Dress Rehearsal

If there’s one thing that I really hate to do, it’s to go clothes shopping with my wife and 17-year-old daughter. I really have no purpose in that process other than maybe to pay the bill, but even then my wife can take care of that herself. I think it’s some kind of whacked-out test to see how much I’m willing to sacrifice to show I’m engaged in their lives.

The other weekend they wanted me to take them shopping so that our daughter could find a gown to wear to her senior prom. OK, that’s a special occasion and very important to both of them, so I dove right in and offered to take them to any store they wanted. The first stop was Macy’s Ala Moana, and we headed straight for the dress department.

I figured that since I got them there, it was OK for me to find a more preferable place to hang out. When I told my wife this, here’s what she said: “So that means you don’t want to stay with us?”

She was testing me, and I didn’t have to say anything as she then answered her own question: “OK, go do whatever you do and meet us when I call you.” I think before she was even finished speaking I was out the door. They ended up perusing several different stores, then wanted me to take them to a bridal shop that also sells formal gowns.

This particular place was at more of a strip mall, so there was no real escape for me — I would just have to go inside with them. At least it had a seating area near the dressing rooms, where I could kick back and check my emails and stuff. And I wasn’t the lone male there, as it looked like another father also was waiting in the same area.

After a while, my wife came out and said they thought they found the right dress. My only question was what it cost and when she told me, my reply was, “Are you serious?” We would be eating Spam for months.

I looked at the man nearby and asked what kind of dress his daughter was looking for. He somewhat sadly replied, “She’s shopping for her wedding gown. I was just thinking that once she gets married, I no longer have my little girl.” I then realized that this would be our daughter’s last prom before she transitions to being a college student.

That’s when she came out of the dressing room with the gown on. It took my breath away. And then, like the popular reality TV show they like to watch, I said “yes to the dress.”