I never spent a ton of one-on-one with my Dad growing up, so I was nervous about his visit. I shouldn’t have been. When it comes to my father, I didn’t fall far from the tree.
Our behavior swings between the proper and the uninhibited; a strange mix of prudishness and bacchanalia.
We dressed up for a Daddy-Daughter date and walked to the restaurant arm in arm, something my Dad feels gentlemanly doing. We ordered a bottle of wine, ordered our food, and I received the most influential counsel I would ever receive.
“Don’t go to law school unless you want to be a lawyer.”
I arrogantly had gone on about possible plans for after graduation. Offhandedly I declared from my ignorant inner child, “Maybe I’ll go to law school. It’s a good degree to have in your back pocket.”
Ultimately it was the lingering imprint of this conversation that stopped me from taking the LSAT and saved me a thousand dollars a month in law school loan payments for the rest of my life.
After paying the check, Dad came back to the table from the restroom. Making an announcement, not a question, to the rest of the patrons, he bellowed,
“Would you like to go see my hotel room?”
“Um, ok,” I responded with unnatural enthusiasm since I wasn’t exactly sure what we were so excited about.
In reality, he didn’t care if I saw his room at the Woodley Park Omni; instead, he was full of delight that some guy at the urinal congratulated him on his hot younger date.
Dad neglected to clarify our relationship and decided to give this guy a little show.
To this day, Dad still tries to see if people believe we could be a couple. It proved most successful at a Neil Diamond concert.
Now, this Electra complex scenario involves my 2nd grader. In a store, he’ll put his arm around me and refer to her as his “daughter.” He gauges the reaction of the clerk and then chuckles.
Nothing to do but give him a kiss on the cheek and smile. Because, honestly, I’m going to miss this little show when it’s over.