Technically, I've been sternly forbidden from writing about this topic...so this post isn't actually happening...which means let's just keep it on the down-low, okay? Shhhh....now that we've settled that...
You see, when I last discussed Derek and his girlfriend (cough, sputter--sorry, still getting used to that term...in relation to my baaaaaby) I assumed that the details would be treated as privileged information, and therefore afforded the gravity and respect they deserved. Well. As it turns out, I was surprisingly and sadly mistaken. At the extended-family-get-together to celebrate Derek's birthday, the story leaked out to all those in attendance. And what ensued was not pretty--let's just say there was teasing...and not just gentle ribbing, like "hey, little buddy, hear you've got a girrrrlfriend, nudge nudge, wink wink". Oh no, it was relentless and obnoxious, and wouldn't you know, it came back to haunt me, as the guilty party he blamed for sharing his secret. After apologizing profusely and repeatedly, I also had to promise to keep further intelligence strictly between us (you know, "what's shared at the dinner table, stays at the dinner table"), a gag order to which I quickly agreed, since I didn't want to be shut out of future mother-son-chat-bonding opportunities. (I mean, c'mon, who ELSE is he gonna ask all his opposite-sex-related questions? I'm the only readily-available Reference Girl he's got!)
All that being said, this stuff is a totally Big Deal right now in terms of family lore. I feel I would be failing in my job as chronicler of all things Team WestEnders if I simply ignored the hush-hush GF episodes and allowed those memories to be lost. So, I propose a compromise in the tradition of politicians during an election year: Derek will read this entry and, if he so chooses, endorse its publication. Now, on to the actual tale...During one of our evening meals, we asked Derek if GF was aware of his upcoming birthday. "Um...noooo..." he muttered. We found that a bit odd, but didn't pursue the matter. (After all, who knows what 7th graders deem "important personal information? Surely not I..) However, the day after his birthday, I went into his bedroom to tell him something and he nonchalantly slid a movie giftcard across his desk for me to notice...you guessed it, a present from GF, who had apparently figured out the special date during school. Awwww, super-sweet, right? Furthermore, being a female, my brain jumped instantly to, "So, do you think she might be hinting that she wants you guys to go to a movie together?" "Uh...I don't know," my delightful son mumbled, staring intently at his feet. Sigh. "You could do that," I encouraged. But then I felt compelled to add, "Of course, I'd come with you." At this his head whipped up and he stuttered, "Wha--what? Are you kidding?" with an incredulous smirk. I relented and let him off the hook...a teensy bit..."Well, I wouldn't sit with you; I'd sit...over there." (Gesturing vaguely in a distant direction, while finishing inside my head: "far enough to not embarrass you...too much....but close enough to keep my eyes on you!")
That was clearly enough excitement for one...month...so now we move on to May. Evidently my son had learned his lesson from March (yaaaayyy) because he announced to me, "I need to get something for our 3-month anniversary...and it's NOT tomorrow!" Better yet, he had a ready-made idea for what he wanted to purchase, and a 5-day window to achieve the goal (including a weekend--very impressive forethought for a thirteen-year old boy who had exhibited, shall we say, "questionable planning skills" lately). So with the notion that he wished to find a necklace for the young lady, we ventured to...Target. (His choice, what can I say? Perhaps I'm raising him to be admirably cheap...I mean "frugal"!) However, staring aimlessly at the meager jewelry display for 10 minutes or so brought about no inspiration whatsoever. Even with me--his own personal shopper--standing by to provide helpful commentary and guide him towards adorable, appropriate items I thought a teenager would like. (Humph! My insightful fashion expertise was wasted on a completely unappreciative audience...) Sensing we were getting nowhere fast, I suggested removing ourselves to an alternate retail environment, one with more varied and attractive options: that's right, Kohl's.
And then we encountered a dilemma of a different sort, as I had neglected to take into account the not-fully-mature male mind, in its impressionable state, when faced with racks and racks of glittery, colorful decorations to sort through, assess, and select...yep, Total Accessory Overload. I could sense his brain shutting down as I rushed to assist him in narrowing the field. How could I tell? His responses to my questions about GF's likes and dislikes deteriorated from monosyllabic words...to frustrated grunts...to bewildered silence. Uh-oh. It was time to wrap this little expedition up in a bow and get the heck out of the store, ASAP. Finally I reached my exasperated limit and told him, "You have to express an opinion, and you have to make a decision...N-O-W." That seemed to snap him out of his daze for long enough to point to a group of silver necklaces (lovely, and marked 60% off--good call). One in particular caught my eye, as it boasted a purple stone (his second-favorite color), and reminded me of the shape of a treble clef (they have Band class together. And by the way, that, my darling boy, is why you shop with a woman! Boo-yah!). He agreed with my suggestion, and we were (at long last) done.
When we got home, I wrapped it up for him to take to school. ("Do we have to wrap it?" he asked. "Yes, dear, that's what makes it seem like a gift...and more special...and a surprise." Sheesh. Grasshopper has sooooo much yet to learn....) Since Band is their last class of the school day, she just tucked it away without opening it. But she texted him soon after he arrived home and reportedly told him she liked it. When I inquired as to whether he'd observed her wearing it in school, I got a shrug and an emphatic "I don't notice these things" reply (in a "duh" tone of voice, I might add). I guess for now I'll just have to be satisfied with my limited role as Female Advisor...and remember to keep all data classified!