The Rules of Dating

Trina and I started dating when we were sophomores in high school. We met appropriately on the track where we were both running the 400 meter relay. She ran the turn on the third leg while I was the anchor for the men’s team. I soon found out she was an all around athlete who was ranked in the state in the long jump and high jump as well as a basketball and volleyball player. She would receive a scholarship to play college basketball. Besides running the relay, I was a sprinter and ran the hurdles. When I wasn’t on the track I was playing baseball having been in an organized league since I was four years old. I would go on to play after high school in an independent league. I tell you this to give you a background in genetics.

When Trina and I began to get serious, I realized that if we were to have kids, they should have the genetic make-up of some very good athletes. So when our first child Ashley came along, it was no surprise that she was interested in sports and that she had some skills on the baseball diamond. She was also quite a track athlete in her own right setting freshman marks in the triple jump in high school. I realized that if our kids would continue this genetic experiment that we could breed a race of super athletes and so I created the “dating rules”. Our daughters are not allowed to date before the age of sixteen. This has nothing to do with the genetic experiment; it was just to give Trina and I a little peace and quiet during the early teen years. Once the girls reached the magical age of 16, I sat each of them down and explained the situation.

“Your mother and I have done very well in sports and have been given a lot of talent. When we got married we pooled this talent and it has been passed on to you. With this talent comes responsibility. You should seek out other gifted athletes and date them so that one day when you marry you can carry forth this genetic code to further enhance your children’s lives. I have therefore created these rules for dating. You may date whomever you wish but they must be brought to the house to be introduced to your mother and me. After introductions and a brief questionnaire that I have created, we will take this perspective date out in the backyard. Your little brother will provide the boy with a baseball bat. He will then pitch to them and we will see what kind of athlete he is. After he has been given an opportunity to hit, you will go to bat. If he out-hits you, you are welcome to go out on the date. If on the other hand you out-hit him, we will thank him for his time and send him on his way. And I will be able to tell if you tank it for the boy.”

These are the rules and all of the kids know them. At first Ashley thought I was joking but her first date came over shortly after Ashley turned 16. I asked him a few questions then Dakota escorted him to the backyard. Ashley had not warned this boy of this part of the date and we quickly learned that he was “bat challenged” striking out 3 times. I thanked the boy for his time and sent him on his way home devastating Ashley who feared that word would get around and she would never date. She was correct, word did get around. When Ashley found a boy who wanted to take her to the dance, they spent 2 weeks at the batting cages before she agreed to go. As Mallorie reached dating age, word around school quickly got around that she was Ashley’s sister and what the rules to dating were. In fact, boys began asking for her batting average before they asked for her phone number. Mallorie found that would work to her favor as she could weed out potential problems even before being asked to prom.

Now Tiffany has reached the age of dating and I am worried that she may never date. Tiffany is a splitting image of her mother. She is tall, VERY thin, and EXTREMELY athletic. She went to state as a mile distance runner when in sixth grade. When she reached high school she lettered as a freshman in both the triple jump and the high jump. She has been to the state meet the first two years of high school. Besides track she also runs cross country and can recite nearly every player’s number who ever played for the Diamondbacks. Dakota has also aged and now that he is nine he has begun to develop a nasty breaking ball to go with a fastball. Even the girls are having trouble hitting against him and they practice quite regularly. The boys at school have noticed as well and many of them are fearful of what might happen if they do decide to ask her out. Personally, I am ok with this as it has reduced a lot of stress out of my life. And to think people use to say that I would never be able to use athletics in my life after I got out of school.

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