Dan pulled up to Mina’s and got out of the Camaro. Ruthie hesitated. “I thought we had reservations for last night.”
Dan walked around the car and opened her door. “We did. I was able to call in a few favors and get another table tonight.”
Ruthie gave him a quick hug. “You’re awesome.”
Dan winced. “Actually I’m sore. The ibuprofen hasn’t kicked in yet.”
While eating their meal, Dan sat back and smiled. “You know what? I think it’s time we have the talk.”
Ruthie blushed eight shades of red. “Dad! Here? Now?”
“You’re old enough now that you need to know so you make good decisions. Especially since you seem to be developing quite the,” Dan said leaning close across the table and lowering his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, “social life.”
Ruthie took a drink of water and looked for a means of escape, but nothing materialized out of the ether.
Dan leaned back. “Trust me, I’ve been there. I am reminded about my first one last night.” Ruthie was looking grossed out, but Dan wasn’t letting up. “Of course I hope you’ll let me help you pick your first one.” Ruthie now looked panicked, but Dan went for the kill. “I do have more experience at the whole thing than you do after all.”
Ruthie was now completely mortified. “Does mom know about this?”
Dan shook his head. “No, but she told me a while ago it would be up to me to hold your hand through this experience.”
Ruthie closed her eyes and breathed deeply ten breathes. “Dad, I hate to break this to you, but I already know about sex.”
Now it was Dan’s turn to look surprised. “Sex, who is talking about sex?”
“Then what are you talking about? asked Ruthie.
“Buying your first car,” said Dan as his ‘I got you’ grin spread across his face, blinding her with the radiance of its smugness. “Actually getting a job and saving and then buying a car, but the general point is you and a car together.”
Ruthie went over the range of emotions. She started at relieved, moved to pissed, on to a temporary stop at happy before deciding pissed was the way to go. “Working then buying? “
“Builds character and a bank account which protects your mother’s and mine.” answered Dan. “That’s how I did it. It didn’t kill me.”
Ruthie didn’t want to build character. “Are you sure you just don’t want me driving so I have to rely on you and mom to go on dates?”
Dan took another bite of food. “I never said there weren’t fringe benefits that appealed to your mother and I.”
“Maybe I should show more moves to John Chamberlain. He has a car.” Ruthie countered.
“You already have your John Chamberlain move,” said Dan. “My back is living proof of that. Don’t worry. Maybe he’ll visit you when you’re working.”
Ruthie put out her pouty lip. “Dad, you suck.”
“Happy birthday sweetie. I love you too.”