Teen Love & Father Knows Best
Young or old, the laws of romance don’t change. Granted, some may be more obscure than others. Like if you live on one side of a river, anyone you are most attracted to live on the other side of the river.
When I was a boy I lived in Nyack, New York, right across the river from Tarrytown, New York.
Sure enough, the most beautiful girl I ever saw, Jody (sigh), lived on the other side of the river. Any 14-year-old will tell you this is an injustice that snarls are you, challenges you to right the wrong it has created.
There is another law that applies itself to many a teen; common sense is not permitted the influence it deserves, neither is wisdom.
My way of handling the injustice that kept me from seeing Jody in person proves it because my way was based on two facts that to my teen-mind seemed perfectly sensible. If I got a friend of mine to take me on his outboard motor boat, I could go see Jody, sleep on a nearby building roof, and see her again the next day and, best of all, when I wanted a ride home, I’d let the police catch me and sure enough, I’d get driven home.
This brings me to yet a third law, not of romance, but of life. Running away from home can upset, worry and scare your family. Anyone who knows me well knows my father was and is the greatest gift my life has ever given me.
After being brought home by the police, my father and I sat on the living room couch and talked. There was no anger in my father, he wanted to understand my choice. “Peter, what makes you run away to Tarrytown”
For the next few minutes I told him all about my love for Jody. How wonderful she was and how I was sure she was meant for me. “Dad, she’s beautiful!”
He listened, nodded, took in everything I had to say. He paid attention to his child so he could understand his child. And he did, because the advice he gave me I remember and use to this day.
“Peter, be careful about how much decision-making power you give to your emotions.”
Instantly, I understood what he meant, and knew it to be true. I hadn’t been reprimanded or punished, I’d been taught a life lesson, from Dad, and it doesn’t get more beautiful than that.