Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jungle to Jungle-Gym: Love Advice From Magnolia, age 9

All I know about love, romance and dating I’ve learned from my nine year-old. 
The night before Valentine’s Day, Magnolia wanted to get prepared. She wanted to pick out some “fashionable” clothes, accessories, and makeup. As we smeared “Tangerine Kiss” over our fingernails, Magnolia decided that it was time to teach me about dating. Being the studious and attentive mother that I wish I was, I took notes. 
Here is a selection of Magnolia’s tips for dating, love, and Valentines. 
How to talk to boys:
“If you are desperate, just walk up to him and say, “hi!” However, if you are not desperate, you should ignore him a little. This makes him want to talk to you.” 
Then there is a point that you begin to talk to him.  “The best way to talk to a boy is to exploid them with big, beautiful words, like, “Oh, I was wearing this elegant dress to school. It was very turquoise-ish.” 
Also, if you speak a different language to them, it’s very good. Magnolia told me that she talks a lot about “beignets” in New Orleans. This sounds exotic. 
There are some words that you should use in lieu of others. “Loo,” for instance, should be used instead of “bathroom.” Why? 

“Because it’s more proper and you’re not all trashy or boyish.”
Hard to get: 
“A girl should give boys lots of ignorements during recess...That gets the boy to want to hang out with you. You should say you have better things to do. Like, when a boy says, ‘Hey! Wanna dig up some worms?’ you should say, ‘No, I have better things to do.’ Then he will say, ‘What’s better than digging up worms?’ and you say, ‘I’m going to play Red Rover.’ Then he will come with you to play Red Rover and you can hold his hand.” 
How to “be” around boys:
“If you like him, you should act weird around him. You should giggle a lot, laugh, and flip your hair. When you giggle, it gives off a loud noise, that draws a boy’s attention. They have to look at you. Also, if a boy is talking and you don’t want to listen, you can just giggle a lot and it’s okay.
“Flipping your hair--it just looks stylish, and is gets your hair-do back in order.
“You should wear normal clothes. Neon, mostly. You shouldn't wear shiny earrings because you might blind the boy. You should wear blush and lip gloss. And you should make up a new walk and walk a lot in front of them with your new walk.” 
Valentines that say, “I like you”:

“If a boy gives you a Valentine that says, ‘Be Mine,’ or ‘You’re Doggone Cute,’ he might like you. But really, it’s all about how they write your name on the Valentine. If he has good handwriting naturally, then he may or may not like you if it’s neat. BUT if he writes your name in a very pretty way that’s got beautiful swirls and hearts, he likes you. A LOT. Usually, if they sign the Valentine as a ‘Secret Admirer,’ they love you.” 
This experience proved that, once again, children have an understanding of the world that we as adults cannot fully comprehend. How did my little pre-tween vixen come to these astounding and well thought-out conclusions? I dunno. Maybe life in the jungle is more similar to life on the jungle-gym than we thought. 

“Love can change a raven into a swan. Love is the wind beneath a swan’s wings and makes them fly. Love is a mystery....and a gift.”
-Magnolia, age 9

Valentine's Day: Romance, Love, Dawson, et al.

I'm not big on romance as a pasttime. Nope. Sorry, there are many other less destructive hobbies out there. Romance movies are the worst.
In every romance flick, there is always some stallion that'll do just about anything for their love. And I mean anything, at any cost  (and by "cost" I mean the movie production "cost"). These stories set the average romance-fiending women up for a world of disappointment. Is your Brad Pitt going to cry and do something extraordinary just to say, "hi" to you? Is your Ewan McGregor going to buy a grazzillion yellow flowers to say, "I think you're swell, let's go on a date"?
Is your Lola going to Run for an hour and a half just so you don't get killed by mobsters?
Odds are, probably not. This, my friends, is the plight of the dating and relationship worlds--especially during the Valentine's Day whirlwind of emotions. Everyone is forced to watch insipid romance movies whilst eating entire Whitman's samplers. All the women sigh, looking over at their spouses and thinking, "Why can't he be more like Dawson?"
And there it is: Dawson is the reason that Valentine's Day is so crappy for dudes.
Fortunately, he has vowed to fix this problem:

Your special someone cannot walk on a sea of New Yorkers a 'la Crocodile Dundee just to say, "G'day! Marry me?"
But will yours get you a tissue? Maybe a glass of water?

Romance and love really don't have a whole lot in common. Romance is based purely on the need to acquire something. Love is the thing you have once the romance is gone.

I said "yes" to my husbands proposal, not because he was in a hot-air balloon over my house, but because he realized I was right for him while he was watching Predator vs. Alien. That's honesty! If you have to leave a movie theater mid-alien slaughter to propose to your girlfriend, then I think you're in for a fine life together.

So go easy on your spouse tomorrow if they don't magically develop a Brad six-pack or Angelina boobs. Be gentle if they don't end up reading your mind...again.  And just say thanks for the Whitman's.