As I have said before, my children are a little young to start dating. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t started thinking about how to instruct them on making wise choices. I interviewed three parents here who had a lot to say about that.
But what if my favorite fictional gentleman, Professor David Bowles, had daughters? What would he do or say to protect them, remind them of their values and guide them in their social lives? Indulge me, if you will, with Professor David Bowles’ letter that he would write sometime in the next 25-30 years. He is, as you know, a teacher, so a quiz, a lecture and an essay seemed highly appropriate. And as I have three daughters myself, I’ll probably use this in the future.
Dear Young Men of the World,
If want to spend time with my beautiful, talented daughters, I will assume you have already passed their stringent and lengthy requirements. I have taught them well. I know that they will not even give you the time of day if you a) allow your trousers to slip below the waistband of your underwear b) are younger than the age of eighteen c) are neither gainfully employed nor have any aspirations to become so. They also will probably also not consider you, ahem, “boyfriend material” if you do not take self-improvement, religion, and books seriously. They also will have had plenty of opportunity to “check you out” and will know by the way you treat other girls, your sisters and your mother just what type of character that you have. If any of this makes you nervous, perhaps you should just stop right now and go no further.
If at this point you have passed all of their personal requirements, and you think that your pursuit of their company is worth the lectures and “third degree” you will receive from me regarding your intentions, the next step is this quiz, after I do a background check and go through all of your Facebook photos (and if there are any scantily clad women in them, my daughter will be notified immediately). It is also worth mentioning that I am an expert in Bartitsu and fencing. Do not underestimate my ability to kick your young, sorry butt.
Please answer honestly, but remember that your answers may determine how long you live on this planet.
1. Now that you have met my daughter and want to get to know her better. So you,
A. Text her, ask her if she wants to hang out with friends but make sure she is drinking.
B. Plan a specific meeting time and place, at least a week in advance at a restaurant where an employee comes to your table to take your order.
C. Stalk her on facebook.
D. Talk about her to everyone you know, but avoid her completely.
E. Follow her around and watch her through her window.
2. You see her again, so you
A. Ignore her.
B. Smile, ask her about her day, listen intently and think of more questions to ask her.
C. Talk about yourself because she will want to know how great you are.
D. Tell an off-color joke, because girls who laugh at this are cool.
E. Use alcohol to make yourself more attractive.
3) Now, you’ve seen her twice, and you want to see her again, so you,
A. Take her phone number but forget to call.
B. Arrange another meeting, at a specific place that does not serve their food in a paper bag, with the intention that you will pay for everything. You bring her home and leave promptly.
C. Ask her friends to talk to her for you.
D. Drop by unexpected and hope she’ll cancel her plans to be with you.
E. Call her, but make vague plans that allow you to cancel without looking like a jerk.
4. When you are together and you talk about music, you
A. Criticize her tastes. She needs to know what’s good and you’re going to tell her.
B. Ask her questions about why she likes what she likes and try to see value in it.
C. Don’t bother. Conversations like this go nowhere.
D. Assume that if she doesn’t agree with you then she is wrong about a lot of things.
E. Assume that your aspirations to get your band back together is a great career plan.
5. When it comes to knowing what physical expectations you should have with your new girlfriend, who is my daughter, you consult
A. Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother.
B. Me. And the answer is none.
C. Your big brother or any other male between the ages of 14-21.
D. What expectations? This is what dating is for.
E. A magazine with a scantily clad female on the cover.
6. Your reasons for having a girlfriend are
A. To look good on your arm.
B. To get to know better because you are really looking for a wife.
C. To meet your physical needs.
D. To have someone to talk about with your buddies.
E. To make you feel like you are important.
7. You meet her family (which is me, please don’t forget) and you
A. Can’t wait to get out of there and be alone with her.
B. Bring flowers, dress up, shake their hands, look them in the eye and contribute to the conversations.
C. Don’t pay them much attention. She is the important one to impress.
D. Tell an off color joke. People who laugh at this are cool.
E. Believe that they are out of touch, don’t get you and are complete losers for cramping your style.
8. The qualities that you are looking for in a girlfriend are
A. She looks good.
B. She is smart, confident, funny and easy to talk to. She has high standards, a grand vision for her life and she’s easy on the eyes.
C. She is willing to do what you want her to do.
D. She is easy to boss around.
E. Your friends will think better of you when she’s around.
9. My daughter tells you that she does not like a specific behavior of yours, so you
A. Tell her all of the things that is wrong with her.
B. Apologize. Ask her to forgive you. Strive not to make this mistake again. Bring her flowers.
C. Stop talking and ignore her.
D. Threaten to leave her.
E. Make it clear to her that if she doesn’t like you, she can leave.
10. You like spending time with my daughter because
A. People look at her and think you’re lucky guy to have her.
B. She encourages you, laughs with you and enjoys the same things you do.
C. Of the way she meets your physical needs.
D. When she’s not around you feel like a loser.
E. She pays her own way.
11. You’ve decided that you need to break up with my daughter. You do this by,
A. Texting her
B. Thinking through this carefully. You wouldn’t come to this conclusion without advice from wise men around you. If they think you should still break up, then sit down with her and talk to her rationally without blaming anyone.
C. Having a huge fight with her so she does the breaking up.
D. Ignoring her.
E. Letting her see you with another girl.
All of your answers should be B. B for Bowles. If any of your answers are anything but B, then you have failed this quiz. You will be shown the door. Any appeals that you may make must come in the form of an essay, written in your own handwriting (for the sake of analysis and proof you didn’t have someone else write it for you) which will be judged for clarity, logic, emotional appeal, composition skills, spelling, punctuation and grammar. If this task is too hard for you, then all of us are wasting our time. If by some lucky break, you answered all Bs, but your answers are inconsistent with the actual character that you possess, rest assured that you will be found out. If in the finding out, my daughter sheds tears, please make sure your health insurance premiums are paid up and start saving for the deductible.
Dr. David Bowles, Protective Father