This past year, my dad passed away. It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to go through. And throughout the year, things have happened that have made it really hard. A lot of firsts without him. My kids’ birthday’s, summer at the cabin, golfing – it’s all been hard.
One of the things I’ve been looking forward to the least is my first Christmas without my dad. He and I always spent a lot of time together. We were friends just as much as we were father and son. And my two brothers and I were as close as any family could be.
This year, my brothers and I decided to remember him at Christmas by coming to Rhode Island Dolls in Woonsocket, RI. It’s a place that we used to go to a lot with our dad. My dad wasn’t stuff at all but he was a tad conservative – except in this way. He loved to come to this gentlemen’s club with us. So, we thought he would like it if the three of us got together and had our own private Christmas party before hand – even if it was a little early.
We got to Rhode Island Dolls a little early. We wanted to be able to sit back and relax and eat and talk about our father before the place got too busy. My brothers have always loved the steak at Rhode Island Dolls but for me it has always been the half pound Angus burger and the Cajun cheesy fries. It’s a lot of food but I find if I eat slowly I can finish it all. We washed it all down with a couple of pints of draft beer and talked about our awesome dad.
We had a lot of good times with our father at RI Dolls and it will never be the same without him but I think my brothers and I will get together and go there at least a few times a year. It’s a comfortable and safe space to us. We laughed as we talked about the first-time dad got a lap dance and the look on his face as a beautiful young doll danced for him. And the we smiled as we remember how the dolls loved him. He was a true gentleman and a great tipper, too.
After we ate, we headed up to the stage to watch the dancers. Dad loved the stage. Not to get on to himself – but he loved to watch the dancers and he enjoyed every single one of them. Dad was the kind of man that saw beauty in all women. I don’t know if our mother knew how much he appreciated women but if she did she never said a word about it. I don’t even know if she knew about him coming here with us. I have to guess that she didn’t but even if she had figured it out, she wouldn’t have minded. She knew that dad was completely in love with her and that looking at a dancer was not going to change any of that.
I think one of the most surprising parts of the evening was when one of the dancers approached us and asked us where our dad was. I was so surprised that she remembered us and him. It had been quite a while since we’d been there – close to a year – so I really wasn’t expecting that. When we told her that he had passed on, she was genuinely sad and offered her condolences.
My brothers and I spent a few more hours at the club. We shared some shots and toasted to my dad. I think he would be happy to know that we were still hanging out at Rhode Island Dolls.
Now that I’m back home and my brothers have gone back to their homes and their families, I feel good that we went to RI Dolls that night. It was good to sit around, just my brothers and I, and remember him. And it will make the Christmas season just a little bit easier to get through without him.
One of the things that I got most out of that night was remember the man my dad was. I have a goal and that is to be just like him. I want my wife to know how precious she is to me, just like my mom did. And I want my kids to grow up with a strong male figure in their lives so I’m going to try to be as much like him as possible.