Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Date with My Dad

I really hit the jackpot when it comes to dads. The Swede is an amazing father. Pappa. I thought that in honor of Father's Day recently, I'd share a favorite memory.

I think I was eleven or twelve when The Swede took me on a date. I think it was for a good report card, or maybe just to reconnect because he traveled a lot in those days. No matter, we got dressed up and I had him all to myself.

I have an almost photographic memory, so I can see the dress I wore. I even suffered stockings, because they made me feel glamorous and grown-up though the slightly-wobbly-walking in the highest heels I'd ever worn probably lost me some points on that scale. Wearing a suit, he took my hand as he led me down the stairs to Trader Vic's, a tiki-hut tropical themed place that my parents often went to on date nights. Being at “their” restaurant made it even more special.

Holding umbrella drinks in hollowed out coconuts, we talked. He listened to my latest gymnastics achievements, and to my angst about the latest school hurts. It wasn't easy being a band, word, and math nerd all at the same time and not get a lot of teasing. He's an excellent listener, and doesn't try to immediately “fix it.” He's still like that, which is so welcome, since I have someone else in that role...

The Swede talked, too. At this time, he spent his days traveling between Volvo dealers in his territory, and I had most of them memorized. I knew who was a nice guy, easy to work with, and who wasn't. He always had good stories from his travels, and anecdotes about his colleagues, with whom he commiserated about the frustrations about the job. I think he was on the service side of the equation at this point, and there were always customers trying to get Volvo to pay for something on warranty which clearly was NOT. He trusted me with “inside information” and that made me feel special, and grown-up, too.

I have no idea what we ate, but we did have to hurry up to pay the bill because we were also going to the movies! We saw my first R-rated movie, Brubaker with Robert Redford. My parents had argued about if I was old enough to see it, and The Swede won with a line like, “Don't you trust me to protect my daughter?”

I don't remember much about the movie, except it was in a prison and it was about some sort of reform or revolt. That didn't matter at all. I had my Daddy to myself for a wonderful evening, and even now at the ripe ole' age of 47, I remember most of it. The most important part of course was that he made me feel special, and grown-up, and no one interrupted us for his attention. I still like that. Dad, want to go to lunch?


Do you have a special memory of your dad? Do you have any special traditions for celebrating Father's Day?  If you're a dad, have you ever taken your daughter on a date?

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

cool fathers day memories...dad and i were on different tracks...but i remember him helping me with my pine wood derby car as a young one....the best convo with my dad came when i was 22...on the tail gate of the pick up...and i understood a lot about early life right there...

so you are good?

LD Masterson said...

One of my favorites came in third grade. I was going through an awkward stage (to put it mildly) and taking a lot of crap from the very popular "Melissa". One day I forgot my lunch money and Dad brought it to school. (In those days, parents were allowed to come right to their children's classrooms.) He gave the teacher the money and gave me a big smile and a wink as he was leaving. Melissa's jaw was on her desk. Oh, did I mention my dad was movie-star-handsome? I know it's shallow but whenever Melissa gave me trouble after that I just remembered her jaw on the desk and I was okay.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's cute he treated you to dinner and a movie. Think I was about that age the first time I saw an R rated movie.

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

wonderful tale... it makes each day more special.

JoJo said...

Soooo many great memories of my dad...i'll be sharing some this weekend for the 10th anniversary of his passing. Dad took me to see the Red Sox when I was a kid and would take the time to play catch with me even though he was exhausted from his work as a self employed plumber. We went on a 3 week trip to California together in the summer of 1988 and that was soooo much fun. I dragged that poor man all over the northern half of the state and he good naturedly went along with my 'I know what we should do!' whims. lol

Lucy said...

I love smiling through an entire post, I totally understood the feeling and loved the story :)

Lucy from Lucy's Reality

shelly said...

I remember my dad playing tea party with my sister and I one day. He was so tall and didn't fit at the table.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Carol Kilgore said...

This is a beautiful post. If your dad read your blog, I know he thinks it's beautiful, too.

Rachel said...

Its ironic that you posted this today. About three hours ago, I found a picture from a birthday when I was little. Its probably the best memory I have with my dad and that picture has been missing for years.

Andrew Leon said...

You don't want me to start about my dad. At all. :/
But that's awesome that he did that. I try to do things like that with my kids, too, though we don't dress up. I don't own a suit.

As for the R movie thing... well, my first one was kind of a funny story...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is so sweet! I wish I could've done something like that with my father. We did spend a lot of time together doing father-daughter things before he passed though.

Andrea said...

That is great! Those moments when we get to feel special!

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, what a lovely story!
I remember my first trip to London very well, because it was just me, my sister and my dad.

Hope everything went well with your testing!

Silvia Villalobos said...

A date with Dad -- how very sweet! He sounds like a wonderful man, deserving of this memory from his daughter.

Romance Reader said...

Loved the post. So beautiful.

Nas

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

Terribly sorry it has taken so long for me to get to your posting. I know how you wait for my incredible comments :)

What a touching tribute to your beloved father. Tina, I'm heartened to read this.

My dad is somebody who is not part of my life or my son's. That is sad, but I believe my own dad's lack of involvement with me or his grandson, has made me more determined to be the best dad I can to my son.

Bless you and your beloved father.

In kindness and good wishes,

Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. what a lovely poignant story - beautiful ...

My father left us early (died too soon) .. but I was glad to spend some time with his brothers and sisters before they too went the way of the elderly ..

My father and I had a holiday in the north of England - we went to the Duke of Percy's castle area (Alnwick) as he'd been at school with the sons ... it was beautiful up there ... my parents had separated and I went with my father - we had a sports car and bombed around - with him telling me to not let the cat out of the bag that I was his daughter!!

We had some other good times ... sadly not enough - but we learn the lessons and can understand sometimes ...

Lovely story to read and so pleased you still have your Dad and that he remains so very special to you .. cheers Hilary