Sunday, June 21, 2015

Things My Daddy Taught Me

As I did for my mom on Mother's Day, for Father's Day I have written down the things my dear Papa has taught me. Whether my dad intentionally set out to teach us these things or not, I find myself doing or referring to "Dadisms" quite frequently throughout my adult life.

Do stretching exercises at rest stops when traveling, ostensibly to keep the blood flowing, but mostly to embarrass your children and grandchildren.
Know how to check your car’s oil yourself.
Women should expect men to treat them with respect.
It’s “chimney” not “chimley”.
Real men cry.
When watching TV, conduct the theme music.
Be politically correct.
A change of key is called modulation; Barry Manilow was notorious for modulating. 
Exhale deeply and loudly when stretching to get everyone’s attention and/or make people wonder if you’re okay.
Flatulence in an enclosed space can be deadly and will be talked about for years to come.

When the accelerator cable on your 1972 VW Beetle breaks, take your screwdriver out of the glove compartment and adjust the timing on the engine so it idles fast enough to putt-putt at 20 MPH to the nearest service station.

For all major endeavors, have a Plan A, B and C.
When your teenager confides what she’s been up to, don’t freak out but instead tell her you’re glad she came to you. 
Precede your instructions with “May I suggest, “ so others won’t think you’re too controlling.
Don’t describe people simply by the color of their skin.
If you’re uncomfortable and someone can do something about it, speak up rather than put up.
Don’t put a spoon into a blender full of potatoes until the blades have completely stopped.

Stay in good physical shape so you can claim that you weigh the same as you did in college.
E-nun-ci-ate, ar-ti-cu-late and be correct in all things grammar.
Sing frequently and often around the house in full voice. My favorite? “She has freckles on her butt….she’s nice”.
You may over-communicate until others’ eyes roll out of their heads, but they can never claim they didn’t know or that you’re unorganized. 
Never hesitate to tell your family that you love them and are proud.
Even though you don’t really understand it, support your young daughter’s obsession with animals, especially her desire to have a pony. Later, warn her husband that she also always wanted a Jersey cow.

When napping on the couch, don’t react to anything going on around you, like when your young daughters apply make-up to your face or your 3-year-old grandson licks your glasses.

If you’re really angry at something your child did, warn her that you’re about to lose your temper.  Sorry, that always made me giggle (silently).
Embrace technology and learning new things.
Don’t attempt to do basic maintenance on newer cars; what you think are spark plugs are not.

Men can be feminists too.
Keep the “I Heart Dad” socks your daughter gave you for Father’s Day forever, always wearing them when you see her, even thirty-plus years later.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!