How to Date Our Daughter

Ives Home - October 12th - Evening

Mother Ives gathered up some pink fabric and two large needles then lowered her vast bulk down on the couch beside Jericho. For a large woman she was surprisingly smooth and refined in her movements. Her hair did not have as many red highlights as Zelda’s, but their facial structure was similar.

“You seem like a nice young man, Mr. Jericho and I’m sure you know how to show a young woman a good time,” she pointed one of her needles at him playfully, “not too good a time, though.” She resumed her work on the many layers of stiffened silk in her hands as she and Jericho talked, mostly of the fact that Zelda was obsessively focused on her ballet and of a single mind in that regard. Eventually the conversation came to the point Mother Ives had been working towards.

“So you see Jericho, she may be old enough to know better, but I assure you she does not. She has no experience in these dating rituals. Whether you do or not, her father and I will need you to be the conductor of this evening’s affairs. Treat her like a lady, but don’t let her fool you into thinking she’s a princess. Because if she was, that would make me the Queen and I am certainly married to no King.”

Mother Ives hopped to her feet and held up the fabric she’d been working on. “Have you seen one of these before, Mr. Jericho? It’s a repaired tutu skirt of pink tulle. It’s not an article of clothing for any practical purpose and provides no modesty, but it is routinely worn by Zelda during practice and performance and requires maintenance and special care.” She lifted up the soft top layer with its heat pressed glimmering stones and embellishments. “The top layer is quite delicate and is intended to be soft on the eyes, but beneath there are many layers of reinforced silk, stiffened to hold itself firm and upright during all of her leaps and spins and carries.” She flipped it over and hung it upside down from a line on the ceiling.

“It must be stored this way or the fabric would crumple and droop under its own weight. Zelda is much the same and could not handle the weight of the real world we live in if we weren’t here to hold it off her shoulders. She is still a child in many ways, though not in body, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. She too is soft on the eyes, but I promise you she is as hard as a rock, our little ball of muscle and sinew. There is a heart in there that believes in romance and fairytales and I implore you to speak to that regard this evening. She may try to move things along faster than I’d care to elaborate on, but I’m trusting you to be the gentleman and lead her down the more prudent, romantic path.”

Just then a wire thin man with bright red hair came down a second staircase that spiraled from the smaller third floor. He was taller than Zelda, but probably weighed even less. The difference in size between he and Mother Ives was blatant. He looked at Jericho then his wife. “You told him there’s no fucking on the first date, yet?”

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