I was standing at the laundry sink in our basement, vigorously scrubbing at the oversize blueberry stain on my favorite knock-around sundress (that’s never coming out!) when my father decided it was a good time to get the lowdown on my social life. Though I was armed with spray n’ wash and totally focused on rescuing the pink of my seersucker dress from a purple fate, I gave him an appropriate summary of my outings and updated him on the lives of the friends I knew interested him most.
He was glad I was still in touch with “Tennis” Mike and “Granola” Dan. He encouraged me to visit “DC” Sarah and “New Zealand” Sarah soon (“sure, Dad, if you foot the bill!). He was happy “Cupcake” Cassidy was still fencing and that “Fencing” Mike was still my CityChase partner. Yet, while I thought I had covered all his favorites, it was clear he was unsatisfied with my narrative…
“How come you know and hang out with all these guys and none of them ask you out to dinner?”
I put down the scrub brush, placed my hand on my hip, screwed-up my eyebrows in quizzical disbelief. Had my father, just asked me why I didn’t have a boyfriend? Et tu, Daddy?! I thought you thought weddings were “grotesque.”
Without skipping a beat he moved on.
“The next day that isn’t too hot, I’m going to make sure you can change the tires on your car. Clearly, you’ll need to know how to do that on your own.”
“Well then,” I replied, “why don’t you also teach me how to change my oil and rewire a lamp, because clearly there isn’t going to be a guy to do these things for me.”
“No,” he said. “I’d better teach you how to load a dishwasher. You can always get a mechanic to change your oil…you’ll have a much harder time finding someone willing to tackle the kitchen when you’re done with it.”