Some of the kids were playing jump rope and asked me to play with them. They asked me to jump in the middle.
The girls started swinging the rope, singing: “How-many-girlfriends-do-you-have?”
“What…?” I asked. But they had already started to swing, so I had to jump.
They were counting, and every jump meant I had another girlfriend. “1, 2, 3, 4…” I ended up with 36.
“Wow, you have a lot of girlfriends!” said the kids.
“That’s not a good thing,” I replied.
Every couple of weeks or so they ask me if I have a girlfriend, checking, I guess, to see if anything has changed since the last time they asked. Kelsea, who is the biggest matchmaker of the group, keeps close tabs on this.
“Kelsea,” I said. “Tell you what. I will let you know if I get a girlfriend. Okay? You don’t have to ask all the time. If I get a girlfriend you’ll be the first person I tell.” She might also be the only person I’d tell. I’m not big on telling people things. But anyway, I don’t think it’s going to stop her from asking.
If the kids see me with any female roughly my age outside of the normal work environment (meaning, outside of the normal females they see me working with), they freak out. And if they see me with multiple girls, they freak out even more.
“You lied to us! You have two girlfriends!”
“No,” I said. “Those are my coworkers.”
The irony of it all is that I’m so honest with the kids.
Some of the boys were snickering, thinking it’s cool that I have “so many girlfriends.”
One of my coworkers walked by.
“There’s your girlfriend,” said a boy we’ll call Ryan.
“No. She’s not,” I said.
“Yes she is. I saw you with her.”
“She’s my coworker. And one of my other coworkers was there with us. She was there too.”
“So you have two girlfriends!?”
“No. We’re coworkers, and sometimes we hang out together.” I don’t think they believed me.
Later, they asked me again to play jump rope. So I got in the middle, and they started chanting, “How-many-girl-friends-do-you-have?”
I felt this was a good opportunity to teach them a moral lesson. So I jumped once, and stopped.
“One,” I said. “Because you should only have one girlfriend.”