Sunday, October 22, 2006

My daughter's 21st birthday

So a couple three months ago my daughter was 15. She had just told her first potential suitor that the closest he would get to her lips would be the plastic fork with which she just ate dessert and threw into the garbage. When the putz asked her what she ate and was last seen running out the back door of the coffee shop with a bag of garbage, I felt compelled to give her some pointed advice.

Then about two weeks ago, she aged eight years and deftly handled some loser in a bar.

Now she lost a couple years and it is the day after her 21st birthday. We are at a bar together for the first time.

Dad: So, baby, may I buy you your first drink?

Jourdaine: I don’t drink, daddy, you know that.

Dad: But the double potato vodkas, chilled and neat …

Jourd: Dad! That’s two years from now! I don’t start drinking those until I lose my virginity! Whoops! Did I say that out loud?

Dad: It’s ok, baby. Ain’t got nothing to do with me. Better than running away with the circus, I guess.

Jourd: Yeah, I know. Next, eh?

Dad: OK. I’m gonna go drain my lizard. Order me a Tanqueray & Tonic, please. Be right back.

Jourd: Gotcha, daddy.

A few minutes pass and Jourd sits alone at the table. A waiter finally shows up.

Waiter, slightly effeminate with a finely coiffed head, crisp white shirt, and a wristband that reads “Timothy” (his name tag reads, “Randall”): Has someone helped you? Would you like something to drink?

Jourd: Please, thank you. Tanqueray & Tonic, lime. Bring a second one about five minutes after the first – the first one will die quickly.

Waiter: Yes, Ma’am. Anything else?

Jourd, flashing her smile and never seeming offensive even though she is about to ask a very personal question: Who’s “Timothy”?

Waiter, pointing casually with his pencil to the corner of the bar: Him.

Jourd, seeing more clearly what she thought was a bull dyke at first glance: Ah. Been together long?

Waiter: Two years. He still hangs out at the bar to make sure none of the boys hit on me.

Jourd: I am sure he is quite busy. Randall? Randy? Rand? Ra the Sun God?

Waiter: Randall, please. Thank you for asking.

Jourd: You got it, Pacman. One drink then two, remember?

Waiter: On its way. (Randall leaves with a turn that is sure to catch the eye of any interested man.)

Loser Number One, approaching on runway 24E: Well, little lady, I couldn’t help …

Jourd, taking just a moment to respond because she was absorbed in studying Timothy’s face as he scanned the room for competitors as a result of Randall’s shish-sway-hey-hey exit from her table, she turns and icily meets this guy’s eyes: You could help it, pal. Now, put your left hand in your pants and yell out, “Susan, Susan.” Maybe you won’t feel quite so all alone and dirty. Remember that it’s attached so don’t pull too hard. Now, git!!.

Loser Number One, smile gone, eyes unfocused: I, um, I, er … OK.

Jourd, mumbling to herself: Why me? (As she scans the room) Loser, loser, yep loser, loser …

Loser Number Two, noticing the single drink Randall just placed in front of her, approaches on runway 47W: One drink? Mind if I sit?

Jourd: Mind if I fart?

Loser Number Two: A feisty one. I like that.

Jourd, feeling one of her buttons – being called “one” of anything, let alone a “feisty one” – firmly pressed: Sure, pal. Sit. Take your best shot.

Loser Number Two: I bet I can make you …

Jourd: Stop. Is this a sexual reference? Yes or no.

Loser Number Two, smiling broadly, turning his head slightly to the left, and shifting his eyes a little lower then back into full contact with her: Yes.

Jourd: And you were about to place a time limit on it, say, like you could make me do it within three minutes.

Loser Number Two: Ninety seconds tops. Or your money back.

Jourd, tossing the drink she ordered for her dad in his face: It’s Tanqueray. Enjoy it. Now get lost.

Randall, with towel in one hand and second drink in the other: My, girl, that was a quick death!

Jourd: A quick yet noble demise, Randall. Thank you. Say, you got potato vodka back there? Double shot, chilled and neat, please.

Randall: You got it, girlfriend.

Jourd, seeing her dad coming back: What, you got a prostrate problem or something? Where you been? The vermin are out in force tonight.

Dad: I was watching you, princess. Sat next to this bull dyke with an Adam’s apple. I can’t be--

Jourd: His name is Timothy.

Dad: I can’t believe you wasted that drink in some clown’s face. Didn’t I raise you right? Never, ever waste alco---

Jourd: Save it. Momentary lapse of reason. It was worth it, pops.

Dad: Timothy a friend of yours?

Jourd: He’s taken, daddy. Randall. Two years. Possessive. Not my type.

Dad: The possessive or gay part?

Jourd: Both.

Dad: Good girl. Now, promise me something.

Jourd: OK.

Dad, smiling at the joy of his life: Never waste a drink like that again.

Jourd: OK, daddy. Hey, thanks, Randall.

Dad, eyebrow raised at the vodka in front of her: I thought you tossed the losers? How long was I gone?

Jourd: Still intact, daddy. Just figured it was time.

Dad, lifting his drink to hers: Cheers. May you live to watch all your enemies die ugly and your friends die of old age.

Jourd: When you die and have no one left to say good-bye to, you know you’ve won the game.

Dad: That’s my girl.

(The conversation went on for several more hours. Jourd fended off losers up to Number Seventeen. Walks to the ladies room were particularly difficult. She learned much about her father and herself that evening. She learned that she really likes chilled potato vodka, and that her father is neither alone or lonely even when no one is around. Times and relationships change, but Jourd and her dad always seem to have a shared core.)

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