Posted by: rongeri | May 14, 2010

Sojourning In Seattle


Knowing that I am a Star Trek fan[1], as soon as I said “but” my daughter Kim responded with subzero metallic coldness: “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE”. My automatic defenses took over and I retorted before my mind could regain control of my mouth: “You are not the Borg, and this is not Star Trek!”  She turned and seeming to move almost as slowly as molecules at absolute zero, Kim gave me a penetrating stare, that locked me into a mental force field of immobility, (Based on experience and memory, I am firmly convinced that only a daughter, a wife, a graduate school professor who calls on you when you are unprepared or perhaps a comic book superhero or supershero possesses this paralyzing stare power.) Kim icily intoned in the Borg-like voice of “7 0f 9” from Star Trek:  “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE! I am your daughter. This is Seattle.  You and mom are visiting me. And you will comply!”   And to confirm we were in Seattle she told me to look out the window and compare what I saw with the picture she had drawn.

Her look then transformed to resemble the look on Gort, the robot in The Day The Earth Stood Still, just before his visor opened.  And so being a seasoned father and an even more seasoned husband, able to appreciate a good idea when presented under implied threat of being evicted or vaporized, I did what any dad-husband would do when his daughter makes a “suggestion” concerning her mother and your wife. I willfully, peacefully, gratefully, and enthusiastically responded, “I think taking your mom out on dates in Seattle would be fantastic. What a great idea! Thank you.”

But knowing how important it is to at least try to come out with a draw  when engaged in these matches with your kids—ok, as she occasionally has to remind me, she’s a grown woman now, not a kid— I also heard these words escape from my lips before full mental control was restored: “Since it has been a long time since I have been out on a date, do I go to Wikipedia or can you recommend a search engine where I can look up the rules or protocols for wife dating? I’m very familiar with the rules for dating my daughter, but if I Google wife-dating who knows what will come up.” [Words of wisdom to the wise: Do not, I repeat, do not use the phrase “wife dating” in a search engine! Believe me, from one who did and was shocked, you do not want to go there!]

I then proceeded to remind her of the rules for dating my daughter, which rules I can commend to all fathers since the rules are loaded with wisdom as well as wit. Here is a link to those rules: [In the interest of full disclosure, I never invoked these rules for dating my daughter. In fact, I never even learned about three of the rules until I read in Rev. David Ireland’s great book 40 Days to Finding  Your Purpose, This is a fantastic book, perhaps exceeded only by his books Journey to the Mountain of God,  and Why Drown When You Can Walk on Water? or the book, Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler or Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, co-authored by Ann Spangler. Notwithstanding, all dads with daughters should be aware of these rules, if only for their availability for use as an in terrorem communication to a person who in the future may come calling on your daughter. I realize that in terrorem clauses are usually found in wills and address the consequences of contesting the will, but if someone violates these rules of daughter dating then they should have a will prepared in advance!]

When I finished, Kim gave me an undertaker-solemn, Klingon-like it’s-a-good-day-to-die- glare which translated if-you-say-another-word-I-am-going-to-tell-mommy. The glare shocked my system back into full control mode. I then started looking around the room, under the table, behind the chairs. She asked “what are you looking for”?  I replied, “I know that I momentarily lost my mind and I am looking around to make sure none of it is still hiding somewhere other than in the space between my ears.”

“So what is date night” I deferentially asked? I figured that if I could get one night down, then several nights and days of dating would be a piece of cake, and that if I was graded on meeting the criteria, I would come out as summa cum laude even though I would be in a class of one and that graduation was based on one course and one week rather than four years. Kim informed me that “date night is a day every week to have a date and to go out somewhere. Nothing exempts or excuses you from participating in date night. No excuses, never fail, no I had a long day and am tired, no rain checks.  If you are in a relationship with someone, you make date night a part of the relationship.” I later learned some additional rules. You can go on a date night (or day) anywhere as long as the persons on the date agree. You can go on more than one date in a day or night. You can go on a date with the person who is your best friend regardless of gender. OK, I thought. But if I had a night out with the guys, there is no way I would refer to it as a “date”. (In Advanced Date Night 202, I have been informed that you learn that you can have a date with your son or daughter or brother, or sister, uncle or aunt, or husband, or wife, in the faith, or with anyone where the rules are clear and you stick to them. Under no circumstances can a date night or day be for unilateral fulfillment. But since I was in the introductory survey course of Date Night 101, I did not have the foundations on which the advance course elements of Date Night 202 would be based. And so, I decided to have several dates with my wife and to do so in Seattle, which were all magnificent fun.

