Some people like to be babied. I am not one of them.
We came to see extended family for a reunion. For the first day and night, we stayed at my great-grandmother’s house. We left about 5:30 for the reunion and on the way out, one of my relatives made a little joke:
“Don’t go finding any boyfriends, Kaye!”
And my grandfather responded with:
“Oh, she won’t! I’m her boyfriend! She won’t be getting any boys! She’s my baby!”
Truth be told, that’s paraphrased, but it’s close enough. Everyone thought it was funny and since I didn’t want to kick up a storm, I said nothing. But in reality, it’s not funny at all.
Sure, it’s only an innocent comment, but with the exception of the “I’m her boyfriend” part, he was serious. I’m 18 years old and my grandfather still considers me too young to be dating. I’ve only gotten a slight interest in dating since 17, but that is besides the point. That joke might be “cute” now, but I doubt it will be so cute in three years when I’m 21 years old. Hopefully, I’ll have moved out by then.
Not to mention this was said to family. What if this was said in front of my summer camp? Or at school? I’m certain they wouldn’t take it as a joke. The (grand)papa wolf might be interpreted as “he just loves you” to everyone else, but to me, it’s smothering. If he doesn’t want me to date – now or later – that’s his problem, not mine. It’s really just going to force me to hide more things from him.
Whenever I find a relationship, that person will not meet my grandfather. Not until he can accept that I am 18 – or 19 or 20 or older – and not a baby anymore.