Just Once I Wish I Could Have a Normal Picture of Me and My Daughter

Well, actually, no. No I don’t.

There’s something very “Community theater version of Dracula” about this picture, isn’t there? It’s really a picture of us before her school’s father-daughter dance last weekend. A rather less dramatic picture of the two of us is here.

58 Comments on “Just Once I Wish I Could Have a Normal Picture of Me and My Daughter”

  1. Ha! Just what I expect from you two.

    Athena looks terrific, and I love that colour on her. You clean up nice, too, John.

  2. Normal? Anybody can be normal. Memorable is the way to be, and you and your family seem to have that well in hand.

    You two make a handsome couple, even playing it straight.

  3. Really, the first thought that occurred to me was ‘brains……..’ . You look more interested in the back of her skull than in her neck!

  4. What a great dress! Athena looks incredibly elegant and poised. I am more used to seeing her goofing around than as a lovely, regal young lady.

    I hope you guys had fun.

  5. I agree with Dave H. Normal is boring. That’s a fun pic.

    Although it looks a bit more like a Zombie about to have lunch to me.

  6. Wow, she is really growing up. Pretty soon, Krissy will be shooting photos of her with you in a headlock.

    Not that I want to give her any ideas.

    (Psst! Athena. Use the sleeper hold. Then you can blog it while dad’s recovering. Just sayin’…)

  7. My daughter LOVED those. Her dad and I are divorced and she wallowed in the girlie aspect of picking out a dress and fixing her hair and then getting to spend an entire evening with dad. He’s since disappeared on her and doesn’t even bother to call or email so I am glad she has those special memories of her father.

  8. How much time do you spend being normal? If the answer is “none” the a normal picture would be abnormal.

  9. Athena looks lovely in both pictures.

    Not that she needs affirmation of that from strangers on the internet.

    I love that those classy big curls are coming back in style. My hair wouldn’t hold them for love or money, but they still look nice.

  10. Everyone always skips over the normal-looking ones in the album with a mild “Oh, that’s nice” anyway. These are the ones you’ll be glad you have.

  11. My daughter recently came across the picture of her and her dad at the Daddy/Daughter dance when she was about Athena’s age, and she was all excited telling me about it (again) and how much fun they had.

    I hope Athena has as many great memories for years. I can’t believe how grown up she’s gotten!

  12. Good gravy, they grow up so fast. Wonderful photos, both of them. (Though yes, I’m in the chorus of people who prefer the fun pic.)

  13. Athena will make a really lovely scream queen when she’s a little older. Make sure she starts practicing her “The-zombie’s-about-to-eat-me” scream now. :-)

    Seriously, she’s really turning into a beautiful and classy young lady. Ya done good, pops.

  14. She’s lovely in the ‘normal’ photo, of course, but she makes an especially delightful silent horror film actress in this one.

  15. For some reason when I read Romeo Vitelli’s mention of a Verdi aria, the photo suddenly reminded me of Snidely Whiplash and Nell Fenwick doing a scene just before Dudley Do-Right bursts in to save the day.

    Yeah, not the most acculturated youth, me.

  16. Very cute. And I thought my family was the only one who made silly pics along with the serious ones. Just wait until she starts rolling her eyes for pictures.

  17. I love how you guys ham it up for some of the photos. But I’m just gobstopped at how quickly Athena is growing up. Brain…..can….not….comprehend.

    (I went to Daddy-Daughter dances when I was a wee girl scout. There wasn’t actually much in the way of dancing but lots in the way of fattening and delicious food, which was about all I cared about at the time, being rather tomboyish.)

  18. Let me apologize if I caused offense. I’ve just never heard of this activity other than in a religious context. I spoke to several co-workers and am less skeeved-out by it now, as they all have heard/participated of/in it.

    I have a 4-year-old daughter myself so I guess I need to get some edumacation.

  19. I’m with Davery there’s just something that seems creepy about father/daughter dances. I’m sure it was all above board it just sounds bad.

    PS was there beer?

  20. And let me also say that what I think doesn’t matter one whit – I hope you both had a good time and you and your daughter look wonderful, if slightly community theaterish, together.

