Friday, June 17, 2011

An Ode to my Dad

Since Father’s Day is fast approaching, I thought about writing a sentimental letter to my father and posting it. However, since my style is expressing my feelings by making lists I went with that. For those who know my father, they know he may have had the most profound influence on me as I was growing up. I owe him for bestowing upon me my sense of humor, my independence, and my dark eyebrow hair. He’s the guy mowing the lawn shirtless in 90 degree weather every Saturday listening to the playlist I made him on his Ipod. He’s the one that persuaded me to love music and to not take shit from anyone. And for that…he deserves a list.  

Why No Dad could ever be better than mine:

1. Nobody else’s dad got as excited to do things as mine. We would go camping and to the beach and it was like he was the third child. As my mom packed up sunscreen and towels, my dad was the one packing the boogie boards and donuts. He was the first one into the water and the last one out. It was free reign with him and he never annoyed us to put on more sunscreen or not wander into the woods. It was his excitement that got me excited to do things my lazy ass probably would never have done.

2. He always told me how proud he was of me. Even when it was winning Student of the Month in elementary school he made me feel really good about myself. He never once made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.


3. He finds fart humor funny. 


4. He watched 90210 and TGIF with me on Friday nights and was just as into it as I was.

5. He ate chicken nuggets & fries three times a week because that’s all I would eat. He didn’t get mad when I threw up string beans at the dinner table (even though it was technically his fault). He laughed when I threw up all over his just washed car  on a road trip and had to drive the whole time with his car smelling like vomit and diner food.


 6. He told me stories about getting in trouble when he was young and he never tried to come off like he was a saint.


7. He showed me the importance of being financially responsible and drilled into me to never buy things I couldn’t afford. Probably the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten.

8. When I went to college, it was the first time anyone in my family had gone so we had no idea what to expect. He forced me to ask tons of questions and to know what was going on rather than do everything for me. While other parents wrote their kid’s admission essays and paid their tuition bills without giving them a second glance, my dad had me calling financial aid with a detailed list asking what all the charges were for. This wasn’t because he was cheap. This was because he didn’t want them screwing us. Which they tried to do. Every semester.


 9. He put his family before anybody and made sure that was obvious. He traded his Friday nights to go to my Girl Scouts Father/Daughter Square Dancing with me and actually made it fun.

And the last reason why I wouldn’t trade my dad for the world, is going to be written in as an anecdote. For those who know me, they will see that this is probably the main reason why I love my dad so much.

This not me.
10. I am not an athletic person. Sure I try to fool people when I volunteer to join a beach volleyball team or when I play badminton in the backyard. But everyone knows that’s just a rouse. However, there was a time in my young, formidable years when my Dad still had hope. As a man who prided himself on being good at all sports, he didn’t think twice that his children might not be athletic. He enrolled me in the sport that every kid growing up on Long Island was required to play. Soccer. Not only did he sign me up, of course he was the coach. My mom, knowing this wasn’t going to last too long, put on an excited face and kept on reminding me about the munchkins that would be served during halftime. I tried to put aside the fact that those long, wool socks were starting to make my legs itch and focus on playing hard. Approximately five to ten minutes into the game, I saw pretty flowers and went to go pick them. My dad patiently reminded me to stay on the field. A mere five minutes later, I saw my Grandpa on the sidelines and went to go get a hug. My dad patiently came over and said I had to continue playing. My legs were getting a bit tired so I decided to sit down since no one was near me anyway. My dad told me to get up. By halftime I was ready to eat my munchkins and go watch TV. My dad sensed this and began to get a bit frustrated. I made it to the end of the season (I have no idea how) and told my mom I was done with soccer.  In fact, that was the end of my athletic career. A sports drop out in first grade. I didn’t want to disappoint my dad, but that shit was just not for me. He never made me feel bad for it though. And even though my brother went on to play (and be good at) a lot of sports, my dad never tried to pressure me into joining another sports team. And I appreciated that.  Probably more than I’ll ever admit.

So Happy early Father’s Day to everyone! I have a feeling my day is going to include watching the Yankees and eating riggies. And I am very much looking forward to that.

No comments:

Post a Comment