If you read my blog yesterday you know about the misery I was going through shopping for a prom dress for my daughter. I’m happy to report that we found a dress, although it was expensive and has to be altered. At this point I would have mortgaged my house if it meant I wouldn’t have to shop anymore.

Let me tell you the story about my daughter’s date. He’s the kind of guy who likes to go the extra mile. They have been friends for many years, and so it didn’t surprise me that he invited her to the prom, even though he could have had his pick of girls. Everybody likes him because he’s just a super nice guy.

A couple of weeks ago the two of them went down to the Saturday Market, an open air gathering of old hippies, craftspeople displaying artwork, photography, jewelry, homemade clothing and so forth, bento stands, and street performers. As Johnny and my daughter were walking around, they spotted a guy doing caricatures.

“Let’s get ours done,” Johnny said. So they did. The guy was rapidly sketching them when Johnny leaned down and said something to him, and told him their names. A few minutes later he paid for the sketch and they looked at it. It was a the typical funny picture with their big heads and little bodies and exaggerated prominent feature – if you read yesterday’s post you’ll know what that feature was on my daughter. Between their two heads the artist had written the word “Prom?” with a question mark. That’s how Johnny asked her to the prom. I went to a mom’s margarita party on Saturday night and everyone was talking about it before I even got there. Women live for these kinds of stories.

Here’s another example of what a stand up guy he is. One time they were here hanging out in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner. I took advantage of their presence to start grumbling about how tired I was or how much work I still had to do. I was going on and on and then I paused and let out a big sigh. At just that pause Johnny said, “I wish there was something I could do to make things easier for you.”

Oh my gosh! Those were magic words. Hearing them made me feel 100% better. You know how most people, when you start complaining, will start offering advice. “Well, why don’t you make your kids help around the house?” or “”Why don’t you go in and tell your boss you can’t work so many hours?” They totally miss the point of the complaining. You’re venting because you want sympathy. You want people to know how hard you work and how no one appreciates it.

You may not know that’s why you’re complaining, but after Johnny said those words and it made me feel better, I wanted to figure out why. I wasn’t complaining to get solutions. I don’t want teenagers to advise me on how to lighten the burdens in my life. I think I just wanted someone to know that my life isn’t a bed of roses. By saying he wished he could help me, Johnny was acknowledging that he understood I was having a tough time and he also understood there really wasn’t anything he could do about it but be sympathetic. Most other guys his age would have said, “Let’s go out in the bonus room and watch TV.”

That’s the kind of guy he is, and I couldn’t be happier that he’s picked my daughter to be his date. The thing that worries me is, what if he’s Eddie Haskell? What if he’s got me totally hoodwinked and he’s really conniving and sinister and is pretending to be my daughter’s friend so…

I’m not going there. He just got elected president of the student body, so I’m thinking he might be the genuine article. It may be easy to fool someone’s gullible mother, but the whole entire high school?

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about what he did when he coached the girls’ powder puff football game. He’s not only sweet, he’s smart.