One of the best “dates” was attending a beautiful wedding ceremony, which included liturgical dance and the extraordinarily beautiful “When You Love” (Donnie McClurkin)  and the movingly upbeat “This Is The Day” (Fred Hammond), we went to the reception and got to work on the dance floor. In order to beat ”the competition”, the first person I asked to dance was my daughter Kim. When I spun around on the dance floor “the competition” was dancing with my wife and then with my daughter.

When the DJ started playing the Cupid Shuffle, I was the only man on the dance floor with twelve pretty women., and I as I started to dance  I boldly announced, “You all better get ready to surrender individually or collectively, because I am taking every pretty woman dance prisoner!” One of the women responded, “That sounded like a challenge and brother are you outnumbered!” The next thing I knew I was surrounded by a constricting  circle of you-don’t-know-what-you-are-messing-with Soul Train sisters,  coming at me with Tina Turner temptress what’s-love-got-to-do-with-it  torso twisting , and by siren swarms of Dream Girl divas stepping-into-the-bad-side. As the circle tightened in python-like constriction, the last thing I remember was the sound of the music from the movie Jaws that signaled that the shark was taking down another victim, and Geri coming to my rescue and giving me a look that said the-next-time-you-start-acting-like-MC-Hammer-I am-going-to-let-you-find-out-what-fifteen-minutes-of-real-take-no-prisoners-hammering-by-twelve-women-on-the dance-floor-feels- like! I replied, “Why did you rescue me? I had them all just where I wanted them, and I was just about to spring my ambush-surprise-Houdini-escape-dance move!” She slowly tuned and with penetrating Borg-like precision said:” I could see you were about to disappear, but remember, I’m your magician!” Then she slyly winked and said, “Come here, I have something to tell you”. I said “what?” She said, “I have to whisper it in your ear”. So I cautiously bent my ear, and she whispered “Abracadabra. Resistance is Futile. You will comply”.  And let me tell you I needed no Starship Enterprise to be transported to where those words took me!

In the interest of full disclosure, and in order for me to avoid threatened actual eviction, evisceration, vaporization, and transport to the plant Pandora in the Alpha Centauri star system for a term of indefinite isolation, I, Ronald W. Brown, Esq., hereby advise  you that the words attributed to my wife, Geraldine Reed Brown, Esq., in the preceding paragraph were only heard in my mind while I was dreaming, and are therefore purely and totally fantasy on my part and figments of my overly active imagination, and were never, ever, spoken by her at this wedding reception, at any other  place, in any other language, in any other life, in any other time, in any other dimension, in temporal or other space. Please be further advised that should this disclaimer not be wholly, fully, and totally accepted by you the reader, without reservation, qualification, or equivocation, you may very well be joining me on Pandora, unless of course transporter malfunction occurs and we materialize without spacesuits in a black hole or in a supernova.

This was a wonderful week of dates with the one who is my queen, suggested by the one who is and will always be my princess. When I look at my wife and daughter, I am reminded of a quote I read in a Compendium book: “Some people are so beautiful. Not just in looks, not just in what they say, but in what they are.” I also think about the extraordinary view of snow capped Mt. Rainer that on a clear day can be seen from all over Seattle, and these words from “Dream A New World” came to mind:

Life is a trail with a wonderful view,

But the path isn’t always so easy for you.

You gaze at the peak from the place where you stand

And try to approach it in ways you have planned.

Time will decide if your route is the best

If you can negotiate every steep test.

Your life is an endless assortment of views

New paths, new approaches, new summits to choose.

And when a past vision you have to revise

Another will greet you just over the rise.

Another objective, another grand view

Another firm purpose motivates you

So take on the challenge, reach out for a way

Expand the adventure and dream a new day.


[1] If you  enjoy Star Trek, then at warp factor 10., set coordinates for yourfavorite book store, and pick up in the following  paperbacks: “Star Trek: The Return” by William Shatner, and  “Star Trek, Mirror Universe, The Sorrows of Empire” by David Mack. You may also enjoy the paperback “Star Trek: “Crossover” by Michael Feidman.

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


%d bloggers like this: