I had a typical 1960’s upbringing – mommy stayed home and daddy spent a lot of hours working to support us. Then he’d come home, pour a drink and yell “I’m not home” every time the phone rang. Even now, if my dad answers the phone at home, I’m always taken aback to hear his voice on the other end saying “hello?” I credit my aversion to phone conversations to my dad.
I look like my dad – dark hair, olive complexion, dark eyes. My mom and my brothers are all blonde haired and blue eyed. I’ve often said to my dad “Gee, I know who my dad is but I wonder who’s my mom.”
I inherited my dad’s bizarre and irreverrant sense of humor and we’re the ones guaranteed to laugh at the most inappropriate times – funerals, speeches, or anything that’s supposed to be serious. We’ve never really had a totally serious discussion about anything. There is always a joke or an aside or some kind of wry observation thrown in for levity. It’s both a blessing and a curse.
I’m fiercly independent. Dad is a strong supporter of “if you throw ’em in the water they’ll either swim or drown,” thus he taught me and my two brothers how to take responsibility for ourselves. His favorite phrase when we were growing up – “Take some initiave Goddamn it” – is a mantra we love to mock now that we’re adults, but are secretly proud to repeat to our own children.
Dad likes cars. I like cars, only not as much as he does. Dad and I both love Gone with the Wind and can quote whole passages from it. He likes to do Prissy’s dialouge the best and he’s got an uncanny knack for it. We’re both true crime junkies and Court TV is one of our favorite channels.
We’re rabid Democrats. Dad always told me that if Mickey Mouse was the only Democratic candidate on the ticket, that’s who he’d vote for. Me too. We’re savagely loyal to our party and politics is one of our favorite topics of conversation.
Dad and I both enjoy anything bizarre, kitschy, or out of the ordinary. We love good music, good food. funny stories, and a good red wine. We love having a close, loyal family. We’re both believers in living for the moment and learning from our mistakes. We’re cautious with money but aren’t afriad to buy ourselves the things we really want. We’re believers in the family support system. We love a good party. Most of all, we love to laugh.
So, thank you Daddy. Your influence on me has been huge. Thanks for giving me the gift of laughter and the ability to look at life from a different angle. Thanks for always sticking by me even when I screwed up. Thanks for telling me how smart you think I am and for being a good listener when I need advice. And thanks for always supporting my decisions, even when you disagreed with them, because it’s been important to me to have your acceptance for who I am.
Happy Father’s Day, dad. Now, where’s the Cabernet?