Dads, Daughters, and Dates…

It’s film going season- with the Golden Globes just behind us and the Academy Award nominations looming large, now is the time when many of us rush to the movies to see what’s popular, what’s trending and what’s buzz-worthy. Movies play a large role in American culture (and I am hoping next year, that their effect on American culture will be studied in an elective here at SDA!) and in my family, the so called “Movie Game” is a crowd pleaser for generations young and old. The premise is simple and we play it all the time. One of us says a line from a movie and the others have to name the movie. It provides entertainment on car rides, around the dinner table, at campfires and we’ve been playing since I was a little girl. The “inventor” of the game? My dad, who has been playing it with me for as long as I can remember.

My dad took me to one of my first movies; Disney’s The Fox and the Hound. I remember sitting on his lap and being frightened toward the end of the film; it is a hazy memory, as I was only five years old. He took me, along with my brothers to E. T. which for some reason he does not remember. As I think about it now, if I took three children under the age of 8 to the movies, I might block it out as well. I remember other family movie outings: Forrest Gump, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to name a few. And then there were the movies at home my dad introduced me to, many of which I am sure met with my mother’s extreme disapproval. The Godfather-so now I know what it means to go to the mattresses with your enemy. Psycho- my mom was cleaning up puddles all over the bathroom as I showered with the curtain wide open for at least a week. Arsenic and Old Lace- the second production I ever directed as a theater teacher. Jaws- and ever since, when there’s a problem, my go to statement has been you’re gonna need a bigger boat! So, thanks Dad, for these and so many more classics!

And yet, I realized just the other night, the last time my father and I went to a movie together was 1994! I was 17 years old and he took me to see Interview With the Vampire. Ann Rice novel, set in New Orleans, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt…what could be better? Well, as it turns out, a lot of movies were better…but I will never forget that one because it was the last movie we saw together in the theater. Will we go to another movie together? It’s possible I guess, but if we’ve gone from 1994 to 2019 without going to a movie theater together when we’ve gone so many other places together, then I kind of doubt that sharing a bucket of popcorn is in our father-daughter future. And why is that? When and why do we stop going to the movies with our dads? This I wondered the other night…and then I realized just what the answer was!

We stop, because at about 16 or 17 years old…other guys come along to take us to the movies. We still have our moms to go with to those mother-daughter films and our gal pals to go see “chick flicks” ( and boy do I hate that term) with…but the movies that we used to see with our dads, maybe the scary ones or the ones that were a little sad and we might cry at the end…now some other guy is taking us to see them. We hide our head on his shoulder or cry on his sleeve because movie night once we start growing up and growing older quickly becomes date night. Now, to be honest, do I think dads across America mind? Not really. I don’t think my dad is sitting home wishing he was the one who took me to see the newest installment in the Halloween franchise or who had to sit next to me while I got all teary eyed on a re-watch of When Harry Met Sally. But still, did either my dad or I know at the time that the last movie we’d go to together was going to be Interview With the Vampire? We did not…but I think we’ll always remember that movie. In just a few short weeks Saint Dominic Academy will host the 37th Annual Father Daughter Dance. While we cannot know for certain when the day will come when we cease to go on movie dates with our dad and start going out on more “date night” dates…what every girl at SDA can plan for each year is to make this event a special one for her and her father. So, if you have not yet made your reservation online to attend this event, I encourage you to do so. My dad and I may not be going to any more movies, but I know for certain where we will be on January 25th. This is one date with my dad I would not miss for anything in the world, one waltz around the dance floor that’s more important to me than any other dance for the entire year. Deep down, each of us will always be in one way or another “daddy’s little girl” and so I hope to see all of you and that special man in your life, your father, your grandfather, your godfather … whoever fills that place in your heart at our Father Daughter Dance on January 25th. It is the most important date you will have in 2019!

1 comment

  1. love your post. brings back memories with my dad and the father-daughter dance. was held in bayonne at the hi-hat (i think that’s what it was called.)

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