At the Daddy Daughter Dance

If you were watching my Facebook or Twitter feeds over the weekend, you’ll have noticed I headed off with DC to the Daddy Daughter Dance that was held over the weekend. I’d talked to some friends who had gone last year, and they said A Good Time Was Had By All, so I thought I’d give it a chance, though we all know how much of a non-dancer I am.

DC wasn’t entirely sold on the idea at first. She liked the concept, but she thought that it was a really long drive (25 minutes), and she wasn’t sure what it was going to be like to go out to dinner first. I thought that was pretty funny–maybe she was skeptical I’d be a good date? Not sure. But I assured her that we’d be going with friends, and she’d have a good time. She had a week to get psyched for it, and by the time the dance rolled around, she was beyond excited.

We went with three other daddies, and had dinner first. Apparently, the food of choice for girls 9 and under is chicken fingers, at least when faced with a choice of burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese, chicken fingers, and . . . pizza? I forget. Anyway–all the girls got that. I decided to bend the rules of my diet enough to order a cheeseburger. Then I ate all the fries, too. And two pieces of bread before. And . . . finished it off with Chocolate Walnut pie. Ala mode. Because everyone else was doing it, and THAT’S HOW PEER PRESSURE WORKS, PEOPLE! Besides. I was going to be dancing the night away, and we all know that a half hour of Bryce dancing burns enough calories to light a small city. (At least, that’s what I thought. When I got on the scale the next morning and discovered I’d put on 2.4 pounds overnight, I found out I was wrong. Go figure.)

So the dinner went very well. Denisa had made DC a corsage ahead of time, and she was wearing her favorite dress, and didn’t even have her hair in her permanent braid. (She wanted a simple pony tail.) But how would the dance go?

I don’t really know what I was expecting. Maybe some mood lighting and smooth jazz or Sinatra playing. It definitely wasn’t that. We bypassed the photo opportunity (only $30!) and went straight into the elementary school gym, where the lights were dark and the music was loud enough to get rid of those last few pesky remnants of my ear drums that my years in high school couldn’t eradicate. Song selection ranged from Lady Gaga for the fast songs, with country filling in for all the slow songs. Sinatra, this wasn’t. I’m okayish with Gaga, but I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a spork than listen to country for a significant amount of time. No sporks were available, alas. The things we must do for our daughters.

They had punch, fruit, cheese, crackers, cake, punch. I only drank water, cognizant of the fact that I’d already eaten half the restaurant just a half hour before. DC looked at all the girls in the middle of the floor, jumping up and down, and she sped off to go join them, taking her friends with her. The other daddies and I looked at each other and shrugged. Maybe this was going to turn into more of an elaborate play date. But a few minutes of jumping got that out of DC’s system, and she came back to ask me to dance. A few minutes of me on the dance floor convinced the other girls out there that they really needed someone larger to protect them in case my flailing limbs got out of control, and more daddies joined in.

DC and I had a great time. I taught her some basic dance moves–some twirls, dips, dancing in time to the music, spinning around in a circle. Her favorite moves were the spins–anything that was fast. She would take breaks now and then to get drinks or eat something or go off and dance for a minute or two with the other girls.

One of my favorite parts was just watching her enjoying herself. She looked so grown up, and she so didn’t care what anyone else thought of her. Come to think of it, I didn’t really care what people thought of me, either. It was dark enough that I’m pretty sure no one even knew who I was most of the time. I’m much more willing to make an idiot out of myself for my daughter’s enjoyment.

The music bounced back and forth between country and whatever-garbage-they-call-modern-music-where’s-my-cane, until Cee Lo Green’s “F*** You” came on. I was mildly surprised at first, figuring it was the radio edit (“Forget You), which was still kind of strange for a Daddy Daughter dance, but hey–so was most of what they were playing. And then I discovered it was definitely not edited. F bombs flying with abandon. I took my jaw off the floor and tried to figure out what to do. DC was across the room, dancing with her friends and blowing bubbles, and I was pretty sure she was oblivious to what they were playing. If I took her out, would she start paying attention? Maybe just let her ignore it? Go complain? But complaining would mean she heard more of it. I was just on my way to take her out of the room when they switched to a new, less profanity-laced song.

Crises averted. (It turned out the DJ was a last minute replacement for who they had lined up. And he was a bit . . . iffy. Clearly.)

We stayed until 8:00 or so, which was about as late as I wanted to let DC stay out. The next day was church, after all–and that cursed Daylight Savings Time was going to gobble up her beauty rest, too. She was ebullient, and clearly had had a blast. I asked her to rate the dance on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best day ever. She thought about it and said, “10. No–make it a scale of 1-100. 100.”

The evening was clearly a success. TRC got to watch the second Harry Potter movie with Denisa, and he had a great time, too. A red letter weekend for both kids. We’ll be going again next year.

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