  21. Ian: Where I grew up, they had mother-son events too. These events have been around for ages–some are secular, some are non-secular. Some have underlying agendas, some are just to let kids on the edge of adolescence experience some social events without the humiliating experience of rejection. I definitely don’t like Purity Balls, but not all parent-child events bring the same baggage as the Purity Balls do.

  22. I think the pictures of you and your daughter rock the house! My dad and I have maybe one or two pictures where we aren’t acting up… and I’m pretty sure those were taken at my twin sister’s wedding which meant that acting up would have incured the unrestrained wrath of my mom…

    At least Athena isn’t striking some sort of Zombie pose in all of her pictures… that’s my problem…

  23. John,

    Either you are short, or Athena is getting tall. And folks, keep in mind that she’s eleven, she’s not all that grown up. She may have moments of self possession and preternatural maturity, but she also has moments of utter bratness. Let her be young and refrain from demanding constant adultness from her.

  24. (Good grief, I remember when you were posting pics of her at, like, age TWO. And that was only a couple of years ago, wasn’t it?…)

  25. Ha. Anytime my dad and I did any kind of silly pose for a photo, mom would wait until we got serious again. And if we didn’t she’d get mad.

  26. @38 –

    Yeah, she’s still a kid, but you’ve got to figure some of us have been reading this blog since she was in preschool so she -is- a much more grown up kid than she used to be.

    (Fortunately for our host.)

    (I wish I could have gotten away with hamming it up in a formal dress…)

    (Oh, wait. Never mind.)

  27. Is that LIPSTICK I see on that child? Lordy lord, my poor fifth grade boy won’t know what hit him when he gets to middle school. Yeah, I know she’s in 5th, too, but he is so not ready. He still has Star Wars figures all over his bedroom floor.

  28. Wow, great images both – and you two seem like you’re having fun.

    We didn’t have these dances when I was growing up either – though I remember a Mother-Daughter thing for scouts where I took the neighbor lady down the street because Dad had just died and Mom was having a predictably horrible time. The neighbor lady was overjoyed because she had sons — and apparently the boy scouts didn’t do Mother-Son events. Hmn, I should ask my friends the scout leaders what they do these days.

    You keep saying Athena looks like you, John, but I keep seeing her mom peeking through…at least in the photos you post.

  29. It makes me wonder what sounds were coming out of those mouths and were any champagne glasses harmed in the process?

  30. Someone has to ask…

    …you lost some weight?

    Looking, almost, svelte.

    (said in a manly, punch-to-the-shoulder kinda way)

  31. I agree with Romeo #20. It looks like you’re singing a duet. I’m not sure it’s Verdi, though; she may be singing “…the Phantom of the Opera is there…inside your mind.”

    Also, I can’t believe Athena is eleven already. Looking at that picture, I can’t believe she’s only eleven!

    GaryG, it is impossible to use the word ‘svelte’ in a “manly” way. “Real men” think svelte is a fish.

  32. I, too, am not clear on the father/daughter dance concept, since we don’t have such things around here, but it’s a cute idea. It’s probably nice for girls that age to have a fancy dress up party with dancing and such, which boys don’t go in for at all. In fact, as an experiment, I just asked my son (who is about Athena’s age) what he would think of a formal dance with girls and such, and he said, “No.” So there you have it. It’s Dad or nothing, at this point. I’m glad you guys had fun. I love how your pics of Athena bring out her personality.

  33. Soon enough she’ll hit the teens and Dad’s antics will become embarrassing rather than amusing.

  34. A lot of folks have a cultural context where fancy dancing and dances in general are only done in a romantic or sexual context. Of course these people find FD dances creepy.

    Other folks have a cultural context where any “older man younger woman” or even “older man +youth” pairing is automatically suspect outside of rigidly circumscribed and chaperoned venues. These people also will be creeped out by FDDs.

    Any poor soul who has both ideas, ofc, gets the screaming pedo-jeebies from the whole thing.

    However, in many other cultures, fancy dancing with relatives is good clean fun with people who care about you and will protect you and teach you. Some of them even go so far as to seed most or all dances with non-romantic couples to keep tabs on the romantic ones. These folks often consider the previous ones crazy paranoids. “You’re accusing me of *what*?”

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