So last Saturday, as most of my friends trundled off, post-barbecue, to a party in one more gorgeous San Miguel house, I decamped with Carlos and our two girls plus my friend, Alex´s three kids to a fiesta de quinceaños at El Ring disco, the site, by the way, of one of my first dates with Carlos, as told in my memoir, Fast Break South.
The honoree was the daughter of a teacher friend of Hector, Carlos´ brother. So Hector and his wife, Mari and their 9-year old made up the rest of our gang, occupying a long table on the second level, the perfect perch from which to spy on the teenagers, once, after the father-daughter dance, and the escort-quinceñera dance, the discoing began. Research, let´s call it, into the world of teens, if I´m going to be writing about and for them.
Alex´s kids are two tall good-looking blondes - Brad, 19 and Chris, 15. After several summers of swimming and outings with them, our girls are a bit immune to their charms. But not all the girls were. One particular 14-year old asked Brad to dance every single dance, and made him pinky-promise to come back each time he went to the bathroom. Another Mexican gal asked Chris, who was stuffing his face with cake, to dance. Chris said, "I´m eating cake."
"Chris," I growled at him.
"What?" he said, through crumbs.
"O.K." he said, and went down to find the girl who had found the courage to invite him to dance.
My Carla, who at age 14, is more interested in horses than boys, was asked to dance by a guy she´s known for awhile, who happens to be a senior in high school. When he asked for the following dance, she begged off, and ran up to me. "My God, Mom," she said. "Once was enough!"
No mean girls or fast boys. A less hurried, less frenetic life for adolescents? I´ve never tried to raise my kids in the United States of America, but I tend to think so.