“Hey, give me 3 Bud Lights and she wants a Bluemoon…”
Joe stands at the bar holding out his cash to the bartender as a scantily clad woman strikes the gong behind the register. It reverberates in my chest as the sound carries across the room…
Joe turns and hands me an overly full glass of bright yellow beer with an orange wedge covered in foam. I turn to say something to my dad as he reaches around me for his beer from Joe. He is wearing his woven beach hat and white collared golf shirt with martini glasses all over it. He looks like he just stepped off either a boat or a golf cart.
Suddenly, he lurches forward spilling some of his beer onto the floor. I notice a young woman behind him shoving her backside, which is clothed in shredded mom-jean shorts, into the back of his leg. He laughs and dances backwards against her as she gyrates her drunken-self behind him. She chortles and I see either crooked or missing teeth in her badger-like mouth. Her hair is a short pixie cut… fuchsia red and shaved on one side. She hoots and squeals as she lurches forward and begins a spastic form of drunken twerking. The crowd has started to make space for her as she is still looking at the ground and jerking her body around. I notice her friend laughing from one of the nearby high-top tables, I point at her and say…
“Is she yours?”
Then I point to the straw hat on dad’s head,
“That’s my dad.”
Granted, we are in a bar and he is having fun. However, I find it quite disturbing that mom jeans McGhee has decided to plant her ass on my dad’s leg and is currently attempting to twerk him into oblivion. He, on the other hand, is completely amused and has now resorted to his old man boogie as she convulses her body behind him.
IS it me or am I being the adult here?? I think to myself.
Her friend comes and takes her back to the dance floor. Fushia Pixie Pants waves to my dad and immediately backs up and begins gyrating on yet another randomly selected victim.
“Well, that’s classy,” I say.
Meanwhile, dad is still dancing around and is now trying his best rendition of a little soft-shoe to Sir Mix A Lot’s Baby Got Back.
“You see? Your old man DOES have an ASS after all! Mom keeps saying I have NO-ASS-AT-ALL but there’s the proof, this dude’s got BACK,” Shouts my dad over the music as he slaps his own ass and side steps out of a couple’s way.
He is still laughing as we walk towards the other side of the bar where Joe and dad’s friend Gary are standing. I glance around as the flocks of young people walk in wearing outfits that ping, unfortunately for me, a nostalgic time in my life. Moments of the opening song for Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210 bubble into the back of my mind. Much like a lingering onion burp, they keep coming up the back of my throat. Whatever the case, it’s not pleasant. However, in this moment the vivid memories stick and linger.
I watch my dad as he laughs with Joe. I notice his grey hair and unstable legs as they dance like no one is watching to the music. Where has the time gone? I remember when dad would run alongside the fields for our various array of sports teams that we belonged to. He was always cheering and never seemed to tire back then. Now as we guide him up and down the stairs navigating bars and young crowds it seems awkward and funny at the same time. We are a quartet of mischief today. Joe glancing in my direction every now and then to roll his eyes as the two Tommy Bahama gentlemen lollygag and chuckle with each other like kids as we enter each scene. Dad was the one who made the suggestion of “a fun Saturday outing in search of good music while venturing out with fun company”. So far, after much disappointment, we have managed to find music that they can somewhat enjoy, or for that matter, tolerate. Unfortunately for all of us live music was not on anyone’s venue today.
“Well, ain’t that a bitch,” mutters Gary.
After an afternoon of walking around in the sweltering heat, crummy DJ mixes, and Gary pursuing girls 20 years younger at every turn, we have finally settled on a trendy little bar somewhere between here & there. Their day had not quite gone to plan but you can always rely on happenstance to play in your favor.
My dad, this hero and role model of mine, the very definition of my inner core. He turns to me smiles, reaches out, takes my hands and leads me to the dance floor. And wouldn’t you know it… the current song: Back That Ass Up is playing . We are in the middle of the floor, dad and I; we are jitterbugging. The twenty somethings are all standing around as we spin and keep the beat to this seemly appropriate song of the moment.
I make eye contact with Joe who is smiling from the bar and toasting his beer to us. The people around us continue watching in their crop tops and mom jeans. Dad spins me out and does his quick little soft-shoe moves and all the while I am in my head thinking..
how crazy are we??? I don’t care I am GOING to be in the moment.
I start singing along to the next blast from the past song… is it Beyoncé?? Nah, is it Eminem? Who knows… it’s definitely not jitterbug material.
The mom jeans crowd is clapping and cheering us on. Yea, he’s still got it. I love that I can laugh and dance with him, my cool dad. Maybe it is the idea of my twenties echoing from the style around us and the music probably made it more bittersweet. The one thing I will always be sure of is that Mom Jeans will never be cute, EVER.
I hope the once retired fart screens around me are second hand and that they will waft the mistakes of the past. Perhaps the new owners will learn something. All of these idiots as they dance and drink the night away, they haven’t a clue. I say that lovingly, mind you… I was an idiot once too, there’s no denying that!
We live and learn and rise from the ashes of our younger Phoenix selves. The wiser version usually wins. Then we can finally revisit the days of old laugh and appreciate who we were then and how it lead to who we now are. It was fun, fabulous and tumultuous. Then again, as I take another look back at the high-waisted, shredded indigo cotton, in all of it’s glory, I am convinced that it should be retired and allowed to finally RIP.