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.
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?