Are You Like Your Dad?

"Have you ever noticed how parents can go from the most wonderful people in the world to totally embarrassing in three seconds?” Rick Riordan

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I remember the day like it was yesterday.

I was in 6th grade. I was with my parents in San Luis Obispo. My best friend Lisa was with us, and we were having dinner at my favorite place, Tortilla Flats.

Our waiter was a hot, awesome, sooooo cool college guy (who probably surfed), and he greeted us saying, "How are you tonight?"

My dad responded with a loud laugh followed by the answer, "I'm fine as a frog's hair! Thanks for asking!"

What. In. The. World.

My eyes rolled back in my head.  The skin crawled up the back of my neck. I sighed all of the air out of my lungs as loudly as possible.

I knew diving under the table would make things worse, but I desperately wanted to disappear.

The funny thing was, no one else seemed to mind the remark.  They all laughed and went on to consume massive amounts of tortilla chips and enjoy their night. I was mortified and miserable.

I vowed, then and there, I would NEVER embarrass my kids.  I would never pick up "parent" quirks!

I wouldn't be inappropriately loud.  I wouldn't tell stories in every conversation. I would be an easy personality to take.

Always.

You already know how well I kept my vow.  I bear equal parts of Fletch & Gail.  In fact, if you made yourself a similar promise, you probably bear a strong imprint of your parents as well.

Today, as my Dad celebrates 81 years of youth, I decided to make a quick list of ways I'm like him.

  • I know names of esoteric plants (often in Latin).
  • I putz around the house.
  • I sing old hymns (especially Amazing Grace) when I putz around the house.

Hmmm. Things were flowing quickly.  I like...

  • Hot sauce on everything but dessert.
  • Extra hot sauce on eggs.
  • To grill no matter the weather.
  • Collecting quotes.

This was supposed to be a short list.  I think...

  • Pools are the greatest thing to happen to a backyard.
  • Everyone should read the Bible for themselves (even if they don't believe it!).
  • It's smart to keep a notebook in arm's reach at all times.
  • I will always bleed Dodger Blue.
  • It's crazy we don't all live in California.
  • I must vote or else.
  • Dogs make life better.

How long could this go on?

  • The longer the book, the better.
  • There is no better sports announcer than Vin Scully
  • Stick with your spouse.
  • Duct tape is always a viable option for repair work.
  • Precision is over-rated, get "close" and you're mostly there!
  • Aloe cures 90% of things that ail you.
  • A glass of red wine gets the other 10%

You get the idea.  There's a lot of overlap!

And yes, I banter with waiters and occasionally throw in a well-placed joke.

My poor children...

Hopefully we'll survive the teenage years, and they'll end up loving me as much as I love my Dad!

Happy Birthday Fletch!

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