Our college aged daughter has a new boyfriend. It was not long after they came to like each other that she suggested he come over to meet her dad. You see, if there is someone she really likes, he has to pass – The Chicken Test. My daughter knows that her dad has a good radar for “not-so-good” characters. She also likes to have dad run a little interference for her – providing some safety as she navigates her way through the “dangers” of dating. This arrangement comes as a total shock to me. When I was her age I would have avoided the parent/boyfriend meeting for as long as possible. Horrified is what I would have been if my dad had insisted on his own Chicken Test, but not Emily, she relished the opportunity. It wasn’t until the interview was over that I understood why.
The young man arrived with flowers in hand for Emily and her mother. It was the first time I had met him, but before I could even say a proper “Hello,” my husband had escorted him into the library and shut the door. I assumed he would just talk to the guy, ask a few questions – feel him out a bit like he usually does with new beaus. Instead, I quickly came to realize (ear to the door) that he had a full questionnaire printed out and was writing down the responses as they went along. I was totally mortified! I mean, it is one thing to ask a few simple questions, quite another to be subjected to an interrogation— with documentation. I look at Emily and she was totally calm except for the fact that we couldn’t stop the nervous giggling – either one of us. She relayed knowledge of a questionnaire, but no other details. I looked at her in shock. I would have been weeping in her place at that age, but she was composed.
The test was over in about half-an-hour, and I breathed a sigh of relief as the young man exited the room on both feet and in good spirits. He had survived and seemed no worse for the ware – I thought I discerned just a glimpse of satisfaction as he passed. It seemed all the flags were green and the happy couple left for a dinner date. As they drove away, I expressed my shock over the proceedings, telling the husband that while I did not endorse his methods, I appreciated his thoroughness – “Now tell me everything!” I said.
In his hand there were two sheets of typing paper. The top sheet read, Shipsey “Potential Boyfriend” Questionnaire. Below were more than 20 questions and well documented answers. Looking at the queries and listening to dear husband, things began to become more clear. Cleverly and strategically, Mr. Shipsey had created an obstacle course with questions. He had a strategy behind each interrogation and was simultaneously testing mental aptitude, character, humor, self-estimation, self-control, and readiness. If this guy could pass the test to my husband’s satisfaction, then he was well on his way to being accepted. Here is the challenge, question by question, for your enjoyment.
Shipsey “Potential Boyfriend” Questionnaire
- What are your goals for your relationship with my child?
- Tell me one thing about your dad that you really admire.
- What general questions do you have for me?
- Have you ever been married or engaged? Any children?
- Do you have any health problems that should concern me?
- What is your ethnic background?
- What do you offer as Tribute?
- Who would win in a footrace, Batman or Superman?
- What is your mother’s maiden name?
- What is your favorite thing about living with your roommate? Least favorite?
- What are you hobbies?
- Have you ever been indicted for a felony? Elaborate.
- Compared to your best friend, would you say you have more or less vices?
- What value do you place on education?
- If you were in a Turkish prison, who would you call for help?
- Would you consider yourself a neat or messy person?
- Would you be able to create a haiku right now incorporating the words “demonstrative” and “eclectic”?
- On a scale from 1 – 10, 10 being totally devoted – how important is recycling to you?
- Do you have an interest in politics?
- Would you describe yourself as spiritual?
- Paper or plastic
- Convertible or SUV
- Rock or Country
- Greatest sports franchise in history?
- Do you keep your word?
Said young man had passed, but was warned that the next test was in a three ring binder. Apparently he had satisfied the father more than sufficiently. Later, when I talked to Emily, I got a better sense of what this experience meant to her. She had not known the details of the questionnaire, but she valued her father’s diligence. She felt protected by him, covered by his love and concern, shielded by his strength, and comforted by his interest and investment in her well-being. Her daddy started caring for her heart when she was just a little girl, and now she trusted him as an emerging woman. Love and humor go a long way toward making this life easier to swallow. Nothing is ever perfect; there are always problems and challenges, but to be able to trust her father’s heart will make it so much easier to someday trust a husband’s heart. Let the Goodness of love, trust, and humor work for you in your relationships because they make all the difference. Life is full of Chicken Tests – Goodness will always help you pass.
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Do you know how to pass a Chicken Test? Goodness will always help you through.