Father-Daughter Date Night, Shaken not Stirred

You, sir, are an asshole.

I once read a novel with a dedication page that praised the author’s family then she railed on someone who did something dumb to her. I didn’t blame her for mentioning him in her credits and I chuckled at the blunt and raw response to this random person who wronged her. I admit. I devoured the book and continued on with her other novels.

Darling Daughter’s birthday gift was a night on the town with Dad. I did her nails the night before, got her hair professionally done, she wore heels – whole nine yards. My husband wore his best suit, coordinated his tie with her dress, and the two went downtown Minneapolis for dinner and the orchestra. They dined at a hip place downtown and walked over to Orchestra Hall. The sun was out, there was a light breeze, selfies were snapped. Perfect.

Outside Orchestra Hall is Peavey Plaza, a concrete and multi-stepped stomping grounds ready for concert-goers about to continue their perfect evening. I’m setting the scene for you here, are you hearing the buzz of a crowd, feel the warmth of the date, understand how amazing this was supposed to be?

Enter the asshole.

Too drunk to walk straight, he tumbled down those concrete steps and landed in a melted heap in front of my 12-year old and about 200 others. My husband dialed 911 while others ran to help him. He was unconscious, blood dripping from his head. Dude’s “buddy” seemed to react like this has happened before to this guy. Paramedics were there in a flash and blah, blah, blah the guy survived. He was probably too pickled to feel any pain and I know for certain he doesn’t know the pain inflicted on my teenage daughter.

The night immediately went sour. The concert was spent trying to remove the image of the injured drunkard from her mind. They spent a lot of their trip home afterwards talking about his injuries and his drinking and how and why he may have gotten to that point. They should have been talking about their date.

They should have been laughing at something silly at the restaurant. She should have been pointing out how many hairs broke and were swinging from the bows. They could have come home with smiles and warm fuzzies of the evening. Instead she crawled into bed shaking, unable to get the nasty vision out of her head. Her innocence of the ugliness in the world was taken away in a flash. The innocence we as parents have worked so hard to protect. That ugliness we’ve methodically and slowly been introducing so we can properly talk through it was tossed at her by some chump who messed up and dragged others down with him.

I have a few messages to throw out there.

One is for the drunk who, most likely, spent last night in a hospital bed and has no clue what went down. You sir, are an asshole. Get some help. You effed up somehow, somewhere to get you to the point where you felt the need to get sloshed in public. You made horrendous decisions and had no one to stop you. I hope to never meet you. I wish my daughter hadn’t.

To you, my thanks for reading this post. You’re not like this guy. Don’t be this guy. Instead, go be the good in the world. Smile at a stranger. Make today ridiculously amazing. Surprise someone with flowers, even if they’re dandelions. And for shit’s sake if you’re going to drink to oblivion stay home. Don’t share it.

To my darling daughter, your sparkling eyes won’t quit sparkling because of this. Your intense desire to grow up is what every person goes through and learning about the world can be yucky sometimes. We can talk about this until our lips turn blue and I will keep reminding you to see the good in this world. There is so much of it out there. You were beautiful last night. Focus on the music, the dedicated time with Dad, the goofy kid’s pizza you ate when you looked all grown up. I love you to infinity times infinity.

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