One of life's greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.”~ Proverb
“Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”~ Jim Bishop
My Daddy was a kind and gentle man. He loved us all dearly. I don't know if he ever discussed dating rules with My brothers, I'm sure he did that privately with them. But to date one of his daughters could be a dangerous thing. Daddy had certain rules that he expected us to follow as young ladies and The boys we might date were expected to do certain things. First of all we were not to call boys at all. Back then it was considered "Ugly" for little girls to call boys. There were a few girls who would called our house to ask for one of my brothers. Most didn't call more than once. Mama always gave them the girls shouldn't call boys talk and most never called again. Boys could call us, If they didn't mind talking to Daddy first. I was in the second grade when the first one called me. I heard daddy ask him why was he calling.. Then after a brief pause Daddy told him well you call back in ten years son and he hung up on the young fellow.. I didn't ask who called or why.. At that point I didn't like boys anyway.
My oldest sister Trudy was the first one to reach the magical dating age of sixteen. One of our cousins had asked Mama and Daddy if She could go on a double date with a boy none of us knew. I remember Daddy telling them that he didn't mind If Trudy went on a date but that the Boy better come to the door.. No horn blowing .. That he would have to know who the boys "people" were.. Couldn't be No jail birds or jack legs. We weren't allowed to date those... If he had long hair Daddy knew a good barber.. Or Daddy had some dog clippers. Either suited Daddy. He was not to buy Trudy any gifts of clothing of any kind.. Any boy who bought you clothes either wanted to help you into the new ones or out of your old ones. and Both of those were a good way to meet Daddy's double barrel. She had to be home at a decent hour lets say eight pm. Seven, forty five was even better. When you bring her home You do not sit in the car in the dark in the yard! You do not put her out at the road. You pretend to be a gentleman and walk her to the door. At which point you Thank her for a lovely evening and get about the business of leaving. And Daddy's last rule and the one I personally never understood was.. Don't come to my house without your socks on. There was nothing Daddy hated more than a boy who wasn't fully dressed to go on a date and that meant SOCKS and shoes..
Well the day of the date came and the young fellow came along with my cousin and her date to pick up my sister. They all came to the door and Daddy let them in.. The young man began by taking of his hat at the door and offering Daddy his hand.. I was sitting on the floor in the dining room sneaking a peek at the young man who would be the first to date one of my Daddy's daughters. I thought he was doing pretty good so far. Daddy shook his hand and told them to come in.. His hair was neatly cut and combed into place. Mama was sitting in the living room along with Trudy. Sue and her date Mark came in and sat down.. daddy invited the other young fellow to sit as well. Then began the questions.. Where are y'all planning to go? What time are you planning to be back? Who is going to be driving? Who is your Grand-daddy? And on and on.. Finally daddy having decided that the boy was harmless stood and said " well y'all young folks better get on the road if Trudy is going to be home on time." I really though the young man had passed the tests. I think Daddy thought so too. They almost made it out of the house before the crazy boy messed up. He turned to Daddy just as they were about to leave and held up his foot. He had on his socks just as Daddy had said he should but he had them on with sandals. He said " And Mr. Black Look I wore socks just like you said." I saw the frown turn daddy's smile upside down as Daddy pushed the door shut in his face.. He looked at Mama and said "I ought to Call her back in here; You see what a smart Alec jar head he is.!" But Daddy didn't make her come back in the house.. She went on that date with him.. But she never dated him again. Later I learned that Daddy always gave us girls two things before we went on a date.. A dollar and a dime. The dollar was to buy yourself a drink if you accidentally got out of the house with a boy to cheap to pay for you a soda and the dime was to call Daddy to come and get you should you find yourself on such a date. And we were to call first and he would be there by the time we finished our soda. I feel that it was a lucky thing that neither of the four of us daughters ever had to use our dollar or our dime!
I guess it sounds like Daddy was a hard man. He wasn't. He just wanted us to be safe. He was going to see who we were leaving with. He was going to say a few words to them before we left. And he would be waiting up when we came home. Daddy was always nice to the young men who came to carry away his daughters. He just liked things to be a certain way.
Times have surely changed from way back then when Daddies met young men at the door. Daddies don't know who their daughters are dating any more. Girls call boys and think nothing of it. Girls will come to get the boy and will wear his clothes if she can get them. If there are any rules for dating the young people break them all. My children said I was out of style and old timey when they were here at home and dating. I just smiled at them and said.. "yea, well be glad you didn't belong to my Daddy!"
I laugh often when I think about the rules Daddy had for dating.. They really are funny. especially the rule about socks. But I'm glad my Parents loved us enough to try and keep us safe from the world. I felt the same about my kids.. I hope my son will feel the same about his daughter. And since I know how my son loves his children, I think socks will be the least of a young mans worry when he attempts to date my Grand-daughter. Thanks for sharing a smile with me tonight!
Have a great night!