Thursday, October 27, 2011

She's Grown

Earlier this week (Sunday) my mentee moved in with me. She had been living with her cousin in Fort Washington since graduating from college in May.

I was proud of her. She had her bachelor's degree and had become a full-time working girl. She seemed to be on the right track.

So when she contacted me a few weeks ago to see if she could stay with me until her apartment was ready Dec. 1st, I said sure. I mean I had a full size futon in my basement, cable tv and a full bathroom - what more could one want?

We agreed on how much she would pay to stay with me. I made her a key, gave her the code to the alarm and told her she was responsible for her own food (lol).

So last night, as I was driving home from an event, I got a call from her. It was 9:37. She told me she was going on a date.

When? I asked.

Now, she replied.

"Now? It's too late," I told her.

He's already here, she informed me.

Is he in my house? I asked.

No Lottie, she assured me.

Then she said, "I won't be back tonite."

"What!" I said.

I was devastated.

I dropped my friend off and headed home. MAD !

I called another friend and told her that my mentee had just left for a date and said she would not be returning that evening. It hit me: She was spending the night with a man.

"She's grown," my friend informed me.

I couldn't say anything. She was right. My mentee is a 23-year-old woman, not the 12-year-old girl with braces that I met years ago.

But still...

I felt used. I believe she moved in with me so she would have the freedom to come and go as she pleased. I honestly believe that behavior wasn't tolerated when she lived with her cousin in Fort Washington, so she decided to come stay with me.

I am not her parent. So I basically have no say when she can come and go - or do I?

Anyway, last night I had to think about how I was when I was 23, 24, 25. And I wasn't so innocent.

I lived in Ohio, then Atlanta, and eventually moved to D.C. I had my own apartment. It was furnished. I had my own dishes. I was grown.

Like my mentee, I had broken up with my college sweetheart of 4 years and felt free. I dated. I went out late and came in early (during the wee hours). I was an adult.

So, why was I so upset when my 23-year-old mentee told me she was going out on a date at 9:37 pm and that she was not coming home?

I don't know. She is an adult. She is not 12. But I also think it's about respect. I think the only reason she wanted to stay with me is so she could come and go as she pleased. I know she wouldn't have done that if she lived with her mother.

But I'm not her parent.

What do you guys think of this situation?
What would you do?
Any advice?


SingLikeSassy said...

I think she's paying rent so she can come and go as she pleases at 23 years old as long as she doesn't disrespect your home. And she was nice enough to give you notice so you wouldn't think she was laying in a ditch somewhere bleeding to death.

Anonymous said...

I agree with SingLikeSassy

TNDRHRT said...

Exactly in regards to SLS's and Anonymous's post. You cannot control what a 23 year old does outside of your home. You CAN control what she does in it. That goes for anyone who comes into your home.

Anonymous said...

Well, you're not her parent, but she needs to respect house rules if you have them. I was going to say especially since she is a guest in your home, but it sounds like she may be paying some rent, which probably gives her the sense that she can come and go as she pleases. She should still respect house rules, but you can't tell her when she can come and go as freely. It's almost like you have a roommate. Don't try to be her parent, but definitely tell her that no real date will start at 9:37 at night with someone who is not your longtime beau. And a gentleman definitely would not ask you to stay the night. I think that's where your mentor role definitely comes into play.

Anonymous said...

It is hard letting go. On one hand she is a young woman not a child. She needs to live and learn. On the other hand, I am certain you don't want to see her make the same mistakes others have made.

My suggestion, treat her like a adult. The relationship will evolve. You want to retain her trust and respect. You also want her to feel comfortable coming to you for support.

As an adult, she should free to come and go.