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Renovation, Rejuvenation, and What Counts

An Online Journal / Diary

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Thursday, May 3, 2001

Dinner at Dot's

When my Dot called yesterday to remind me about our daughter-dad night, I was a little worried that I might not have enough money to pay for everyone's dinner, especially if her boyfriend, Ethan and she brought along a friend or two to whatever restaurant we ate at. What with Sonny now back at home for an indefinite amount of time, my money situation is in even more dire straits than it was before.

Add to this my travel expenses since it was my turn to drive to her town. I know. I know. The gas only cost me less than five dollars, but I have to pinch my pennies right now.

And then Dot asked me if I was bringing her brother.

"Oh shit," this cheapo dad thought. "One more mouth to pay for."

I told her I didn't know. She told me she needed to know so she could prepare dinner in accordance to how many guests would arrive.

Good. Dinner was on her this time. This was an added bonus to my life. It's nice sometimes when your kids get older and for a change are able to treat you ever so often.

Sonny didn't go. I think he wanted to avoid any brother-sister conflict that might erupt. As for Dot, upon my arrival she actually was disappointed Sonny wasn't with me. She told me she had decided earlier to try really hard to get along with him.

Now I wish I had talked Sonny into coming. Their being on civil terms would have been a double bonus for dear ol' dad here.

Before I arrived, since I always like to bring something when I am invited to eat at someone's house, I stopped and bought some pansies to brighten up the apartment my daughter and her boyfriend recently moved into. Dot had to give me directions on how to get to her new digs and as I drove there, something seemed vaguely familiar about the route I was traveling. When I arrived at the apartment complex I realized why. Twenty-five years earlier in my young single days one of my buddies had lived there when we were chasing around some of the girls of Grisham back then.

The reason for Dot and Ethan's move, by the way, is because one of their old roommates, Shelby is now four months pregnant and living with her boyfriend. That left Dot and Ethan living with just Jon, Dot's half brother from my ex-wife's first marriage and the three of them weren't all that compatible as cohabitants. So Dot and Ethan left to live as a couple exclusively and Jon got himself a new roommate.

Dot was busy in the kitchen when I showed up at their door and Ethan was entertaining another guest in the living room playing a video game. It was a buddy of his from high school and so I left them to have their bonding time and returned to the kitchen to offer my help. She shooed me out though and so I walked back to my truck and retrieved my art clipboard and then drew on my portrait of my sister until it was time for dinner.

Meanwhile other guests arrived: Shelby and her boyfriend, Nick, as well as Ethan's buddy's girlfriend.

Shelby was dressed in some loose fitting clothes and it was weird for me to think of my daughter at this age where her friends are starting to have kids. Who knows? I could be a grandpa myself before long.

But Dot isn't pregnant, as far as I know. Thank God. In my opinion she's too young. (And not married!)

She is a mighty fine cook though. On her menu for us last night was salad, pork chops, stuffing, corn, seasoned potatoes, and for desert she treated us with ice cream sundaes with four different toppings.

I let her know how much I loved the meal too. I praised her up and down, left and right, and I was speaking the truth. I was thoroughly impressed at her hosting abilities.

I was likewise impressed with her new apartment, although it is smaller than the old one, with less space to put all their stuff in. Therefore it seemed somewhat cluttered, but I'm sure they're just not completely unpacked and organized yet. Give them time.

Along with the new apartment they have a new entertainment center in their living room. And on some of shelves it was cute to see that Ethan has displayed his collection of space monsters and Dot's has displayed her collection of pigs. I guess this struck me as cute, my seeing them a young couple falling in love, eventually moving in together, and then displaying the whole lot of their quirky and weird knick-knacks all together in one spot. What I really like about this bit of unusual interior decorating is it shows off each person's fun-filled, eccentric individuality.

 It really warms my heart that Dot has Ethan. He seems so right for her and I love the thought of her being in love with the right guy.

One of the best gifts a child can give a parent is for that child to lead a happy life, and I feel Dot is doing just that.

Let me tell you, I felt so blessed last night in my daughter's company.

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