People often tell me that they feel sorry for my spouse, the Carpenter, because he is often the subject of my columns. Whatever, (insert eye roll). The Carpenter does not need a support group. He knows the truth. He is the most adored man on the planet.
Oh sure, I poke fun at him, but you have no idea how often we are the target of his humour. I will make my case.
It was the night of our daughter’s first school dance. This was a big deal. Our daughter attends a school that employs a strict uniform dress code. This Disco-themed dance was her chance to wear civvies and get her groove on with her giggling girlfriends and, (gasp) the boys too. Do not underestimate the seriousness of this issue. Geesh.
For days the Carpenter had been teasing our daughter that he was going to wear a Boogie Nights Disco costume he had from a Halloween party years ago, complete with a beige 70’s tuxedo jacket with brown velvet trim, brown slacks (shudder), and a huge afro wig that matched his hair colour perfectly. Any backtalk or refusal to do chores would incur the punishment of being walked into the school dance with Daddy Disco. See? He has his moments of genius.
As fate would have it, I was out of town that night. I could not supervise my daughter’s outfit. Our little girl is growing up, I reminded the Carpenter before I left, and we need to let her express herself amongst her peers. He had to promise to overlook her fashion sense that night, as long as she did not look like a party tart, or cause him to hyperventilate. This was her night to shine.
Lucky for him, layered clothing is still in. Our daughter’s fashion passed inspection. Everything was fine until, during the drive to the dance, she pulled down the mirrored visor to apply lipstick. Lipstick? Really? He nearly hit the ditch. I had not allowed make-up, but I wasn’t there to stop her. The poor Carpenter was unsure of his boundaries. How do you forbid lipstick when it’s already on? What age is appropriate for this, and how the heck could a guy who wears fluorescent orange all day long possibly be expected to understand cosmetic guidelines?
He was speechless again when his daughter turned to him at the school door and instructed, “You stay here. You cannot walk me in to this dance, Dad.” (Insert another eye roll here). In the slam of the gym door, he was rendered null and void.
Will this child ever learn?
That night, the Carpenter returned to retrieve our daughter, carrying his hideous Disco costume. His plan was to throw on the jacket and wig, then go sign her out of the dance dressed as Disco Dad, in front of all of her friends. He wanted to make her laugh. Do you suppose she’d laugh?
When he arrived, he spotted his beautiful little girl in the crowd surrounded by her friends, fitting in and feeling good in her own skin, like she belonged. She did belong.
That costume never left the bag. Lipstick girl jumped in to her Daddy’s pick-up, talking a thousand a miles a minute, as little girls’ do, unaware of the prank that didn’t happen. That’s a good thing, ‘cause he’s saving that costume for her first date. Giggle.
Happy Father’s Day, Carpenter. Every child deserves a dad like you.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.