"WHAT are you wearing?" she asked.
It wasn't his vintage Flock of Seagulls concert tee that had her up in arms. It was the leather pants.
I strolled out to find them. Him on the couch. Her standing be the fireplace, pointing.
I reminded her that both she and I own leather pants.
"Yeah, but he's 50!" she said.
Rather than correct her math, I elected a history lesson: "Wait 'til you see him with the eye-liner on."
She looked at me. She looked at him. And grinned.
"Can I help? And can we use glitter?" she asked.
Yes. Yes we can.
Jeff was getting ready to represent TeamReed at the Christ the King annual trivia contest. It's a fundraiser to help the 8th grade class defray Washington DC trip costs. We've gone since 2009, I think, when one of the Vielee kids was in 8th grade.
Our team has consisted each year of a variety of Reeds, Vielees, Christoffs and Haases with regular ringer visits from our friend and trivia wizard Chris Austin. The team has won twice. Last year when I had to work the event rather than play and another time when I was home sick.
When we realized Ali's last YAT performance of Snow White was on the same night as Trivia, there was little question as to who would attend our daughter's needs and who would be trivial.
(At this juncture, I feel compelled to point out that I would have rocked the last category - guest stars on Friends - and possible saved the team from a second-place finish. I realize this logic pre-supposes I could have contributed to the previous categories...)
During her two prior play performances, Ali had learned that black eyeliner is a great lipstick. "It doesn't wear off even if you lick your lips a lot like I do," she said.
We had about 10 minutes to help the captain with his make-up before we had to head downtown to the theatre. We work well as a team. She took the lip, I took the eye, and then I finessed the lip lines.
And then we left him to spike his hair. Alison and the whole cast and crew exceeded prior performances on the stage. It was another awesome night for YAT.
As we walked out, I suggested we go over to the market where Ali could indulge in a bouquet of her choosing to mark her great work.
"In lieu of flowers, how about we get tacos," she countered.
"Yeah. I don't want flowers, but I could really go for tacos," she said. "In fact, I think I'll have that put on my tombstone: "In lieu of flowers, she wanted tacos." Or, or, for my wedding, can we have tacos?"
I laughed and said I thought so. Thinking through her wedding planning, she considered asking for tacos in lieu of gifts and then mused that whoever she married could -- she guessed -- have some kind of other food if they didn't love tacos as much as she did. You could see her scoffing at the thought.
On the way to Taco Bell, we talked some more and I relayed the Trivia Night status courtesy of Lisa Vielee. That got us on to the subject of the captain, whose appearance she referred to as her dad the drag queen.
"Actually," I said. "You need to talk to Godfather Bob. He has a photo of your dad in a dress."
She gasped. "Really?"
"Really. He dressed up to surprise a guy who was retiring from his office. I think he wore a wig and panty hose and a blond wig."
And thus, the Captain rose even farther ahead of me in the race to be the cool parent. A few weeks ago he introduced her to the Beatles, which are now key players on her Spotify playlist. She has a few Sugarland songs, too, and the other day I heard her listening to the Statler Brothers sing "Flowers on the Wall."
"Don't get excited," she said. "It's on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack."
Yes. She and Jeff watched Pulp Fiction together. And before you think she's flipping off a cast mate in one of the photos, she isn't. She may be genetically inclined to be a digital curser, but we have no proof that she is. Yet.