Kids These Days

There was a time when I never thought I’d be old enough to say, “What is it with young people?”  Alas, before you know it you’re all grown up and married with a couple of kids of your own, and your idea of a hot weekend is going to Lowe’s and taking care of a few home improvement projects.  Those kids, by the way, have a tendency to grow up fast–even faster these days, what with social media and those iDevices that never seem to leave their hands.

Unfortunately, those same devices seem to have stripped a lot of kids of the ability to relate to one another on a personal level.  On the plus side, things like teen sex and underage drinking are way down as a result–but on the flip side, it also means teens are socializing a lot less.  Instead of throwing the party to end all parties when mom and dad are out of town, way too many of them are content to tap away at their smartphones interacting with Facebook friends they’ve never actually met in the real world.  Texting has largely replaced talking.  And going out on dates?  Fuggedaboutit.  Pitching woo was hard enough pre-Tinder.  How’s a guy supposed to be a true romantic when the culture has gone from “You complete me” to “You’re like my own personal brand of heroin“?

Well, the good news is that somehow we do, even in the digital age:

This is 17-year-old Kittakone Sirisombath Jr. and his girlfriend of eight months, Destiny La’nae Irish. She was his first friend when he first moved to Dallas.

The two had their first date on March 13. Irish texted Sirisombath at school saying she was hungry, so he picked her up later that day and took her to grab a bite together.

“I offered to get her something to eat and her favorite thing to eat is a burger so I chose Chili’s,” he said.

The only problem was that Sirisombath only had enough money at the time to pay for her portion of the meal at Chili’s. So, he lied and told her he had just eaten and was not hungry. “I was nervous about my financial situation but after she ordered I knew I was in the clear,” he said, laughing.

He said she asked him repeatedly if he wanted to eat, and offered her food to him, but he insisted he was full.

“We joked the whole time and had fun,” he added.

Kittakone, I salute you!  Not only are you a gentleman, but you’re a romantic as well–a rare combination in this day and age.  Guys twice your age could learn a thing or two from you about how to treat a lady–starting with actually asking one out on a date.

Turns out that Kittakone couldn’t keep the secret for very long, though, and came clean in that most modern of ways.  With a tweet:

And if that isn’t enough to make you cry, there’s this:

This couldn’t have been more perfect if it had happened on Valentine’s Day.  And by the way, that burger looks dee-lish.  Hold on to her, Kittakone.  She obviously has great taste.

I really love stories like this, because so much of what we hear about young people these days is designed to make us fear for the future.  But when you get right down to it, every now and then, we’re reminded that things haven’t changed that much at all.  Boy meets girl still tugs at our heartstrings, and the flame of romance continues to burn even when it only seems like a tiny ember in a crazy world.

And we all remember what it was like to be young.

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Marc Giller

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