|Daddy and me.|
Okay, picture us a few years older.
But just as cute . . .
I was on a date with my Dad.
The best of times.
I had been working at my 'first-official-job-wherein-Dad-was-not-my-boss' in Calgary, Alberta, and having the time of my life.
Have you noticed that saying 'having the time of your life' doesn't necessarily denote 'good' or 'bad'?
I mean, it could mean the worst time of one's life.
Or the best.
Moving on . . .
Dad had to come up to the big city on business and had stopped in to my work to ask the boss (whom he was good friends with and NO, that's not the reason I got the job. Not that I'm admitting anyway . . .) if he could take his best girl out on a date.
My boss smilingly agreed and I was free for the day.
There are perks to your father being good friends with your boss.
Dad took me to a football game.
It was a perfect day.
Crisp, cold air, but not too chilly.
Blue, blue sky.
Okay, I'm remembering it how I want.
Dad and I had been sitting through the game.
Cheering on all of the guys in red, white and black.
I used to be a football cheerleader.
I had a vague idea of what the game entailed.
Get the ball across the opposing team's goal line.
By whatever means necessary.
Then hug the players if they won.
And especially if they lost.
But partway through the game, I had a blinding revelation.
“Dad, all of those players have spent all of this time fighting for control of the ball!”
Dad looked at me. “Yes,” he said, doubtfully.
“Well, I just had an idea!”
His eyes narrowed. Dad was used to my brilliant ideas.
“Go on,” he said.
“Well, if they're just going to fight over the ball,” I said, “why don't they just use two balls?”
Okay, we thought it was hilarious.
The guy in front of us? Not so much.
“Could you please shut up?” he demanded. “Some of us are trying to enjoy the game!”
We decided it was a good time for Dad to take me to dinner.
We went to my favourite restaurant.
The one I went to only when Dad was buying.
Old Spaghetti Factory.
We were seated in the old trolley car that is central to every OSF restaurant.
Things were getting busy.
Soft music was playing.
Quiet talk and laughter around us.
Gentle chime of silverware on china.
Subdued, romantic lighting.
The server brought us our menus and fresh, warm bread with selections of butter, then withdrew while we sliced, ate and perused.
Dad was studying his menu.
“Can you read this?” he asked, finally.
I glanced down. “Ye-es,” I said, slowly.
“Well, I can't!”
Did I mention the 'subdued' lighting?
He pulled out a matchbook and proceeded to light a match.
Then used its light to read his menu.
The server sprinted towards our table.
“Problems, sir?” he asked.
Dad looked at him, lit match still in hand. “Nope.” Then turned back to his menu. “But I think my daughter and I are ready to order.”
There is nothing . . . nothing like a date with your dad.
Truly the time of my life.
Truly the time of my life.