Last night I spent my time browsing the intertubes doing nothing of importance when my 11 year old half sister-in-law decided to IM me. She asked if she could ask her sister, my wife, a question. I told her to fire away.
She was inquiring about what to do if she told a friend that she likes a boy, who in turn told said male, which made the little gent directly ask her about her crush via text message. I was relaying this to my wife and she said to be sure to tell her to ask the boy straight out. My sister-in-law indicated that she hinted around at it, but the wife and I agreed that men don't read into things. They need their news to be explicit.
"What?", Kelly (wife) asked me. "You don't use words like 'explicit'. She probably doesn't know what that means. She's 11."
"If she's confused," I said. "She'll ask."
Apparently the apple of her eye replied that he kind of likes her, which was good news. I told my sister-in-law to tell him that if he's mean to her in anyway to her brother-in-law will whoop his butt.
Kelly reminded me that if we have a girl I'll have to deal with a lot of this. She then hearkened back to her youth where her mother drove her past boys' homes and she giggled in delight as she saw the dwelling of her crush. I expressed shock at this revelation, but she told me this was normal and that every girl does this. I now wonder if any girl has done this to my home.
See being a shy one I never openly expressed my affection for the opposite sex even though I had a childhood crush that lasted for years. At the time I was sure I was going to marry that girl, but when she straight out asked me if I liked her I nervously laughed it off. Having no older siblings and parents who would just tease me I had no one to go to for honest advice about childhood dating. I kept my personal feelings to myself.
Considering I never got married until just recently, am I the right person to go to for advice in these matters? Perhaps not, but being uneducated in certain subjects has never stopped me from expressing an opinion on them.
"I don't remember having a crush on a boy when I was a girl. I don't even remember my first kiss." - Maureen O'Hara