The Pinnacle of Fatherhood
This past weekend I had the honor of escorting our beautiful daughter to the annual Stepfordville Daddy-Daughter Dance, or Triple D as I like to call it. This is a first for both of us. And with she in her old flower girl dress and Me in my only suit, we head out for a night out under the Stepfordville lights. Just a Dad and his Daughter…
In Stepfordville, few things are bigger than the Daddy Daughter Dance. (The only thing bigger is the
annual luxury import vehicle giveaway…that’s the only way I can explain how everyone here drives one…maybe this is my year to win…) And due to the unrealistically large number of children in Stepfordville, the Triple D cannot simply exist as a single event held in an evening. In fact, there are so many little girls in Stepfordville that the Triple D must be divvied up like chow time in prison. Each age group (or cell block) gets a 1.5hr time slot for which to hold their dance.
We decide to surprise M and get her a pretty corsage to wear to the dance. This, of course, is met with indifference, if not disgust. (Perhaps we should not have opted for the corsage tattoo) After a quick guilt trip, she relents, and agrees to wear the flower…but ONLY until we get into the dance…So, donned with our pretty flower and a scowl, we are off to the Triple D! (After 400 photos…thank you, Mommy)
If I can describe the dance in one word, it would be, “Crowd”…or “Lines”…It starts before we even leave our vehicle with waiting in line to pay for parking. Once we have parked and make our way into the Stepfordville Conference Center and we find ourselves in line yet again. This time the line is to take photos, which, like the parking, cost money. Oh well, you gotta pay to play, right?
20 or so minutes into our allotted chow time…err, dance time, we finally make our way into the main hall. As you might suspect, we find ourselves in line for a third…and final time. This line is for refreshments. (Wow, we actually do get some chow! … the prison similarities are starting to pile up…Is that guy wearing an orange jumpsuit??) We load up our paper plates with tiny finger sandwiches, semi-fresh fruit, and stale cookies. This feast is not to be outdone by the airplane-sized servings of soda poured straight from the 2-liter bottle! Oh well, we ain’t here for the grub. Let’s dance!
We hit the floor with some fellow daddy-daughter cohorts and the dancing commences. As we approach the dance floor, a sea of suited-up middle-aged dads parts to allow us entry. These dads are busting some moves! I see the sprinkler, the running man, the cabbage patch, and even the robot. If not for the little girls, I would swear I am at an insurance seminar mixer! As they say, “When in Rome…” so I start working my magic on the floor with M. Soon, she is dancing in a group of her schoolmates and I find myself moonwalking alone. Now I know how Farmer Ted felt when Sammy left him on the dance floor in Sixteen Candles…awkward.
The rest of the dance continues in this manner except that the other “single” dads and myself make our way to the sidelines to watch our little girls having a blast…without us. It is at this point that I am thankful that the Triple D is so short. There is only so much small talk and little girl screams this man can take. (The loudest of the screams came when What Does the Fox Say comes on…I am still deaf in my left ear)
Before we know it, the time limit is up on our fairy tale evening and the DJ is ushering us out the door in order to prepare the mess hall for the next cell block. We take our girlies out for dinner and rather than cut our losses and call it an evening, we decide it will be a good idea to take them to Main Event (a mega-super-center containing bowling, laser tag, video games…and beer).
Main Event is anything but an event. As soon as the game cards are loaded up with dad’s cash, our girls are gone… So we do what any other man would do in this situation, we get beers and follow them around while they play games. If they were older, this would be equivalent to holding purses and coats while they shop. At least the beer is cold.
It takes roughly 1 1/2 hours for us to collect the girls and exit the mega-supercenter-gameapalooza-bar. The girls guzzle down the candy that they purchased with their winning game tickets on the way home while the dads ride in a silent, slightly beer-tinted reflection.
As I tuck my sweet baby girl in and looks up at me with those heart-melting baby blues and she whispers, “Best night ever” and then flashes an ear-to-ear grin (at which point she looks like a jack-o-lantern due to all of the missing teeth she has…or doesn’t have). It is at this point that I come to a harsh realization.
I have reached the pinnacle of fatherhood. Soon, this little angel will hate me. She will not snuggle with me while we watch cartoons. She will not throw her arms around me and ask me to pick her up. She will probably not even talk to me…She will grow up.
I only wish “chow time” lasted longer…