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Thursday, May 5, 2011

No Skin Showing

As far as Fathers with Daughters are concerned, one of the scariest times of the year is upon us.

Prom season.

Dads never get asked to go on the shopping trip when the daughter obtains the Prom dress. They never get asked to go to the hair appointment (which seems to last for days) nor to the nail salon. Hopefully there's no trips to the indoor tanning spa, and if there is, seriously, Dads need to knock that crap off. It's extremely unhealthy. Believe me, I've got four women with Irish and German blood in them, so I've heard the screams about pasty, white skin. Tough nuts. You're not supposed to be tanned in April or May, and you're not supposed to get artificial tans, indoors, from machines. It's scientifically proven to be bad for your long-term health.

I've often thought that the reason Dads don't get invited to the dress shopping spree, whether it be for Homecoming or Prom or whatever is because Dads most likely wouldn't let their daughters wear some of the things that Moms let them wear. Moms don't think showing some skin is a bad thing. Some crazy Moms think showing TOO much skin is okay. Responsible fathers have a different point of view on this.

It's more appropriate for my daughter to be covered from throat to ankle, and if that means she's a little bit warm on the dance floor, so be it. You could argue, however, that if she's warm, she might be more likely to 'loosen' up something to cool off. I'm not talking about dressing her in a parka for Prom (although anything that makes it difficult for the male date to get his arms around her to dance is fine in my book). But really, is there any need for a 17- or 18-year old girl to be showing off any skin?

Call me old-fashioned, but I vote NO. What's the point? The kids are going to be stuffed in a gymnasium or a ballroom in a third-rate motel, with bargain basement snacks and beverages, hopefully decent music, and, hopefully, MANY adult chaperons. In my opinion, the ratio of adult chaperons to teenage kids should be 2 to 1. Call me excessive, but when it comes to the well-being of my daughter and her girlfriends, many of whom are like adopted daughters to me, I'm not trusting it to some bundle of hormones in a monkey suit who wears his baseball cap sideways and his pants down to his butt crack.

Course, that kind if young man would never get very far in my hemisphere lest he be subjected to my staple gun and Louisville slugger.

The most important thing on prom night, Dads, is that our daughters are safe. We need to let them know that they aren't to get into a vehicle with someone who's been drinking. They need to know that we'll come and pick them up wherever they are at whatever time they need us, with no questions asked. If we need to, we can talk about it later... like the next day. Teenage driving fatalities will increase, across the country, over the next month because of the Prom and high school and college graduations.

As a father, and as a parent in general, we all hope we've had 'The Talk" about alcohol and substance abuse, and its impact on driving. We all hope it's sunk into our teenage daughter's (and son's) head. But teenagers are teenagers.

So make sure that after you compliment your daughter on how awesome she looks in her prom dress, and you wish her a good time (and after you let the boyfriend know that those camouflaged eyes in his rear view mirror are yours) whisper in your daughter's ear to remind her that if she needs you, if she needs a ride, it doesn't matter where she is or who's she's with. You only care about her returning to you in the same manner that she left.

P.S. Don't forget to tell your daughter that you love her.

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