Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!!!

Most times when I think of my Pops, I think of him sitting in "his chair" reading the paper, real estate magazines and/or his Hot Rod magazines. He is an avid reader, like me, but different from me in that he doesn't read much ficition or poetry. I asked him once about not reading novels and collections of poems and he said, "Why read stuff about made-up people when there's plenty to read about real people. And I have you to tell me about the made-up stuff." (You can see where I got my sass from...)

While I was reading my new favorite book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I thought about my dad a lot and how I would feel to be in Oskar's shoes, who lost his dad. It's not something that I like to think about, but I think every kid does. That train of thought, though, led me to this realization, I think without my dad, I wouldn't have followed my dreams and my heart. He was always there to be my cheerleader and my reality check. He's responsible for motivating me and teaching me a little hard work never hurt. (OK, I did learn to be a work-a-holic from him, but I also got my fantastic sense of humor from him--that's a fair trade-off.) And I realized in my reading that every time I encounter a dad, I either relate to love between a main character and his/her father or wish that character had my dad. (Of course, I feel the same way during "real life" talks about dads, but for some reason it's writing that always resonates the dad-thing more for me. And that's not a coincidence...) My Pops hears me out, gives me sound advice, and is always there for me. Even after the time in middle school when I slammed my bedroom door in his face during a fight. Or when I went to "the Beach" at night when I wasn't allowed to and got caught by one of his co-workers who I begged to not tell Pops and, of course, who told Pops, and I had to come clean in order to get my first car, a VW Super Beetle. Or when I was yelling at him for yelling at me while he was teaching me how to drive stick in my Beetle and he whacked the back of my head to shut me up and suddenly I was driving stick. He's there now when I get discouraged house-hunting or with my writing, and he's always eager to hear a funny story about one of my students or the neighbor kid we caught pissing on the house next door.

And probably my favorite story right now is how I got him on April's Fools Day. The same McGuire from my Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close posting is one of my former students. And in February she emailed me pics of her new tat--some gorgeous ink on her bicep that beautifully scrawls "McGuire." After I got these pics, I knew right away my plan and saved them. On the eve of April's Fools Day (actually early morning on the day), I woke up special to craft a seemingly drunk email that talked about going out for drinks with some girlfriends and deciding to get a new tat (Pops hates the one I already have!), and then getting in a fight with FD about it when I got home, and what should I do, I'm so upset, etc...You get the point. I called him really late on Sunday morning (we usually talk Sunday mornings pretty early) and acted hungover (if you have sinus problems, like me, it's really easy to do and if you have had a lot experience with hangovers, it's even easier) and asked if he got my email. He said, "No," and asked me what was wrong. I gave him a huge sob story about my hangover and tat and fight with FD; I was faking crying--it was great. He listened quietly to the whole story, and finally at the end, he blew up and started yelling at me (I didn't know at the time, but he was a Starbucks and spilled his coffee all over a new shirt Hons had bought him and all these people were staring!). He said he thought I had grown up and he couldn't believe I was going out and getting tats without talking to FD, and spending our house savings money to boot without talking to FD and he couldn't support me on this one, etc.--I had him eating out of my hand. FD was listening to the whole thing, and we couldn't take it anymore. We busted out in a fit of laughter that left us totally breathless and satisfied in our trickery! And poor Pops, once he realized what day it was and that it was all just a joke, he couldn't do anything but laugh. See, it pays to be a hell-raiser in your younger years b/c come April's Fools Day you can really get your old man!

So to my Pops, my father-in-law FJR, and all the dads out there, Happy Father's Day! And remember when us kids are giving you hell, it just means we love you.

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