June 4, 2008
“Look at this room J.J., it’s a mess! All these clothes and shoes all over the floor, your bed isn’t even made up!” J.J.’s dad looked around the room. His forehead was wrinkled with an angry sneer. “Now you know your mom is gonna go crazy when she sees all this crap on the floor.”
“This ain’t crap, I’m just trying to look good for tonight.” J.J. said it very confidently with a grin on his face.
“Date? What date? With who? You really need to tell us these things ahead of time before you just do whatever you want. Besides you sound really confident for somebody who hasn’t even been on a real date before.” He held his ribs from the pain of laughing so hard.
“Yeah I actually have a date with somebody. Her name’s Miranda, she’s one of the top cheerleaders at our school and I’m gonna meet her at the movie theater in a couple of hours.”
“Well do you have a ride up there because I’m not taking you up there,” J.J.’s dad asked, walking over piles of clothes while trying to sit on the bed.
“Yeah I do, and don’t worry I have a ride back too. How do you think this shirt would look on me?” J.J. was easily sidetracked from all the clothes on the floor.
“I don’t know J.J. it’s alright I guess, I mean it’s nothing I would wear personally.” Then with a curious look on his face he asked, “When did you get that shirt? I’ve never seen you with that shirt on. Actually I never have seen you wear that style of clothes before.” J.J.’s dad looked around the room curiously. “I really hope you’re not trying to change your appearance because of this little girl.” Dad stared at J.J. with a serious look on his face.

“Why do you always have to jump to conclusions with me? It’s just a little innocent date, besides there’s nothing wrong with a little change in the way I dress right?” J.J. looked at his dad trying to get a response from his dad.

“Yeah I guess son but-” J.J.’s dad stopped and thought of what to say next. “I just don’t want you to be acting all different in front of her when you’re around your friends you know, because you know that’s not how we raised you to.”
“Yeah, yeah I know you’ve told me this like a million times.” J.J. rolled his eyes.

“Well look who decided to finally come home thirty mintes after his curfew,” J.J’s dad said as he laughed. “So how was the date with miss cheerleader?”
“It was alright,” J.J. said in a quick irritated response. “I’m going go to bed.”
“Now hold up a second son, I want you to tell me how the date went, I’m actually kind of curious. But the way you’re talking to me, it sounded like it was a complete disaster or something.”
“Yeah it was a complete disaster, there I said it, are you happy now?” J.J. said out of annoyance. “What are you trying to prove anyway?”
“Dang I didn’t even ask all that, I just wanted to know what happened and why the date went so bad,” J.J.’s dad said with a blank expression on his face.
“Well to sum it all up she left me even before we even went to go get our tickets. She said that I was acting the way that I was because I was around all of my friends or something,” J.J. said with his head down and with a monotone voice.
“Or something? Did you even listen to her or give any acknowledgement when she was talking to you?”
“Yeah I did, well, I don’t know I thought I did.” J.J.’s head was wrinkled trying to give his dad a clear answer.
“Well from what I’m hearing you probably didn’t. Why would you do something like that? That’s not how your mom and I raised you to treat women. The real question is what are YOU trying to prove?”
“I was just trying to be the man you know, I wanted to be in control of everything and-.”
“You know that’s not how you are,” J.J.’s dad said sternly. “You might not know this but girls like a man who can be himself around her, even if they’re around their friends or whoever.”
J.J. looked down, playing with his hands, trying not to give his dad any eye contact. “Yeah I guess you’re right. And I guess you’re kind of right, well you are right. I should of listened to you.”
“I’m not upset with you, you’re only sixteen and you have so much to learn son, so much to learn. My dad used to always tell me to always be myself when I was growing up, especially when there’s a girl that you like. I hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to tell my own son the same think my dad did. One day, and I guess today was that day.” J.J.’s dad patted his shoulder. “Well I’m gonna go to bed now, we can talk more about this in the morning.”
“Thanks dad, I’m happy I have someone like you to give me advice whenever I need it.”
“Yeah well I try my best,” J.J’s dad nodded his head and closed the door behind him.

Early the next morning J.J. knocked on the door to his parents’ room. “Hey dad, you remember how you’re always telling me I should give my old clothes to that one charity. Well I think I know what to do with all the new clothes I got.”

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