Great ambition of the day - to one day be as in-control of my universe as is cubiclegirl today. I am so deeply envious of her life sometimes. I don't know how good I would be at being little miss corporate dyke. Really, I'm too much of the purple hair and the "I'm not like most girls" tank tops for now, to fit in with the J.Crew set. But then again, I am sixteen. I am sixteen years, six months, and twenty-five days old. I have time. With a whole lot of luck, I'll be going back east for school.
Mt. Holyoke, Massachusettes, is the new school at the top of the list. Thank you Deborah Hardaker. My father even approves of this. I still haven't had the conversation with him that I had scheduled for this summer. The, Hey Dad, you know how you always wanted a son? Well, don't count on me for a son-in-law, 'cause I'm more likely to marry a girl. That conversation. Why I want to do this I'm not entirely sure.
I realized yesterday to what extent exactly he still sees me as his little girl. Perhaps not, completely, as a little girl, anymore, but his little girl nonetheless. Last summer I let him take me to a baseball game, mostly because I felt guilty for... I don't know. Something. Probably sucking blood and face in chemistry class with Adam. Growing up. Whatever it was, there was guilt and it resulted in a baseball game. Which actually turned out to be fun. Not fun in the sense that I usually have it, to be sure, but fun in a restrained, feeling like a little girl, Daddy-will-you-buy-me-peanuts-please sense. More important was the pride in his face when he turned to the guy a few seats away during a pause in the game and said "this is the first ball game we've been to since she was really little - I've got to teach her the rules" because I was asking a lot of questions. I still don't see the point of baseball, but if it will make my dad that happy for me to sit in an aluminum chair next to him for a couple hours and cheer when he cheers, I'll do it. He buys me peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and this time I got a Cubs hat. Right, that's where I was. Yesterday. Yesterday everybody from his office was going to The Game at Wrigley Field, which coincidentally is about two blocks from BoysTown, the gay neighborhood where I spend all my time when I'm home. I did not realize this until we got there and I realized that I knew exactly where I was. I said this out loud with some astonishment and the (rather cute) girl from his office looked at me sideways and smirked. I blushed and was quiet. He continued to beam proudly. I'm jumping ahead of myself.
A day or two after I got back, I said to Dad that we should do the baseball thing again sometime this summer, if he wanted. He looked just about as pleased as could be and said sure, sure, he'd like that a lot, and I know he meant it because he sounded like his dad instead of like an east-coaster. That's always how I know when he's being sincere - the Minnesota comes out in his voice. A couple days later, he comes upstairs to find me and says that his office is going to The Game on Friday and there're some extra tickets and they're not great seats but they're there anyway and some other people are bringing family too so if I'd like to go then that would be great. I had nothing planned, so I told him I'd love to. Partially true. He says, well, he won't count on it and if it falls through that's fine but he'd really like it and he thought it would be a good time and he wandered off down the stairs muttering to himself and looking pleased. This was probably Tuesday. Every day thereafter he would ask me again, and remind me that I don't have to and it's okay but he thinks it'll be good. Every day I tell him yes, I'm coming, and I too think it shall be fun. Every time I say this he beams just a little stronger and sounds just a little bit more like his father. Thursday night we agree on how I'll get there, he gets all anxious and paternal as he explains the route a few more times than strictly necessary and makes sure I'm okay taking the El by myself and reminds me of the time to be there and where his office is and claps me on the back as he tells me once more that he's sure it will be a good time and I won't be the only one there not from the office and he's sure everyone will be real glad to meet me. This is how I know he's very happy and proud and excited about this - he says "real glad" instead of "really glad" and "go inat th'office" instead of "go in to the office." Friday I go in, meet him at his office utterly without mishap, he looks right through me and tells the 9-year-old he sees sitting in the chair I'm occupying how big she's getting and how silly it is that she'll be graduating next year. Then we go to the stadium. It rains, so we meet people at a bar nearby. He has a minor conniption over whether or not it will be possible to get me into said bar because I'm such a wee tyke. I half expected him to instruct me to pull my swim-cap over my eyes like he used to when I was two and he'd carry me through the men's locker-room at the YMCA for swimming lessons. I was gotten into the bar with no mishap whatsoever - Anne (cute office girl) showed her ID, Dad held me by the elbow and said to the guy at the door that I was his daughter, the guy shrugged and let us in with no qualm whatsoever. The bar was endured, he had his beer and I refrained from asking if I could have one for the sake of cutesieness. It's an old joke with my Dad and I, which now makes me nervous because sometimes, such as at last Thanksgiving dinner, he actually says yes, and also because the time has long past when I have bought my own beers and stronger, even if it was from Danny at the park instead of the barkeep. Then we went to the game. He introduced me, with his same beaming pride, to all of his coworkers as his daughter Alana. Which I am. We watched the game, or, he watched the game and I watched the girls and mentally beat myself over the head. I rooted for the Cubs because that was who Anne and Stephanie (ye gods) were rooting for. They won. After the game I made him buy me a hat, and tried to encourage him to go to the post-game drinks with the rest of the office, but he just looked perplexed and shook his head. He's by far the oldest of them, and I suspect he's rather antisocial. It runs in my family. So he bought me a hat and we went home. I look good in a baseball hat with this new haircut of mine. Unfortunately, I look something like a 9-year-old tomboy with breasts and hips, and that does not help matters with my father. He still thinks I'm six.
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