Competing with Father
We had one of those "Father-Daughter" dances this week here in the Triangle. You know the type - Dad's getting the opportunity to connect with their daughters - often in an age where Dad's too busy trying to hold onto his job, and the girls are too wrapped up in a digital world at the expense of quality time with Dad. From the News & Observer:
The 12th annual Father-Daughter Dance was a sequined study in contrasts, part high school prom, part wedding reception, part disco romp. The event ... was intended to give fathers and daughters an opportunity to spend an evening together.
But since it was held in a church one week before Valentine's Day, it had the additional mission of modeling for girls what courtship, chivalry and dating are supposed to look like.
"It's a good opportunity for girls to get a standard," said Gerry Hubbell, a member of Millbrook and one of the organizers. "It sets a bar."
For the dads, that meant being on their best behavior. Nearly all the men wore jackets and ties, or even tuxedos and corsages. They opened the door for their daughters, indulged them at the reception tables with all the cookies, M&Ms and popcorn they could eat, and generally allowed them to be princesses for the evening.
That's great and all that dads can get together with their kids for a few hours of father-daughter time. What's distressing is to consider it "setting the bar as a model of what courtship, chivalry, and dating are supposed to look like."
How many young men could come close to such a standard? So let's say these girls start dating, some as early as thirteen. If they were to compare the boys' attitudes and behaviors to those of their fathers, the kids are in for a big awakening.
I'm not against the holding of get together events for dads and kids, and I'm certainly OK with girls spending quality time with their fathers. What I'm uncomfortable with is to present the occasion as some sort of "bar" or "standard" against which the girls' future dates are supposed to look like.
So guys, if you're reading this - beware of your first few dates with girls who may have attended events such as these with "dear old Dad." You may be expected to act like a prince.