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A Date With Daddy

Whoever is head of marketing at Chick-fil-a is a genius. This weekend Chick-fil-a’s across the region had a Daddy Daughter Date night in their restaurants. To provide an air of exclusivity, you had to sign up online to get your reservation.

My girls, being the divas in training that they are, decided that they wanted to wear their red silk and taffeta dresses with heels and stockings to the event. Keep in mind that this was Chick-fil-a…where the menu consists of chicken nuggets and waffle fries. None of that mattered. It was a date after all, and a lady must have standards, mustn’t she?

After a manic day of going to the Fernbank and visiting with friends, they rushed in the door and slipped into their dresses. It was a scene that I used to be very familiar with myself…when I had a social life.  Marshall was waiting comfortably downstairs watching an old Billy Crystal movie. Much to the girls’ delight, I allowed each of them a spritz of perfume on their wrists because they were ‘going out’. They rushed down the stairs demanding that their father smell them. After he declared that they both smelled very pretty, they informed him they were ready to go. With coats on they sat on the couch while he remained engrossed in the film, ignoring their silent pleas to leave now. That was a scene I was familiar with as well – A dude sitting on the couch, watching TV (usually a game) after you’ve gotten all dolled up, just wasting precious fun time.

“Babe,” I interrupted. “The girls are waiting. We have Tivo. Record this and watch it later.”

He looked at me like I was crazy, but then realized I was right. The point of this exercise was to teach them how and man is supposed to treat them, wasn’t it? Should they then expect that their future beaux are supposed to plant their butts in the chair and ignore them when they’re supposed to be heading out? Nope. Didn’t think so. They said good-bye and he whisked them off in his dad chariot.

When they arrived at ‘the restaurant’, each table was covered with a table cloth and decorated with balloons and flowers. Marshall called me to inform me that the girls were definitely overdressed (which I knew they would be) and that apart from one other little girl in a pretty dress, everyone else was in jeans or something simple. But as any woman will tell you, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is wearing: If YOU’RE not happy in your clothes, you’re not going to be happy for the rest of the night; and the girls were happy.

Of course the meal wasn’t free, and after they feasted on nuggets, fries and juice, daddy treated them to dessert as well. This is where the marketing genius comes in. We RARELY get dessert for the kids when we go out to eat – but this was date night, and your date is supposed to get you something special after you’ve both eaten, isn’t he? Can we say upsell?!? So successful was the event that they ran out of food. I wanted Marshall to bring me a chicken salad sandwich, only to be informed that they were clean out. How do you run out of chicken at CFA??

To foster a conversation between the dads and their girls, CFA had a printed primer with questions for the dads to ask them.

“I already knew most of the answers,” Marshall boasted.

And it is indeed something to boast about. How many parents, let alone dads, really know their kids?

An hour later, my trio came home, beaming  after their night out. The girls had each been given carnations, and Aya gave hers to me.

“I got this flower for you, Mommy!”

It was already showing signs of wear after being handled by her not-so-gentle hands. I took the wilted, drooping plant in my hand and thanked her for it. She kept her brownie for herself.

Good girl. I would’ve done the same thing.

After they went to bed, I wondered why my own father never took me or my sister out on date nights. Marshall said his dad never took his sister out either. I suppose it was the generation we grew up in. My dad (like Marshall’s) was most likely concerned what we were going to eat with our rice each night, and not what dress I could wear on an evening out with him.

It’s good to be a dad in 2011, ain’t it?

This article has 7 comments

  1. A-dub

    Hey!!! He took us on many dates. Remember the place with the dime-sized “hamburger” and too much mayo? It was in Osu. I will admit though, most of his dates consisted of him dragging us to his drinking buddy’s bar or the like. We never got dressed up for them but I bet in his mind they were dates just the same.

  2. Malaka

    Sewester’s. The name of the place was Sewester’s. I remember because I thought it should have been “Sylvester’s” and they spelled it wrong…because I clearly knew better than the owners.

    The dates probably WERE just the same in his mind. “We’re out, you’re eating, I’M buying…date!”

  3. Khadija

    This is so precious and memorable.

  4. Kaye_dz

    Awww how cuuute. Well done Marshall. Continue this especially in the teen years.

    You are making me reminisce on how my dad used to dote on me as a kid. Especially memorable are my high school years. He creatively sent me valentine’s day presents. Those presents reminded me that I deserved more ( and my boyfriend definitely had to step his game up).

  5. Malaka

    Yes Kaye! That’s exactly what I want my girls to take away from this. No dude should feel like he can step to them with sloppy game and bad manners. Of course, I’ll have to teach them about wolves in angels’ clothing. The boys out there these days are treacherous!

  6. Nana Ama

    My dad used to take us (his three daughters) for dates at The Point. In my day, it used to be an isolated place in the middle of nowhere, on the way to Tema, (Beach Road). I loved it; it had swings, a duck pond, fruit trees (guava, mango, pawpaw…), lots of space to run about in; it didn’t matter that we always went to the same place! The cakes and ice cream were out of this world!

    Imagine my delight when I met the co-owner of The Point here in London about five years ago! If I were a puppy, my tail would have fallen off with all the wagging I did over that woman! She is a Jamaican lady, who followed her Ghanaian husband out to Ghana in the Sixties; worked as a midwife and learned Twi in order to communicate better with her patients! The Point was a chance for her to display her skills in cakes and pastries! She is divorced from him now, and lives here in London making the most scrumptious cakes to order! She is the ‘Queen’ of cakes as far as I am concerned! And I bless her, for giving me some of the best memories of my childhood.

    Well done, Marshall! Your girls will treasure such dates with you, forever! But please don’t keep the young ladies waiting:):) Its supposed to be the other way round!:):)

  7. Malaka

    The Point sounds amazing! I wonder if it still exists? Probably not, if the baker is living in London. Sounds like a place I’d like to be taken m’self. (I love the image of you wagging your tail off, by the way. 🙂 )

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