Bob: I can't believe you're wearing that.
Brad: What? This is comfortable!
Bob: Why do I have to carry all of the gear?
Brad: You're young, you can handle it.
Bob: I see a good spot up ahead.
Brad: Lead the way.
Bob: What kind of bait should I use?
Brad: I'll let you make the decision.
Brad: Okay, bring the rod back over your shoulder. Move your hands just a little. That's it. Now as you're casting it out, release your thumb.
Bob: Like this?
Brad: That's good. Now bring it in just a little. Just relax.
Bob: I've got this.
After several minutes of giving more fishing tips and having general conversation on a variety of subjects, Brad begins to ask more pressing questions.
Brad: So, how's school going?
Brad: Are you making lots of friends?
Bob: I pretty much have the same friends that I've had for a while.
Brad: Do you have a girlfriend?
Bob tenses up and begins to feel slightly uncomfortable. He remembers how awkward it was when his dad had the sex talk with him, and he's hoping that this is not going to turn into another one of those. Brad senses his son's discomfort.
Brad: Relax, I just want to know what's going on with you.
Bob: Nothing much.
Brad: Yeah, I remember that I had my first girlfriend when I was about your age. And you're every bit as handsome as I was, soooo...
They both laugh.
They decide to move to a different spot.
Bob: I don't have a girlfriend. Not really.
Brad: Does that mean kind of?
Bob: Well, there's a girl that I like a lot.
Brad: Who is she?
Bob: Her name is Calista.
A wave of relief washes over Brad.
Brad: Oh, the Knight girl? Yeah, she's a nice girl. Pretty, too. Tell me what you like about her.
Bob: Well, she's nice. Pretty, too. [They both laugh] She's also really smart. And funny. And interesting. And a lot of other things, too.
Brad: Well, it's good to have friends. Nice friends. Friends that you have things in common with. Nothing wrong with being just friends. In fact, I encourage it wholeheartedly. There's no need to be in a rush at all. But are you feeling like you want more than that with this girl?Brad lets out a big belly laugh.
Bob (hesitantly): Yes.
Brad: Does she know how you feel?
Bob: I'm pretty sure that she does. I wrote her a note saying that I like her and asking if she likes me too.
Brad: What did she say?
Bob: She started to write me back, but she got interrupted. She never did answer the question. Sometimes it seems like she likes me, other times I can't really tell. She acts weird sometimes.
Brad: What do you mean "weird"?
Bob: Well, she just does things that I don't understand.
Brad: Well, that's a woman for you!
Brad: Look, women are going to do things that we don't understand. And we are going to do things that they don't understand. Communication is the key.
Bob: We talk a lot. We talk all the time. But talking about feelings is HARD.
Brad: I know it is, son. And saying how you feel is one thing, but showing it is the most important part.
Bob: How do I show it? I could buy her presents. I'm going to need a raise in my allowance.
Brad (laughing): Well, you're not getting a raise. Giving gifts is good as long as it's heartfelt and meaningful. It doesn't have to be a store bought gift, either. Girls appreciate when you put a lot of thought and effort into something. You could make her something, write her a poem, or get her something that you know she really wants. Showing how you feel is not about showering someone with material things. If a girl ever tries to convince you otherwise, you're messing with the wrong one.
Brad: Showing how you feel is about being there for that person. Being interested in what she has to say. Showing affection. Being consistent. Making sacrifices for her. Showing that you are trustworthy and loyal. And once you really show her how you feel, trust me, it will speak much louder than any words that you say.
Bob: Does that mean that I don't have to say the words?
Brad (smiling): No, you still have to say the words. That's part of the communication that we were talking about earlier.
Brad: The good news is that it gets easier to share your feelings after the first time. Once you know for sure that she knows how you feel, and once you know for sure that you know how she feels, it gets easier.
Brad: And once again, I want to stress to you that it's okay to remain friends for a very long time. Some of the most intense romances start off that way. And that Knight girl is a nice girl, so you're going to want to take your time. Remember, you can have as many female friends as you want, but you can only have one girlfriend at a time.
Bob: I know, Dad.
Brad: Check out those turtles over there. The ones on the log. Let me tell you what they're about to do...
Bob: Dad, please don't!
Brad (laughing): Well, I knew that you were expecting another sex talk, so I didn't want to disappoint you.
They both crack up laughing.
Bob: There are a LOT of fish in this pond - I can see them. Why aren't we catching anything?
Brad: I don't know, I guess they're all full.
Bob suspects that it's really because Brad has been talking the entire time and scaring the fish away.
Brad: Remember, I am always here for you. Whether you need advice, someone to talk to, or anything else, I'm here. I know that you're at that age where you think that you know everything, but trust me, you don't. I thought that myself at your age, but I learned that I really needed my dad more than ever.
Bob knows for a fact that he can go to his dad for anything. He knows that he can depend on his dad, because his dad has been there for him every day of his life. The words that Brad speaks are that much more meaningful because his actions back them up. Bob thinks that his dad is pretty cool, even though he dresses funny.
Bob: I love you, Dad.
Brad: I love you too, Son.