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'Lights Go On' Part V -- Dad and Dating

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The other day I was thinking back on those years when we begin to date. We have our license, and either our parent's car or even our own. Venturing down that road of memories I was surprised to experience such lucent recollections and examples of my Dad's wisdom in that area.

So let's call this: "Dad and Dating."

When I was a young teenager I was somewhat of a musical entrepreneur. I had many bands including a 16 piece dance band that I had inherited from my brother. I also had several combos that worked around the school dances in our town.

I was a very busy boy and because of that I really didn't have a girlfriend, so to speak, I didn't feel as though I would be a very good boyfriend. I would date occasionally and always enjoyed myself but avoided being involved with just one girl for an extended period of time.

At some point, I realized that many of by buddies were beginning to 'go steady' and some had relationships that had been going on for months, some even a year or so. It occurred to me that there may be something wrong.

So I asked Dad about it. I loved his take.

"I think it's great that you are dating so many different girls, and by the way, I love it when you bring them by the house and I compliment you on your good taste."

That was nice to hear.

One evening I asked him why he was in favor of me dating many different girls rather than 'go steady' with one.

"Well, Son, I believe that in every girl that you date, you will discover a quality in her that you will desire in an eventual mate. I believe that you will place that characteristic on a shelf and the more girls you date, the more qualities you will have identified that are essential to you. And one of these days, you're going to meet someone who has seventy percent of those, and by the way, that's as good as it gets."

As time went on, I became even busier with my music, which was now a full-on career, and consequently kept the same pattern of dating a lady for a while and then we would go our separate ways, especially if she wanted to have more of a long-lasting relationship.

One day, when I was in my mid twenties, my dad said to me, "You know, you bring so many wonderful young women by the house, and again, I admire your taste. In fact, many of the young ladies you bring by, I would think would make a wonderful daughter-in-law and I was wondering if you are thinking in those terms at all."

"Well, Dad, I guess I just haven't met THE girl yet."

"Oh, really? Interesting. Do you think that maybe you are looking for perfection?"

I thought about it for a moment.

"Yeah, yeah, maybe I am."

Dad just smiled and said, "Good, then you'd better be ready to deliver."