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A girl on the phone?

A girl on the phone?

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

My boys are a tad rambunctious at times. That’s the kind description. They both love action and adventure and chaos. When watching a DVD one night, one of my boys said, “Mom, if all they’re gonna do in this movie is just talk and talk and talk, I’m goin’ to my room. Call me if there’s a car chase or an explosion or somethin’ good happens.” Our nightly dinner conversation sounds like something from a sci-fi movie. This is my world and I have embraced it heartily. I’ve even enjoyed it. Then came girls. Lawsy mercy! I wasn’t prepared. Not even close.
The first phone call seemed innocent enough. I mean, after all, this is just elementary school, right? Maybe she’s calling to ask about homework. Maybe she needs some advice about her future college plans or her stock market investment portfolio. I sweetly gave her the benefit of the doubt and called our son to the phone. Our son’s part of the conversation was quite minimal, “Uh-huh. Yeah. Uh, I guess so. Yeah. Uh-huh. I dunno.” I concluded that this girl was quite happily taking full responsibility for the verbal portion of the conversation. Our son was happily resigned to whatever grunts or sighs he could muster while still eating peaches out of a can and watching something blow up on television. We knew not to quiz him after the conversation. No. Too obvious. We’re smarter than that. We decided to play it cool. Lay low for a while.
The next day, we came home to find a message on the machine. Then another message. Then another message. From listening to the content of the messages, we realized the excessive phone calls had absolutely nothing to do with her future college plans. Oh, and all that material I had gathered to share with her about how to make profitable stock market investments? Well, that was clearly wasted effort as well. The stock market was not what had piqued her interest. To use my granny’s language, this girl was “sweet” on our boy. His mama and daddy were a little “sour” on the idea.
I don’t consider myself one of those crazy and controlling boy moms who never wants their sons to leave home or marry or move away or do their own laundry. Are you kidding? Believe me, I WANT my boys to do their own laundry, leave home, go to college, fall in love and get married. Preferably, in that order. I WANT my boys to have a life. Just not right now. Anyone who knows anything knows that a fifth-grade boy is supposed to be eating peaches from a can, mowing the yard and chasing coons out of the cat food. I didn’t know this had to be written down somewhere. Plus, truthfully, most little boys don’t want to talk on the phone.
A little while later, we told our son about the messages. He never even blinked and he definitely didn’t rush to the phone to get his nightly verbal perspective from a girl who thinks Hannah Montana should run for president. A few days later, she gave up the telephone chase and called it quits on their “relationship.” We never even had to get involved. My conclusion to this situation is as follows: Please ask your girls to stop calling our house unless they need stock market advice. I promise our boys will call them someday. Let’s just give it some time, shall we? On the other hand, if your daughter happens to be in the market for a precious little exceptionally-bred kitten, by all means, tell her to give us a call. We’re in the book.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She can be reached by e-mail at

Published in The Messenger 9.2.09


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