A couple from Kent, England, Sheila and Paul Garcia, had a problem. Their daughter was unhappy, so Mum and Dad did what they could to cheer the 16-year-old Alison up.
Ailson was sad over the fact that her parents didn’t quite approve of her newest boyfriend of 4 months, Craig.
“I hate the thought of her sleeping with any man, because I think she is too young to understand the implications of a sexual relationship,” she says.
“But I know she is 16 and I can’t stop her. If I don’t take the softer approach I fear she will take off with Craig and cut ties with us.
“If I forbid it or attempt to ban her from seeing him, I risk losing my precious child.
“Paul has managed to accept the situation far better than I have, because he believes we should let her make her own mistakes.”
Even though Alison’s Mum believed her 16 year-old daughter “too young to understand the implications of a sexual relationship”, when Alison asked her parents if her boyfriend could move in so the couple could save up for flat, Alison’s Dad figured the best way to handle the problem was to move Alison’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Craig Wright, lock, stock and barrel into their home and daughter’s bedroom.
Wright, a divorced double glazing fitter with one child now resides in the Garcia home as Alison’s live-in bedroom lover.
Alison believes she knows best.
“I’m not stupid,” she says stubbornly. “I know to the outside world such a huge age difference must seem weird and unnatural.
“My mum keeps saying it’s a ridiculous phase and I’ll grow out of it, but I won’t.
“My dad is much more laid-back. He takes the view that it’s my life and I have to do what I want.
“After all, I’m 16 and can make up my own mind. He recognises that I’m not a child any more, but my mum doesn’t.”
Alison likes the fact that Criag isn’t “immature” like the boys her age.
“He’s the fourth guy I’ve been with, but the others were all inexperienced teenagers – boys I’d been going out with for a few months.
“It was very different with Craig. He knew exactly what he was doing. He told me how beautiful I was and made me feel really special and cared for.”
They met in a pub even though Alison is/was underage and dated for a few weeks when Alison and Craig decided to get a flat but the 16-year-old had a better idea: why not move in with my Mum and Dad and save up.
Sheila said she was horrified, but her husband, Alison’s Dad, was okay with the idea of his daughter’s older boyfriend moving in because the couple wouldn’t have been able to “afford a decent flat”.
Sheila made an astute observation about Craig which we doubt she’s spent much time mulling over:
“What I can’t understand is what a man of Craig’s age sees in a girl who is so young. She can’t possibly fulfil his emotional needs.”
It’s as if Sheila has removed herself from the situation with her decision to blame it on “society and not on her own parenting skills:
“Girls no longer get a childhood past about the age of ten when they are asked to make choices on what lipstick to wear or what jeans to buy.
“It’s a sad state of affairs, and one from which I fear there is no way back.
“It seems we have raised a generation of children who believe they can do whatever the hell they like, without worrying about the consequences.”
As for Craig, he’s been set up as a peripheral character in this vignette. The scene revolves around Alison and her parents, of whom is responsible for this situation, the “too-liberal” Mum and Dad or the spoiled teen-aged Alison. But what about a 36-year-old man who feels it’s okay to bum off his teenager girlfriend’s parents and sleep with their daughter under their roof?
Alison has decided Craig’s “the one.”
“That will inevitably happen, because I do want to marry Craig and have kids, and he isn’t getting any younger.”
We not sure whether we should laugh or cry, “not getting any younger.” We imagine once the “bloom is off the rose” in this relationship, Craig will begin to look older and older to Alison while she will have aged prematurely, stuck with babies while she’s still one herself.