I just have time for a quickie! Ah, get your mind out of the gutter. We are in full-blown graduation mode around here. It kicked off with Senior Prom last weekend. That was a fiasco! I couldn't even get the girl out of the house. She wanted to leave but, in a nutshell...zipper. Dads are just dads. That's all the Good Lord intended for us to be. There's supposed to be a mother around for events like, well, prom. My daughter and I have been winging it on our own for three years now and up until that zipper, we've managed pretty well. Up until that almost three hundred dollar dress threw us a curve ball.
Everything was right on schedule. Hair was done, nails polished, makeup that would make any celebrity jealous. Nothing left to do but put on that dress that cost as much as a good color TV. Me, being the single dad that I am, had given the princess plenty of space and had busied myself with washing dishes. I knew I would soon be needed and kept an ear out for,
"Dad, would you zip me up?"
When the call came, I dried my hands on a tattered dish towel and reported for duty. I figured ten seconds to zip that dress up and another five minutes fumbling with that tiny clasp that all necklaces come with and she'd be off. Well, I was wrong. First, if I was designing a prom dress that would sell for nearly three hundred bucks, I'd put a quality zipper on it, like my wrangler jeans come equipped with. I was barely able to get that tiny zipper head (do they have a real name?) between my fingers. But once I had a firm hold on it, it zipped right up...three inches to her waistline. And there it stalled like a Ford.
After struggling for fifteen minutes, I suggested she take the dress off and zip it up.
"Just slip it over your head. I think it will work."
My daughter, fighting back tears for fear she'd mess up her Hollywood makeup, expressed her doubts but in desperation, agreed to try. I stood behind her closed bedroom door.
"Is it going to work?"
"Dad, I can't even get my arm through! What are we going to do?"
"Slip that dress on...we're going to Grandma's!"
I knew it was just a man thing. I had already peeked out the window to see if the neighbors across the road were home. We needed a woman! I'd never seen grandma wearing a prom dress but maybe, just maybe she could zip one up.
Fifteen minutes later -
"Gosh, I can't get it zipped either! My old hands...let me see if my neighbor is home."
A quick glance out her window and she shook her head, "I'll call my friend who sings in the church choir. We may have to get the whole choir over here but we'll get that dress zipped up!"
Fifteen minutes later - The lady from the choir appeared at grandma's kitchen door.
"I don't know why you think I can zip that dress up if neither one of you can."
I sighed and hung my head. I had failed as a father. I couldn't even zip up a dress. I felt tears trying to form in my eyes. I glanced at grandma who seemed to be fighting back tears, too. I knew my daughter would already be crying but...you know, Hollywood makeup. The choir lady took hold of the zipper head. I held my breath and...zippp!
Well, I don't know. Apparently, it takes a special talent to zip up a prom dress. I lack that specific talent. Obviously, runs in the family seeing how none of us could get such a simple task accomplished. So, my daughter made it to the prom, fashionably late, but there none the less.
And so it begins. New dresses to buy, random events almost every evening, awards banquets to numerous to mention, church luncheons, and the big night itself...graduation! Invitations still lay on the kitchen table. Is it cool to invite people over facebook? Can you just text them? I mean really, shouldn't relatives just assume they're invited?
Oh, hang on! I'm having a panic attack. It just swept over me like a tsunami...beads of perspiration forming on my forehead. Sweaty palms, rapid heart rate, can't catch my breath!