Happy Father’s Day everyone! Father’s Day is one holiday that seems to bring along a fairly unhappy connotation. Over the years I’ve seen a number of blog posts, opinion based articles, Facebook status’ and tweets bashing shitty dads. Okay, I get it. Your dad wasn’t around; is that really cause to bash him publicly over the internet? Who knows! Maybe these dad’s have a reason for being shit bags, dead beats and losers; not likely, but possible! Either way, turning Father’s Day into “National Hate Dadddy Day” is no way to change your past or more importantly, amend your future. If you dad sucked, fuck him! Make an effort to be an outstanding, highly motivated, totally awesome dad. Be the dad you want your kid to have; not the dad you were plagued with. Your son/daughter doesn’t deserve that; don’t punish your kid for that asshole’s “mistake”. If you’re on the other end (a girl), when you decided to have a baby make sure you marry a man who will be an amazing dad and not the bum you were forced to call “dad”. No matter what, remember this: like it or not, without your dad you would not be here. Yes, it’s true that you grew up to be a great person and pretty succesful without him and even truer that you didn’t “need” him in your life growing up, but without that man you would not have been brought into existence. Remember that.
Now that I’ve given my PSA for the week, let’s get back to the topic at hand, Father’s Day! Despite the tone that may have been set by that introduction, I actually do have a dad (sorry if I mislead anyone). He was around when I was growing up and is actually still around today. I have a slightly different perspective on my dad than my mom (as if all people don’t) so don’t expect that mushy stuff as expressed in my Mother’s Day post. With that being said, here we go!
My dad has been around as long as I can remember. This is in large part because my parents were and still are married, but that’s beside the point! Despite his human faults, my dad is a pretty ok guy! He was always a damn good provider when I was growing up and I learned a lot from him over the years. From my dad I learned the value of hard work, the value of a dollar, how important a reputation is, and most importantly I learned from my dad that the world would not be kinder or any gentler to me just because I was a girl. Most girls I knew leaned on their dad’s or their brother’s for everything. Daddy provided everything, brother took them everywhere and daddy treated their daughter like the little princess she was. Nope! Not me! 🙂 I was not allowed to sit around and be (basically) catered to just because I was a girl. When I was big enough to push it, I learned how to mow the lawn and was expected to do so every two weeks. I also learned how to edge the lawn with a weed whacker, bag up the grass, dispose of it and tidy up the yard once the job was complete. I was my own little lawnboy! When the fall came around, pop’s handed my a rake and told me to get out there and rake the leaves. I hated raking leave! The pollens in the air made my allergies flare up like you wouldn’t believe but that was not a viable excuse. The world would not excuse me from work just because my nose was stuffy and eyes runny and neither did my dad. The same applies when the snow rolled in; I shoveled snow and threw salt out on the walk-ways. The chilling conditions were not an excuse to not complete my task and I was not going anywhere until the job was done. With such a harsh picture being painted my dad seems like a Drill sergeant or tyrant, right? Not even close! My dad is really nice and actually a bit of a softy. I think he was just stern with those things because they were pretty valuable lessons to learn. If it helps prove what I’m saying, when my sister and I weren’t around, left for college, moved away, etc. my dad completed the tasks himself and actually still does. Most older guys lean towards the neighborhood kids that go around with a rake and shovel to perform these jobs but not my dad! He’s out there working on his yard. My dad has never been the type of guy to ask me to do anything that he could not or would not do himself and for that reason, I had no issue doing these seemingly horrid tasks.
Once I got a bit older, all of the tasks I’d become a master of came in handy! I was always the only girl who never “needed” a man to do anything. I knew how to survive completely on my own and take care of myself without playing the damsel in distress. Thanks dad! You did not raise a weenie! 🙂 Again, don’t get me wrong about my dad, I’m sure it sounds like he raised me to be one of those she-woman-man-hater type chicks but I promise I’m not. I’m just not the woman you’ll see standing on the side of the freeway waving down a man to change her tire for her because she can’t do it herself. 🙂
As I got older, my relationship with my dad started to change quite drastically. To put it harshly, my dad became a wee bit of an irritant, but it’s always done out of love and caringness so it doesn’t bother me too much. Still, it will never cease to amaze me that I’m a grown ass woman, very far away home, have a whole different man around and in the Army for Pete’s sake but my good ole dad still sends random “security check” messages (it’s sort of an inside joke; it’s his way of asking if everything is okay or if I need anything). If ever he thinks I’m in a bind he’s the first one to offer a helping hand (or dollar) and as long as he’s around I know that I will never truly go without. I guess him “bothering” me isn’t so bad. Still a bit odd pulling a “security check” on a Soldier, lol.
