|Image credit: Fenia Labropoulou|
Oh the allure of a bad boy!
Most all girls have been seduced by one. You know, the ones with the great hair, great body and maybe a tattoo? They know all the right things to say, treat you great for the first month, maybe even open your door, pull out your seat yet still manage to do those "bad boy" things. They have the ability to hook you in and you can't get enough of them! It's like an addiction.
I've thought back on a lot of the guys that Tara and I dated over the course of high school and out of high school and it's not pretty. At least Tara didn't marry and divorce one like I did. That's a positive for Tara!
These memories have been rushing back to me because I see my daughter heading down the bad boy path. I really thought I had done a better job of teaching her the kinds of guys she should pursue... "the bad boy" was never on the list. Then it hit me! This is almost completely out of my control. It's their spell. It's like they are magnets and we just stick to them. I have tried to convince her that it will not be a happy ending when the yellow brick road she is skipping down comes to an end. So, all I can do at this point is give my advice along the way, and even share stories of mine and Tara's.
For instance, if you are in a restaurant with your boyfriend (like Tara and I once were... on a double date) and they ask if it will be okay to "split a plate of food and drink water".... you know this is not going to go well.
If after dating for a while, you begin to realize that when you happen to be in a place where law enforcement is present and they always disappear and leave you stranded... HELLO a big red light should be going off and flashing DANGER DANGER! Unfortunately mine and Tara's light seemed to only be set to green.
I remember Tara dating this guy and he was so good looking. They maybe had been dating a month and he said he got a new car. We both were shocked because he didn't have a job! He said he was on his way to pick us up at Tara's house so we could go riding around. About 20 minutes went by and Tara's phone rang. He asked if we would mind bringing some seat cushions along when he picks us up. Tara agrees and we are thinking maybe we are going to go to Stone Mountain or to a baseball game or somewhere we needed the seats. He arrived and we walked out and saw this nice car in the driveway. We were impressed! We each had a seat cushion and were ready to get in. As we opened the door, we quickly realized that the seat cushions were for us to sit on... in the car... because there was only 1 seat in the entire car and that was for the driver! The entire inside of the car was demolished. It basically was just the steering wheel, the seat, a radio and a dashboard. We must have looked shocked because he said, "well it's the best I can do for now because my parents would only give me a certain amount of money since I seem to be going in and out of jail." You would have thought Tara would have stopped dating him immediately, but it took another 3 months or so for her to see the light.
I even took my little brother, who was 13 at the time, to what I think may have been a drug supplier's house or either a casing for a future robbery. I was so liking this guy, who was my boss at Domino's Pizza where Tara and I were working. We had been on several dates and eventually started going out. It was my senior year of high school and I loved the fact he always had a lot of money, a hot sports car, dressed great, was good looking and seem to be smart. He was quite the romantic. He even sent Tara and I matching roses all because he knew how much Tara and I meant to each other and thought we both deserved them.
One Saturday, he asked if my brother and I wanted to ride with him to his house. I was all excited because this was the first time I was going to see where he lived. He still lived with his parents and he claimed his father was this high powered business man, etc. and that is why he always had money and stuff. I even thought I may meet his parents.
So my brother and I get in the car with him and head to his house and sure enough we pull up to this big, beautiful home, complete with a pool and huge waterfall in the back. He asked us to wait in the car. So we waited, what seemed like forever.... (later we realized he was either breaking into the home or was doing something else illegal) He finally came and told us to come in. As we walked around, I noticed there were all these family pictures up but he was in none of them. He didn't even seem to know his way around the house that well, but oh well, I really liked him. Our short tour ended and we got back in the car and that was it. No family members were home. A couple of months went by and he was supposed to be coming over to go to my Grandma's for a family dinner. I received a phone call from him informing me he would not be able to make it. He went on to tell me that he was really an informant for the FBI and something went wrong and he would possible be going to jail for drug trafficking... Oh, and wanted my dad to bail him out. Needless to say, that relationship ended.
Our stories could go on and on but in a nutshell, here is what one really needs to look out for... and this is the advice I have decided to hand down to my daughter.
If your in line waiting to see your boyfriend in jail, like Tara and I did for her boyfriend, you might want to think to yourself, "What am I doing???" If you proceed to go ahead and stay in line to visit, we can offer you this little tidbit. Take a cushion to sit on because the seats are not comfortable and you have to share. Make sure you have plenty of change because the only drinks and snacks available are in a chained up vending machine. Bring hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to wipe down the phone that will be your only means of communication with the prisoner, your boyfriend, you just spent 3 hours waiting in line to see. Oh, and whatever you do, don't complain to one of the guards that the visitor accommodations could be better (they will look at you like you are crazy) and don't go to the bathroom.
Next, if you begin to notice they are constantly changing the times in which you are meeting, the place, etc... more than likely, you aren't the only girlfriend.
If they offer you the chance to drive their hot sports car around, make sure you check everything inside the car such as under the seats, the trunk, the console, wherever anything could be hidden in the car. You just may get pulled over and be an accessory to carrying illegal firearms and substances in the car. It will be very hard to convince an officer that you had no idea....you just wanted to drive your boyfriend's hot car! Another tidbit, you might want to use the word "acquaintance," because no cop is going to believe you don't know about your boyfriend's illegal activities.
Most of the time, a lot of the bad boys are addicted to a lot of things. These addictions can lead to horrible mood swings that involve verbal, possible physical abuse, and just crazy nonsense that no one needs. Eventually, just like when one of his addictions is no longer enough and they move on to the next one, you will be treated the same way. He will move to the next girl in line.
Always carry an "emergency fund" in your purse that no one knows about but you. Make sure you have at least $150.00 in the fund. You never know when they may "forget" their wallet and you have to pay for dinner, you may need to take a cab home or pay for movie tickets because once again they "forgot" their wallet. Don't believe his cockeyed story about why "he no longer works at said place of employment" once you confront him, telling him you went to surprise him for lunch and the employees inform you they've never had anyone working there by that name. Now you should know why he always "forgets" his wallet!
If you realize that he is dating you while your best friend dates his best friend... that he suggest she dates, only for it to be a cover of their bi-sexuality that is too taboo for their "bad boy" image, don't ask any questions, just say it was nice while it lasted but you no longer think this is going to work out.
I know it sounds like Tara and I only dated bad boys but we did have a couple of boyfriends that were truly great guys. We eventually ended up marrying great guys. I just hope to keep my daughter from learning the hard way like I did. Good looks, great cars, and knowing all the right things to say will never amount to a relationship. Manners, good communication, a great sense of humor, and good, legal work ethics are just a few of the great qualities that will amount to a wonderful relationship. I just hope the path down her yellow brick road will lead her to that.