Gracie is turning 12 and there are two things she has been looking forward to the most about this age, going to her first dance and wearing makeup. One of her biggest complaints about homeschooling was the thought of not having any school dances to attend, so we were grateful to learn that a group of home school families had organized a masquerade ball for kids 12 and older. I’m not sure if Gracie was more excited about going to a dance or wearing makeup for the first time. I could feel every one of my 23 gray hairs tingle as I watched my daughter put on make up for the first time. Nikki and I went out to dinner after dropping her off at the dance. I was dying to see her interact with a boy she has been referring to for weeks now, so we decided to go a little early to pick her up. When we finally found her in the crowd she was having fun dancing with a group of her girl friends. We watched her for a couple songs as I resisted the urge to ask her to dance, I finally gave in against my better judgment. I was worried I might embarrass her, but I was willing to take the chance, I walked up and asked her to dance. She turned around with an surprised look on her face and asked me why I was so early, this was not the response I was hoping for. Her friends were unusually quiet. The awkwardness was very apparent. I panicked and decided to make a joke, I told her I had some “sweet moves” I wanted to show her – I was a big dummy for thinking this would resolve the awkwardness. Gracie slightly smiled and told me she didn’t want to dance as she shook her head. I got the hint and told her to have fun as I walked away. I was feeling like that nerd kid who had just tried to ask the head cheerleader to dance. Nikki smiled as I walked back across the room to her. I’m guessing she had already foreseen how this was going to pan out but wanted me to see me suffer. I thought for sure I would be safe asking her to dance. I have never gotten this kind of vibe when I have done activities with my daughter and her friends before. Is make up laced with a chemical that alters girls brains to think their Dads are no longer cool? Nikki laughed as I told her about my rejection moment. This wasn’t funny! Am I no longer “a cool Dad” to my daughter. Does every father experience this moment in their careers? After the dance I strategically asked Gracie why she didn’t want to dance, she smiled and told me that she was embarrassed to dance with me because there were boys there.
I now hate all boys from age 12 and up.