It turns out that the most important event all year around here is a Daddy-daughter dance. There is a huge wait list, and people who can’t get in are weeping and offering to sell a kidney on FB if somebody can get them in.

I know that I will never be able to explain the concept to poor N. So I’m beginning to wonder if we should move. It’s not something we can culturally comprehend. I’m not criticizing, I’m just saying that we are not culturally situated in a way that would make this comprehensible.

8 thoughts on “Cultural

  1. Ignore this BS. I file this not just under incomprehensible, but under downright stupid customs, alongside ridiculous weddings. “I must have a giant rock on the engagement ring, 200 people at the wedding, blow tens of thousands of dollars, and traumatize self, groom, and everyone around us for months with cake and floral-pattern choice and other minutiae of planning in order to have a chance at happiness.” You don’t have to adopt every cultural idiocy; this is one worth skipping. We skip a ton. Kids don’t care. Airhead wives and moms with too little to do are the worst.


  2. But wait, there’s more!

    For those unfamiliar with the ritual, a purity ball is a religious ceremony in which fathers and daughters dress up in ball gown attire, spend a night of dinner and dancing together, and end the evening with a vow to abstain from sex until marriage. As photographer David Magnusson explains in “Purity,” a photography book on the subject: “The girls make a pledge to ‘remain pure and live pure lives before God,’ to stay sexually abstinent until marriage. Their fathers sign a commitment undertaking to protect their daughter’s purity.“


  3. Relevant music:
    There’s two things I know for sure:
    She was sent here from heaven and she’s daddy’s little girl
    As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
    She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes
    And I thank god for all of the joy in my life
    Oh, but most of all

    For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
    Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
    “Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it’s my first ride”
    “I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried”
    Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right
    To deserve a hug every morning And butterfly kisses at night

    Sweet 16 today
    She’s looking like her mama a little more everyday
    One part woman, the other part girl
    To perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls
    Trying her wings out in a great big world
    But I remember….

    Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
    Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
    “You know how much I love you, Daddy
    But if you don’t mind I’m only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time”
    Oh with all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right
    To deserve her love every morning and butterfly kisses at night

    All the precious time
    Like the wind, the years go by
    Precious butterfly
    Spread your wings and fly

    She’ll change her name today
    She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her away
    Standing in the bride-room just staring at her
    She asked me what I’m thinking and I said
    “I’m not sure-I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl”
    She leaned over

    Gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there
    Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
    “Walk me down the aisle, Daddy-it’s just about time”
    “Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don’t cry”
    Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right
    To deserve her love every morning and butterfly kisses

    I couldn’t ask God for more, man this is what love is
    I know I gotta let her go, but I’ll always remember
    Every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses..


  4. Purity balls are indeed totally disgusting. But father/daughter dances can be sweet. They really aren’t the same as purity balls at all. But it’s also OK to not go–especially if you have to pay! And while Klara is this little, she won’t care if she goes or not.

    But it’s really not so intimidating. It’s mostly just a little special evening for the dad and the daughter to spend some special time together. And really…. the little girl hangs out with her daddy for only part of the evening. Usually the little girls hang out all together while the father’s chat amongst themselves. There may be some punch or some snacks and sometimes there is a little focus on etiquette. The dad mostly just focuses on making the daughter have a little special evening.

    If Klara wants to go to one when she’s older, I bet it would be fun for her and for N. But again, some parents skip them and it’s totally OK.


    1. Yes, my mother’s generation had these (NOT purity balls) but it is still some sort o weird society-type ritual that I don’t get. I think that if the fathers are types who know how to dance at a society dance, it’s meant to help teach daughters how to go to such events, a sort of practice for being out in society and all. But if you’re not in the cotillion crowd, and not teaching that kind of high society gender conventions, it’s all sort of awkward and superfluous and also dated, out of date … ?


  5. I’ve heard about these things…. Is the daddy/daughter dance a one time thing are do the same parent/child combos go again and again? How old are the daughters?

    If it’s a one time thing, then maybe this is a middle class version of a debutante ball (socially that is, announcing that a young woman is ready for serious wooing by eligible young men) and thus the desperation at not getting a ticket?

    Also, there’s the idea that if a young woman has an emotionally solid relationship with her father she’s less likely to want to symbolically flip him off and run off with a motorcycle gang or become a serial killer’s pen pal…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.