A Tribute to Dads Whose Part-time Job Is Matchmaking
I thought my dad was the only one who relished in setting up his children on dates. At the Weaver Park grand opening, I learn how wrong I am.
Long ago, my dad acquired the reputation of being a “pimp daddy.”
It sounds ridiculous, but it all springs from a failed matchmaking attempt from my early 20s. The background: My dad, now a retired Army officer, was chatting with his Marine officer buddy whom he’d served with in Afghanistan. The topic, naturally, was conducting an evil social experiment with his daughter.
The two conspired to have his Marine buddy spring a surprise semi-mandatory happy hour at the Officer’s Club. He claimed to have access to Marines in my age group. My dad’s only job was to get me to attend, but posed it as a father-daughter outing, and “Oh! Look who’s here — my buddy and all his young Marines, who’da guessed?”
And that’s pretty much how it went down, except for one minor detail. The group of Marines turned out to be well out of my age range. Except one — “Lt. Lopez.”
My dad’s buddy grabbed the young Marine, sat him down at a table. Then grabbed me and sat me down across from him. “You two, talk,” he ordered.
Yessir. (This is not awkward at all!)
It never worked out for Lt. Lopez, but at least I got a funny story out of it, and my dad, well, when I finally forgave my dad, he got a ridiculous nickname.
Fast forward, many years later, to the grand opening of Weaver Park on March 26.
I was covering the event for Dunedin Patch. It’s a beautiful ceremony at a beautiful waterfront park, attended by J.C. Weaver himself. Turns out that Weaver is from a beautiful part of my old home state of Virginia, and he brought his buddy, a former Virginia state senator, to the park’s grand opening.
After the ceremony, the former state senator started chatting with me, mostly about Virginia. Coincidentally, his son (age unknown) has an office in my former hometown (or at least, the place this military brat calls “home”).
And then, the former senator said something that made me realize that my dad isn’t the only “pimp daddy” on the block.
“Are you married?” he asked.
“Nope,” I replied honestly.
He suggested that maybe one day, I should meet his son. Somehow and some way (I could see the wheels turn in his head), the two of us should meet.
I chuckled to myself. Wouldn’t that be a funny story?