My dad is the best.
My mom’s pretty great too, but it’s almost Father’s Day, so this one is a shout out to my Daddy. He took me on Daddy-Daughter dates and bought me all the cassette tapes and Babysitter’s Club books I wanted, made me mix tapes of songs he thought I’d like, and warned me that all those romance novels I was reading and rom-coms I loved watching were not how men acted in real life (he didn’t want me to be disappointed). In case you can’t tell, I am a Daddy’s Girl.
They say that girls always end up marrying men like their fathers. I don’t know if that is true, since obviously I’m not married yet and have no comparison to make. But you know what I am pretty sure of? That most guys, no matter how much they might have in common with him, don’t want to meet your dad on a first date.
Which is precisely what prompted this emergency phone call from me, to my dad, as I was on my way to meet a guy I’d met online for our first date:
MissJuly: Hi, Dad. Where are you?
Dad: It’s Thursday, where do you think?
MissJuly: That’s what I was afraid of. Look, Dad, this is, um, embarrassing. So, um, I’m kind of meeting a guy there, for, um, a date, so, um, could you pretend like you don’t know me and I will pretend like I don’t know you? I forgot this was Thursday and I’m pretty sure this guy won’t want to meet you, cool as you are, on our first date.
MissJuly: Thanks, Dad.
That’s right, y’all, I went on a date… with my dad in the same location. Now, despite the fact that my dad has been going to his favorite restaurant/bar on Thursday nights after work for I don’t even know how long, I totally spaced on that and agreed to meet a new guy at the very same place on the same night my dad would be there. Since I didn’t realize it until I was on my way to the date, there wasn’t really any way to change location at the last minute. What else could I do, but call my dad and beg him to pretend like I was a stranger?
I thought I’d get there a little early, have time to go in and say hi to my dad, coach him some more on what to do if we all happened to run into each other, then scoot back out front to wait for the guy. But he showed up early too. Which brought about my second awkward convo of the evening:
MissJuly: Hi, you are early too! Great. SO, I need to possibly warn you about something…my dad is in there.
MissJuly: Yeah, it’s totally NO BIG DEAL, he’s cool. Don’t worry, I told him to ignore me and I’d ignore him.
PoorGuy: (insert confused look)
MissJuly: Yeah, I forgot it was Thursday and he always comes here on Thursday. Sorry?
Fortunately, the guy took it in stride and we laughed about it- after we’d been there for a couple of hours, he actually made me go over to say hi, but my dad was already gone. So, crisis averted; I managed to have my dad and my date in the same space for hours at a time and nothing embarrassing happened (well, nothing else embarrassing happened). If this scenario had happened with my mother instead, it would have been totally necessary to force a last-minute change of venue. She would not have been able to resist popping by the table for a meet and greet. And everyone who has heard this story has said- without exception- you would not have been able to do that if it was your mom. So I know I’m right. Love you, Mom.
Of course, now I had alerted my dad to the fact that I was going on a date. After a little while he texted me, “You OK?” To which I responded, “Yes, Daddy.” Apparently he also had his friend walk around the restaurant to try to
spy check on us, but his friend couldn’t spot us. (Because, you know, the guy could have stolen my phone and responded to my dad after abducting me and carrying me off into the forest. For real, this was his explanation.) The next day my dad sent me another text, “How was ur date” so I called him back to assure him that I made it out alive… and that the date had gone really well.
Basically, I could do a lot worse than marrying a man like my dad.