Isn’t it creepy how everyone on eHarmony is talking about how passionate they are about their children? I haven’t even met this person for one date yet, and already they’re killing me slowly by telling me how hilarious their child is. I just wanted a coffee!
Oh, don’t act all superior and tell me you’ve never been on eHarmony (or at least OKCupid). I was there because my friend ping’ed me to judge her dates. You can send prospective suitors’ profiles to five friends and get them to vote go or no-go.
After reading about all these 40-year-olds looking for honesty and esteeming their offspring, I got to thinking how different it is when kids are going about trying to get with someone. They don’t start off about how much they love their parents. Or even that they hate their parents. When I was a teenager, I didn’t want to hear about anything on a date. I wanted us to be two solo planets somehow skewed in our orbits, and then we collided and burst into a meteor shower. No past, no future.
In those dark days of olde when I was young, we didn’t have computers or cell phones, so dating was this huge, intense thing. With today’s teenagers, you can’t even tell if they’re dating at all… they’re like this big pack or swarm, and some might be hooking up, but if they unhook, they don’t seem to feel like they’ll die, like we all did all the time. I can’t believe how nebulous and without fanfare today’s youth seem to be when it comes to their love life. I can’t imagine them doing something so formal or formulaic as filling out answers to a dating site’s quantitative questions.
So that’s exactly what I got them to do for this week’s column.
Max is 17; he went on his first official date at 12; he’s “low-maintenance or even avoidant”.
Sadie is 9 and will date “in the future” and “I don’t know!!”
Neighbour Girl is 8 and she’ll be 27 when she first dates, and she is “a romantic”.
Wolf is 17, started dating two years ago, and, “I’m a really nice date and I look out for her.”
Will is 14 and says nothing about when he did or will date, or how it was or will be.
Dora is 12 and says, “I haven’t dated, but when I do, I’m gay.”
The one thing I am most passionate about:
Max: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
VICE: Are you lying?
Max: I can relate it to many real life things, surprisingly. Disturbingly. The characters are based on the idea of the four humours: bile and so on.
Sadie: I’m passionate about cheerleading.
Neighbour Girl: Nature and fun.
The most important thing I am looking for in a person:
Wolf: Happy and no arguing.
Will: A hot bod.
Nah. If someone is really annoying and shit, but they have a hot body, I’d tell them to go away.
Neighbour Girl: A heart. Or somebody who’s rich!
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Neighbour Girl: Wolfgang. He taught me how to draw stuff, and about nature.
Sadie: [double-points at herself] This girl!
Are you an egomaniac?
The thing I am most thankful for:
Will: Food. I just had a granola bar and I thought, “Ah, this is heavenly.”
My best life-skill is:
Wolf: I have a lot. Taking my medicine and not arguing are my best life-skills.
Neighbour Girl: Running.
Sadie: Gymnastics. No, awesomeness. Gymnastics is a good life-skill of mine, but I’m not going to be able to do that when I’m older, like 50. But I’m going to be awesome forever.
The one thing I wish people would notice about me:
Dora: Everybody notices everything about me, more than I hoped. Like, they notice a lot of things.
Wolf: That I’m a really nice guy, but sometimes I’m sensitive.
Will: I don’t wish people would notice one thing about me.
Neighbour Girl: I’m passionate.
The thing I can’t live without is:
Wolf: My hamster and my Bible.
Will: Food. Not just physically because I’d starve to death, but how I’d feel if I couldn’t eat… [gives a strangled sigh]
The first thing people notice about me:
Wolf: That I’m clean. Most of the time. Though sometimes dirty.
Max. The hair. Long. Typically filthy.
I typically spend my leisure time:
Wolf: iPad. I’m addicted to it.
Neighbour Girl: Waterslide! Minecraft! Making ninja stars!
The last book I read and enjoyed:
Max: Dune by Frank Herbert.
Neighbour Girl: Hamster Magic.
Well, it’s about this hamster and he has, like, magic.
My friends describe me as:
Dora: Usually crazy.
Wolf: A fun, playful person.
Will: That chill kid who plays violin.
Max: A kid who knows a lot, but turned out to be a total burnout idiot.
Neighbour Girl: Sexy hair. No.
You do have really nice hair.
Three people have a crush on me in my class. Pedro, David and Graham. Graham has this simple crush on me. One day he did [the finger-gun and clicking sound] to me.
Like, in a sexy way. And I sit next to him. And he gazes at me and says, “Ahhh.”
What about you made them get crushes on you?
I know how Graham got a crush on me. On the first day of school, guess what he did to me? He came right up to me and said, “Hi!” He was like, “Oh, yeeaah.”
Do you want kids?
Wolf: No. A lot of work, dirty diapers.
What is your religion?
Neighbour Girl: What the heck is a religion?
Wolf: Couple things: aliens and God.
Is there too much violence on television?
Wolf: Yeah. I don’t like it when people kill other people. It’s not nice. And it leads to the Devil.
Dora: Is that seriously one of the questions? No. Not at all. It’s just the right amount.
Will: If it says viewer discretion is advised, people should take their discretion and leave the room.
Max: Not enough. Not nearly enough.
Neighbour Girl: Yeah! Uh… “A Thousand Ways To Die”? … Excuse me? I don’t really want to talk about it, but a dude got stuck to the wall and bugs ate him.
Was he still alive, and the bugs ate him to death?
No wonder you think there’s too much violence on television! I think so, too, after hearing that.
Sadie: I think the news is too violent because everybody listens to it, and they always talk about people dying. But people die every day! And they always talk about all the murders.
Neighbour Girl: Did you hear about that thing that happened last night? Somebody killed a cop.
Previously - What Kids Say About Hate