The Father-Daughter Dance is a special time for Natalie and I, and this year marked our fourth in a row. The dance is put on by our local YMCA and has grown so large that it is now held in one of the largest arena's in our area the Florence-Darlington Technical College SMiT building. It is "swank" not stank!
Our evening always begins with dinner at Natalie's favorite eatery - Redbone Alley in Florence. We always meet up with a group of her friends (and mine) from our church. Tonight was no different and as us dad's sat at the table our little ladies exchanged dollar bills for tokens to play in the game room above the bar. Our tables were upstairs as usual as well.
The table had several appetizers delivered - pita chips with various dips and sauces, wood smoked chicken wings, mozzarella balls (instead of sticks), and celery sticks (my favorite). Of course, Redbone always provides all the bread you care for and we evidently cared for a lot at our table!
Dinner for my date was her usual - a cheeseburger with fries from the kids menu. It amazes me that this is her favorite as she likes many of the other options on the menu, but... it's her night. My choice for our date was the Fusion Cobb Salad. A wonderful salad with grilled chicken skewers inserted with the low-fat Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch dressing.
It was a wonderful start to our evening, but quickly turned south. As our food was delivered Natalie came to me and complained that her stomach was hurting. An older young lady in our party offered to take her to the ladies room thinking that may be what was needed. Upon returning, it was deemed that was not the issue. On the verge of tears and upset, we prepared to leave. It wasn't quick enough though as she began to get sick. Poor Natalie had a mixture of emotions running through her face, embarrassment, hurt, fear of not being able to go to the dance.
My great friend, Paul, helped me to get things cleaned up, and finished up with our bill as I took Natalie down the back stairs and to the car. The poor dear, feeling so bad knew we had to go home to get cleaned up and her tummy was still hurting.
At home we were able to get the shoes clean, and teeth brushed, face washed, and a little liquid into her. Then she realized we probably weren't going to go to the dance.... and the Crocodile Tears began to flow and then the sobbing... but I pulled myself together for Natalie. I told her if her tummy stopped hurting we would try to go, and a short time later she insisted she felt better. So off we went with the promise to tell me if she started feeling bad again.
Arriving at the dance she was beaming and excited. We found our friends and some of her friends from the neighborhood and school. Everything was back on course, well, almost.... It wasn't very long, three dances maybe, she told me we needed to go - fast!
Without goodbyes we grabbed our coats and slipped out the side door and into the main lobby. I managed to get her shoes on her and we headed out the door. My poor angel kept apologizing for ruining MY night. Then the tears began to fall again. You see we always end the Father-Daughter evening with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery - a wonderful ice cream shop. Explaining that she could have a rain-check on the ice cream and that we would do it as soon as she felt better she calmed back down.
As we reached the car the poor dear began getting sick again. Once finished, I got her cleaned up, and in the car headed home. She continued to apologize for ruining my night but thanked me over and over for taking her even though we didn't get to stay long. If not for the stench... I might have kissed her.
Arriving home the perfect remedy for the evening was waiting for her. Mommy was now home and her eldest brother, Patrick, was home from college for the weekend. We got her PJ's on, and set up on the couch sitting with her big brother, and with in a few minutes she was out for the night, and the next morning all was well.
It wasn't the best Father-Daughter dance we have had, but it was a memorable one!