Pumpkin Spice


| 11/4/2014 1:31:00 PM


Tags: advice column, neighbor advice, family advice, relationship advice,

Pumpkins and gourds

Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC offers advice on family planning and parenting, LGBT issues, disability issues, education and work issues, relationships, ethics and "unusual" social issues. Send questions to Tim for future columns through his website.

Hi Tim,
I’m a retired widow in my 70’s living alone. A few months ago a young family moved into the house next door. Their children are a third grader and teenage boy who seem okay but also a teenage girl who is wild. She’s only 15 but she has a boyfriend and they spend a lot of time in his car when he is supposed to be dropping her off. Of course things get steamy on the front porch too, which is screened in (hard to see into at night) with couches, chairs and a fall display of pumpkins, gourds, corn wreaths, and such. Their little boy plays outside with my grandchildren since they are close in age.

The children have been sharing some joke about the fall decorations, dropping hints that I did not understand at first. When I asked my granddaughter, she told me that the teen couple was worried about her staying a virgin or getting pregnant, so instead of making love they were doing sexual things to each other with the long-necked gourds, and poking holes in the pumpkins, etc. You get the idea. I’ve tried to keep watch and find evidence of the misconduct so that I can alert the girl’s parents. Should I have proof first or just go over and talk to the parents? — Hormone Harvest

Hi Hormone Harvest,
If you get offered a pumpkin pie by the neighbors over the holidays, I would channel Ina Garten and insist, “Store bought will be just fine!” Please forgive me if the verbal maze in which I have placed the centerpiece of my following response is a bit corny.

I know your initial reaction must be, “Oh, my gourd!” However, without the proof for which you so diligently stand watch like a scarecrow, straining to catch a glimpse through the neighbors’ screen, you have no way to distinguish the truth from children’s maple leaf; you may be getting buffaloed. There is a veritable cornucopia of reasons a youngster may embellish the details of a raw and juicy story. So try not to be taken for a wild hayride.