Despite the common place daddy-daughter relationship switch, my dad and I still maintain a pretty decent relationship and shockingly open lines of communication. For quite some time I harbored some pretty ill feelings towards my dad and thanks to that, I never worried too much about mincing words or coming across as rude. With that filter out of the window he and I have always been able to talk about anything one or the other brought up without the taxing protocol attached to speaking to your parents a certain type of way. Don’t get me wrong, I was never one of those kids that said “fuck you, dad!” and ran away, it’s just that I was a bit more raw when speaking to him and never felt the need to tone down how I felt. Thanks in large part to this, when communicating with me my dad has pretty much always been the same way. Although it drove me up the wall countless times it still came in pretty handy. If I needed/thought I wanted to know something I could always ask my dad.
Another thing that I’ve always liked about our relationship was the sense of humor we shared. The first string of jokes began when I realized that I needed to address my dad as something but still wasn’t big on the terms dad or daddy (I use those terms in print only, I’ve never called my dad either of those). With that in mind, I watched my dad’s behavior and antics and selected nicknames based on whatever made laugh the hardest. His current title being “lunch time”, stemmed from his random “security check” phone calls and texts coming in at the most random and generally inconvenient times. I was joking with my mom at the time (I think) when I pointed out that he was probably and inconvenience to many people including my awesome Grandma. I made up an entire monologue about how I’m sure Grandma was minding her own business at work and enjoying her lunch when nature hit and my dad was on his way into the world. Totally throwing off her day and wasting her sandwich, I imagined my Grandma scurried off to the hospital and waited around for my dad to pop out. Yes I know it’s a little mean, but it made me, my mom and sister laugh so that was good enough! Another time I played another cruel yet pretty hilarious joke on my dad, this time my mom joined in my tomfoolery! It was my first year of college and I was having a hard time getting a job. One day after my dad calling an asking me about how things were going the idea hit me to tell him that I’d secured gainful employment as a waitress at a restaurant, Hooters to be exact. Now if you know anything about dads, you know the last thing they want is their daughter putting herself on public display for slobbery men for money; my dad is no different. I wasn’t there to actually “see” the reaction but my mom told me it was quite the scene, hell it made me laugh just listening to her tell me about it! His reaction was so comical to me that I decided to keep up this facade for quite some time. I didn’t reveal that I’d never worked at Hooters until I decided to join the Army. Imagine that, trading one shock for another.
One of the last things I learned from my dad and something I still use today (when the mood strikes me) was how to cook. Of course my mom can cook and taught me how once I was tall enough to see over the top of the stove, it was my dad however that taught me how to make cool shit like lobster bisque, crawfish and a gamut of other seafood culinary confections that I call my favorites today. It still comes as a shock to me but my dad really does enjoy cooking and can be found generally watching Food TV for new recipe ideas or interrogating the chefs and waitresses when we go to a restaurant. No matter how he comes by his new food ideas my dad will try them and try again until he gets them right. I remember specifically an event when my dad was trying to cook a “mexican sandwich”; a mexican dish he liked to order at a restaurant called Armando’s. After ordering this odd dish a number of times he took it upon himself to try to recreate it at home. While my dad was asleep (after the dish was complete) my sister, battle buddy and I grabbed a bag of taco chips and ate what we thought was a “mexican sandwich”; it was awesome! It wasn’t until Lazarus (another nickname for my dad) woke up we discovered that the meal we were eating was a botched experiment and “all wrong!” as he so angrily stated. We all found it pretty hilarious that the meal was still pretty damn good, but he was so upset that it didn’t come out the way it does in the restaurant. Gotta love dads!
With all of that being said, I’d like to take a moment to say Happy Father’s Day to my dad! If you read this, I hope you have an awesome day! To all of the other dad’s out there and amazing men playing the role, you guys are awesome! Keep up the good work! You’re children thank you! Have a great day everyone! 🙂