Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day all you Dads!

"Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life."
~Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

I think that about sums up what a father's role is in the world pretty darned well.

When I began researching for this post, I had no idea what I wanted to say.
I've told so many of my stories here about growing up---
I can't remember what I have or haven't told.

I thought I would list some of the valuable things my father taught me.

Cricket can explain the meaning of "value" to you here:
Believe me, understanding value is more complex than you assume.

Valuable things my father taught me:

* Fair is not a condition of life...
its a place you go to, to have fun.

* Do not put your bare leg against the motorcycle exhaust pipe.
(Painfully, I failed to listen.)

* If I did not do what my mother said, he would make me regret it.

* Think about what you read, don't just say the words in your head.

* The truth sometimes depends on who is telling it.

* If you don't turn down the stereo the first time I tell you...
it will disappear.

* There is only one thing teenage boys really want...
is to drive your vintage sports car ...
do NOT let them!

* If you call for a ride home be prepared to wait until I finish my beer.

* If you ever get pregnant before marriage, there will be no abortion...
you will have the baby, and spend the rest of your life raising it,
spend all of your money on it and countless hours worrying about it.
(That one scared the crap out of me!)

* Family are the people who love you even when you screw up.

* You can only spend as much money as you take with you,
so only take what you can afford to spend.

* Never drink Cognac as a quick shot...
your head will explode.

* If the bathroom door is closed... knock!

* "If I had to choose between saving you or saving your mother...
I'd save your mom. I can always have more kids...
However, if I didn't save you, your mom would kill me.
It's one of those questions where there is no good answer."

That's pretty much the wisdom of my dad in a nutshell.
Smart and often smart-assed.

He has delighted me, pissed me off, protected me, made me laugh,taught me and always loved me no matter how angry I made him...
and believe me, I did test that.
He has made my life interesting and still does
Here's to my dad...


  1. Thank you for the Father's Day wishes. And thank you for the wisdom in your blog post because it is some good stuff. Also, I am sending you an email so be on the look out for that. Have a nice weekend.

  2. Mr.Shife- You are very welcome and very deserving!
    I will have a great weekend and I suspect that so will you.

  3. I think those are some great life lessons there. Very nice post :)

  4. Yup... sounds like a Dad to me. Of course, #9, about having children, is also true if you have the baby after marriage. You still get to do all those things, just with a social "stamp of approval." Yay.

    Now let's see what happens when I try to post my comment today (rolls eyes).

  5. Gee... I only had to sign in three times. (sigh) I liked the old blogger better, you know? The unimproved version that worked more often than not?

  6. laura b.-My dad is a hoot. A grumpy and fussy old hoot. But when I'm 86, I probably will be too.

  7. Cricket- Yeah, that old stamp of approval. This was a general announcement he made to all four of us girls while watching an "after school special" about an unwed teenaged mom. I was only about 9 at the time and thought he'd thrown a cog. But I didn't quite equate the fun of sex with creating life at that point. Boys were someone you played baseball, football and war with... none of that icky kissy junk! Whatever, it worked. None of us had any pre-marriage kids.

    Blogger is indeed much worse than it was before improvement. Kind of like those gals who get their lips pumped up and then look like Mick Jagger. It just ain't right!