Admittedly, I don't spend as much time with my dad as I should.
We don't really communicate well & I'm still holding onto a lot of hurt from things that happened during my childhood and are still happening now.
Nevertheless, I love him so much, he's my dad and most of the time, I actually want to hang out with him. (we're actually more alike than different, but don't tell anyone I admitted that).
Last weekend when I was home, Mom told me he had seemed kind of upset about not seeing me in a while. Yes, my parents are divorced & still talk almost daily. Yes, it's kind of weird, but it's true.
So, I made it a point to call him Friday night in attempt to plan to see him over the weekend. We set up a dinner date for Saturday evening and that was that.
After a photo shoot on Saturday, I drove up to the house to pick him up & out he walked in faded blue jeans and a white button up shirt, the kind you would typically see one wearing with dress pants. He had tried to dress up for me. It was a date.
He climbed in my car and when he opened his mouth to say, "Hey sis-aroo!" like he always does, I smelled beer on his breath and heard his words slurring.
That's usually the point when I'd throw my head back in defeat, shut down and only answer questions I was asked and only with short, one-word answers.
But I decided to take a different approach this time. I decided to try & still have fun.
We ate dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings where I just ignored the fact that he asked for, "honey mustard wings" instead of honey barbecue and we actually had good conversation for the first time in a long time.
& then when we were finished, he asked excitedly if I wanted to go dancing at The Moose.
(The Moose is a fraternity he's part of which is actually a bar for the alcoholics in town where they can say they're actually members of it for the philanthropic work they do instead of the alcohol they serve.)
It's also the place he used to drop me off in the daycare for hours when I was little & my mom was out of town.
I hated it then.
My first reaction was to say no.
I didn't really want to go to the place I had hated so much when I was little, I didn't want to get conned into staying for hours, and I didn't really want to get introduced to 50 of his "friends" who can barely remember his name.
But I didn't say no this time.
I knew, drunk or not, having me go dancing with him would be the highlight of his week, month & maybe even year.
Because regardless of what happened when I was little, I know he loves me and I truly think he just has a problem.
So off we went after I made it very clear that I only wanted to stay for an hour or so.
We walked into the smoky, dark room and after he ordered two cokes & black velvet, we sat down & started watching people dance.
Some people were actually really good, and it was fun to watch.
It wasn't long before he was begging me to go out and dance with him.
Okay here's the thing, my dad is one hell of a dancer. Me? not so much.
Dad dancing with my mom's friend at my parent's wedding. A picture of a picture.
I mean I can get down to some Beyonce but not Kenny Loggins.
I started dancing and plastered a huge smile on my face because while it was really fun to see my dad cuttin' the rug, I was so embarrassed. I couldn't keep up!!
Luckily, the band took a break after about 4 songs and I took the chance to get him out of there before the next set started - not only because I didn't want to stay all night but because I definitely need more lessons before we do that again.
I dropped him off that night, thankful that I had really worked hard to make what could've been a bad night, a fun one. I put forth serious effort, and it delivered.
It delivered good talks, fun and the realization that I need some private dance lessons before I take my moves public.
I think I'll ask him if we can start those lessons soon, because I don't want to wait too long to go dancing again.