Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This time, she's going to a dance with a boy.

It's happening again. This Saturday.

Another heapin' helpin' of hormone stew, another melding of primitive frontal lobes encased within adult bodies.

And these bodies won't be wearing much.

It's time for my teenage daughter to attend another dance, but this time, it's with a...um...boy.

Usually, I report back after the fact, since the whole pre-function comprises a story unto itself. This time, however, I'd prefer to talk about the buildup alone, since it's been an odyssey.

High school dances are different than they were in my day. Back in the Seventies, unless the event was a 'tolo' or 'Sadie Hawkins' dance, the guy bore the responsibility of asking the girl, period. I can recall being so nervous that I could feel pimples on my face completing an entire lifespan, from red giant to white dwarf, during the course of asking the object of my affections for the privilege of her company.

These days, either gender can ask the other to any dance, which is terrific for both parties. The old system seems so Victorian when you consider that an adolescent male could simply prioritize his choices and work his way down the list, like some sort of seasonal babe draft. In addition, couples are now not mandatory for attending; one girl can accompany two guys, two girls can attend with one guy or any other imaginable combination. I guess you'd call this system either "hippie commune" or "Utah friendly."

Now, if you snooze, you lose, which is why my baby girl asked her date to the Winter Ball back in November. Soon after he accepted, she proudly showed me a picture, taken with her phone of course, of the two of them together. Maybe this is the way kids show that the deal is sealed, or possibly it was just one of the thousands of phone photos taken during the course of one day, but they gave the appearance of a happy couple.

After I acknowledged the look of contentment on their faces,  she replied, "Of course, Dad. It's obvious that we're in love."

The girl has a dry sense of humor, but I'm still not convinced she wasn't being serious.

With the dirty work out of the way, the next checklist item for my woman child was the dress. I'm not sure when this happened, or why I wasn't consulted, but last Sunday, my teenager appeared in our living room, holding an article of clothing which apparently is considered a dress in her culture.

I quickly performed some rudimentary math, and deduced that the fabric would barely cover her torso.

"It looks really short," I understated.

"Dad, don't worry. I'm wearing spandex underneath, so even if it gets hiked up, no one can see anything." So not comforting to me, yet she looked so very confident with that statement.

"You only need to touch your nose to hike that thing up," I countered.

"Dad, just wait until you see me with it on. You'll feel much better." Fair enough.

Five minutes later, she emerged from her room, not only wearing the dress, but also a pair of black pumps which would put Gene Simmons to shame. Again, I used my right brain to assess some basic spatial relationships and concluded that she now stood six feet, two inches tall.

I quickly veered toward a less confrontational manner. "Are you going to want to be taller than (I'll call him) Matt when you guys get your picture taken?"

"Good point, Dad. Hmm...I'll look for some shorter heels tomorrow."

She turned and retreated back to her room to change. I felt good, actually really good, after having talked her out of shoes which only look appropriate in Whitesnake videos. Chalk one up for Dad.

"Oh, and about that dress..." Too late. The door to her bedroom slowly closed, slightly muffling the sounds of Lady Gaga emanating from within.

She had pulled it off. The old bait and switch.

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