By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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I really thought it was an innocent question.

“So, honey, did you have a good time last night?”
My husband, Dave and I were headed to a movie on a Sunday afternoon when the call came in from our daughters, Laura and Meg, as they checked in after a night in Atlantic City.
Yes, Atlantic City. So any presumption of innocence was more than a little naïve on my part.
Still, I was hoping for a different answer than one containing the words “mechanical bull” and “pole dancing.” Somehow, when I first held my beautiful baby daughters in my arms, those words never crossed my mind.
But apparently, they crossed the minds of my girls. More than crossed them.
“Oh, we had a great time!” Laura enthused. “We started out at the Sports Bar at the Trop. We had some dinner and a few drinks and then headed over to the Wild West Casino.”
Add more words to the list: Sports Bar, Trop, drinks and Wild West Casino.
“While we were at the Wild West, we rode the mechanical bull. I could hardly stay on at all, but Meg lasted longer than me. She thinks it was because of her pole dancing classes,” Laura continued.
Dave almost veered off the road. “What? Pole dancing classes?! What pole dancing classes? And what are they doing riding a mechanical bull?” he sputtered, glaring at me accusingly.
“Wait, why is this my fault?” I asked.
“You let them go out! You encourage them to have fun!”
“First of all, they’re 25 and 22. How would you suggest we stop them? And in case you’ve forgotten, my idea of fun is going to the movies and eating popcorn, which is what we’re doing—not riding bulls and pole dancing,” I said.
“Are you two done?” Laura asked, through the phone speaker. “Dad, relax. There were lots of people riding the bull.”
“And my class is an exercise class, Dad,” Meg chimed in. “We climb the pole and do crunches and lifts. It’s an incredible workout. But I think it was the way I have to hook my foot around the pole that helped me stay on the bull longer.”
Dave blanched. “Did you know she was taking pole dancing classes?” he hissed.
“Sort of. I knew Meg had taken a class with Erin. Then she told me the other day that she signed up at the studio for a month. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to have a nervous breakdown,” I whispered.
“Okay, well, we’ll let you two get back arguing,” Laura broke in. “We’re going to get some lunch and then we’ll be home.”
“Yeah and Dad, I promise I won’t pole dance in public. I’m not good enough, yet, anyway,” Meg giggled as they hung up the phone.
Dave and I exhaled simultaneously. “How long was that phone call? Five minutes?” Dave asked. “I’m exhausted. Do you still want to go to the movie?”
“Well, I suppose we could find a mechanical bull or a pole somewhere,” I snickered.
“That’s great. Let’s stick with the movie. Oh, and by the way, that whole not telling me thing? Keep up the good work,” Dave said.
Now if only someone could keep it all from me.
What words do you wish were absent from your vocabulary? Click “comments” below and share!