Mar 10, 2011

D3 (Daddy Daughter Dance)

The Daddy Daughter Dance is an annual Valentine favorite of ours.  We've been jiving the night away each February since kindergarten.  A dad from her school snaps up 60 tickets for this city-organized shindig, then bundles them into a superb appetizer/dance/dinner combo that makes for a special tradition.  The daughters range in age from 5 to 13, clothed in their finest dresses, with dads escorting them in tie.  They all go to the same school, so it's a good chance to meet other dads and tease her friends. 

Hair curled and nails painted (Pigtails, not mine), we cracked open the evening at a classy restaurant sippin' Shirley Temples and plating up fried ravioli.  The girls were more wound up than a bucket of snakes.  Slipped on her pink wrist corsage, then POOF! Pigtails vanished to join her BFFs.  I shook hands with other fathers while trying to prevent the entrails of marinara coated cheese sticks from exploding down my silk tie with each bite.  Sat down at a white linen table and felt a tug on my pant cuff.  One of Pigtails' friends was under there randomly tapping legs of strangers as they scarfed appetizers.  

Group picture, 100 grins smooshed together as cameras clacked pretty faces.

The electric slide was waiting, we carpooled to the city zoo with a van load of Fancy Nancys.  100% smiles with a heavy mix of jabber jaws.

Patent leather shoes and ribbons, cufflinks and wool jackets, spiffed and ready to get down!

We walked the red carpet towards the dance beats.  Like before, the instant we crossed the threshold inside, she vanished to join friends.

Men are mostly uncomfortable fast dancing unless they've first swallowed a couple libations and nobody is watching them flail.  No brew this night and everyone was watching.  I look like an uncoordinated cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation when trying to put down the moves.  So relief when Pigtails wanted to break from the hoedown and drown marshmallows in liquefied chocolate.

I could write pages on the chocolate fountain.  Girls filling cups with the brown stuff and guzzling it like ice water.  Saturating fingers in goo up to the third knuckle, then licking hands like muddy popsicles.  Sticky lava dripping from cookies to lacy white dresses.  It was a cocoa disaster, but I must admit, those choc' dunked 'nanas were worth the pounds of stain stick we'd need to smear on later at home.

We hopped through the zoo's indoor butterfly garden and across the baby crocodile pond to the photo booth.  Picture taken, she wanted to check out the jellyfish and boa constrictors before returning to dance.

is this my kid?
Didn't realize the chicken dance had lyrics, Pigtails joined in with the girly gang and sang:

SO I SHAKE MY BUTT!!  (with a waggle of the tush)

I lifted her into my arms for a slow dance.  We fast danced with limbs waving around like hissing geese.  She beamed, I was sweaty hot in the suit. 

The DJ announced 10 minutes of tunes remained.  Dads bolted to action.  Almost time to go, we needed to HURRY UP AND MAKE A MEMORY, RIGHT NOW!!  Nearly every father was on the floor cutting loose, no time left to worry about looking silly.

Rare and treasured is the sight of a 13 year old dancing with dad, rather than rolling eyes and chucking her iPhone at him.  I hope Pigtails will still dance with me at that age.

We flew back to the restaurant for Caesar salad, chicken Parmesan in white sauce and garlic cheese bread.  The batteries in the girls tanked as we neared the 9:30 pm mark.

Dads that invest the time and attention their girls crave will help set the example of the type of man she'll want to date later on.  For me, this dance is more than just a dance.   It's about the chocolate fountain, too.


  1. Anonymous2/18/2012

    Inspiring (as usual) reflection...
    ~ SuziQ

  2. Anonymous3/22/2012

    Sp very cute


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