So my daughter has a new boyfriend. I haven't actually met the young man yet. We told our daughter when we gave her the "you're-old-enough-to-go-out-on-a-date card" that, before she could go anywhere with some suitor, that they first had to meet me, the DAD.
So Abby has been trying to arrange a meet and greet with young William all week. Apparently there is a basketball game at Everett Friday night and he wants her to accompany him there. So far, it hasn't worked out to meet the youngster.
She tells me he is a good boy. Of course she says that. Charles Manson's squeeze probably told her old man the same thing: "Daddy, whatever you do, don't look at his tattoo. He's very sensitive about it. And besides, all the boys are inking their foreheads these days." I'm sure Will is a good guy, though. My daughter is generally a good judge of character.
There are two musts that I insist upon, two inviolable standards that I expect from any young man who wants to date my daughter. First, he must be a Christian. And by that, I don't mean a kid who attends church just because his folks do, or some dude that hangs out with the youth group because it's a place to cruise Jesus-chicks. I expect a for-real, sold-out-to-Jesus sort of believer. If he is one of those, he's already light years ahead of most of the testosterone factories that ambulate through the high school hallways every day.
Second, he must treat my daughter with respect. Open the door. Buy her dinner. Do what he says he is going to do. And, by all means, keep his hands north of the 10th parallel and well south of the 40th. Theologians call the area of earth bordered by the 10th and 40th latitudes the "10/40 window." It refers to the area where the most "unreached people groups" in the world live. Where my daughter is concerned, the 10/40 window is closed. Preferably, he will not touch her at all, but if, occasionally, his knee brushes hers (the knee is the 40th parallel in my mind), I guess that is okay. But only accidentally. If at all. Come to think of it, let's just have no touching. It would also be nice if he says "yes ma'am" to Mrs. Weller, and it would be nice if he was sort of terrified of me, too.
Beyond that, I have a lot of flexibility. Turns out young William is in the Everett band. That's good. He plays the clarinet. Benny Goodman played the clarinet. Band is definitely a plus in his portfolio even if the clarinet is a bit too sultry in this particular instance. Earlier this week he had to get off the phone because he needed to study - another admirable trait.
It seems unlikely that I can meet Will prior to Friday night's game, so here is the plan: Friday afternoon I am riding along with Officer McNamara. As a Lansing Police Department Chaplain, I frequently get all geared up, complete with uniform and bullet-proof vest, and ride along with the officers. McNamara is a canine officer, so (I think) he's not assigned to a particular district. If that is the case, I'm thinking Mac and his dog and I might need to drop by Everett High School during the game for a public relations visit. In uniform. With the dog. And meet Will.
Yeah, that sounds just about perfect.