recover from that episode. He knows now the best thing is to not make eye contact, hand over the chocolate, and calmly back away until informed it’s safe.
He had no clue the drama involved with teenage girls. Oh lordy, the DRAMA! He gives a simple (read: male) answer to a situation. You can almost hear her eyeballs roll back in her head, mine too for that matter. He doesn’t get the social complexities of the drama, the potential fallout, the long-term ramifications (at least for the four years of high school). I know – for men, it is much more simple.
And don’t get me started on the boys. He’d just rather crawl under a rock than see high school boys look at, much less talk to or want to date, his daughter. He had all these high ideals and ideas and rules which aren’t practical in reality. I’ve had to talk him down, twice. He has perfected the dad glare, and I think he secretly takes great pleasure at the thought of terrifying some poor boy just because he can with that glare.
He is much easier on her than I these days. He can keep an emotional distance. I’m a girl, and I get what this time is all about, which means I can’t disengage. I’ve felt all she’s feeling (whether she believes that or not is an entirely different story). It is very interesting though to watch him – this man with only vague experience with teenage girls. There is something to be said about one-gender high schools, and growing up without sisters. It’s definitely making it somewhat entertaining to watch him navigate having a daughter in high school.