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A 17 year old girl with a 27 year old boyfriend? Where is your mama?

So…here’s the thing. The phrase “age ain't nothing but a number” is used ever so frequently when speaking about love. And though yes, it is true that when you meet “the one,” age isn’t always the most determining of factors, but when you’re as young as 17 it should be.

I met this little girl at choir practice and after several rehearsals, she invites her boyfriend and his boys to attend one of our rehearsals. They sit all the way in the back to avoid becoming a distraction as we sing our little hearts out for Jesus. I look to see if I recognize any of them and of course I do, I recognize all three. Looking down at the little girl beside me for about 5 seconds before I say a word, I finally get out of my shock to utter “Which one is your boyfriend? Why do those boys look familiar? How old are you?” I barely let the girl get a second to respond before I say “I went to high school with them.” She doesn’t say anything after she tells me she’s 17.

Now look, like who you like and love who you but at 17 you should be liking guys who don’t have a whole decade worth of experiences on you. At 17, you should be going to the mall with Michael or to the movies with Bobby, not looking for fakes to get into 18+ clubs and drinking and smoking on Friday nights with him and his damn-near-30 year old friends. Your days should involve: basking in your youth and enjoying every day you don’t have to pay a bill, pick up groceries, or go to a 9-5—loving the fact that school is your biggest responsibility because at the end of the school year, you get 3 months off to do absolutely nothing. Because men who are about a decade older, have lived a life you haven’t yet seen.

Where I’m from, 27 year old men have sex without condoms, have baby mamas and don’t leave the house if they’re not carrying. Some of them still wear braids and only wear hoodies, oversized “Ts” and sneakers regardless of the event. It is like more or less being with an oversized teenager so I guess I see the attraction.

Still, it leads me to ask, where is this girl’s mother? Or big sister? Or Aunt? If she can bring him to church, then she’s definitely bringing him around after school. Are there no inquiring teachers? No older women advising her to be with someone closer in age? She may not be listening but I hope someone’s telling her something.

I told her he was too old for her. She looked at me then put her head down. I know she heard that.

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