Sunday, June 16, 2013

this is for you, daddy.

welp, it's father's day.

so i'm going to blog about my daddy. because i love my daddy.

today i learned something new about my dad.

my family spent the day at our lake today with his dad, and then we drove back to my mom's parents' villa and had popcorn. and my grandpa was watching golf.

golf is my dad's least favourite sport besides baseball. so i figured he'd bitch about it. i wanted to.

but my grandma kept going on about what a great person phil mickelson was. she said, "is there a break? i need to pee." and my dad was like, "no he's going for the fifteenth hole right now" and my grandma says, "well, i'll just have to wet my pants then. the things you do for love."

i obviously cheered for the british guy because he was british. AND HE WON. WHAT UP.

but while i was half paying attention and live tweeting golf because i have to live tweet my life even when i'm watching a stupid golf tournament, i learned that my dad knows a lot about golf.

like, a whole fuggin' bunch about golf.

maybe it's like this weird "understand the thing you hate" thing? but it surprised me.

i'm getting way ahead of myself.

i want to start this post off by saying that my dad is a badass.

i feel bad about when i was a baby because i didn't like to be around anyone but my mom. my dad would hold me and i'd be like, LOL NOPE and throw a tantrum, and i feel like that made my dad like, super sad on a deep psychological level.

but i feel like i've attempted to make up for it because i am a total daddy's girl.

and i call him daddy. no dads in this household, he's daddy.

my daddy is a chemistry teacher. he was going to get a degree in math too, but IPFW was being silly. he got your basic bachelor's in chemistry at butler, then he went to grad school at northwestern and got a master's, and then he got into a PhD program that dealt with some fancy chemical mixing with some other fancy chemical that only reacted under the full moon during a specific type of spring weather.

and then he was like, nahhh, ima teach high school. 

and so he has for twenty-eight years or something. in the same freakin' classroom. with the "carol didn't need her safety goggles" poster and his periodic table of desserts.

my dad is super overqualified for teaching high school. but he likes it, and that's what matters. what's even more important is that he's an awesome teacher.

trust me, i had him. for two classes.

he was such a good chemistry teacher that i was a chemistry major my first semester at alma because i wanted to be a chemistry teacher just like him.

he'll tell you he brainwashed me.

he has one beaker labelled "meth". only one. it makes its way around to every lab table at least once. it's a running joke that he makes meth to pay for my fancy private college. he doesn't really try to stop that rumour.

i've been trying to get him to watch breaking bad for a while, though. it might inspire him.

my dad is really chill. he doesn't let stuff freak him out, unless you put the plates back in the wrong spot or load the dishwasher incorrectly. he never yells. he yelled once at my brother and it was so scary that i cried.

laid back dads are the best dads.

he's not much of a handy man, but who cares when your dad knows just about everything about everything?

besides knowing a shitload about chemistry, my dad knows stuff about history and math and the environment and the government and whatever you want to know about, except perhaps dance and art and shakespeare. he doesn't talk all that much, but when he talks, he knows exactly what he's talking about and it's always on point.

did i mention that he played the saxophone in jazz band and marching band, was in show choir and regular choir, and tried to join the pom squad to attract girls?

he doesn't play saxophone anymore, but my dad can sing. AND he's a tenor. he got this really cool award for singing the national anthem at all of my swim meets and he's going to sing at my wedding.

he also has a habit of singing disney songs and making up lyrics when he does the dishes. he also whistles like a pro.

(getting back to the pom squad to attract girls, my dad was a ladies man. he had an afro in high school and he dated five amys before marrying my mother. my mother's name is amy.)

his sense of humour is pretty legit, too. it's really dry, and when my mom isn't around, it's raunchy. he told me that my mother didn't understand his sex jokes for seven years.

i think he's lying. she still doesn't understand them.

when i was super duper little, my mom made this shirt for my dad for father's day. it says "we heart daddy" in puffy paint and my brother and i each outlined our hand prints. i screwed mine up and i remember absolutely wailing and being super upset about it.

my dad still wears that shirt. he wore it today.

my dad wearing the shirt. today. to prove my point.

my daddy is an avid reader. he spends his summer time reading all kinds of books. he also spends his summers riding his bike.

my parents are cyclists. lance armstrong cyclists but without the dope. (at least i'm pretty sure.) he didn't used to bike with my mom and my grandpa, but he started to get into it after we moved when i was sixteen. now he rides anywhere between thirty and a hundred miles a day. he goes on bike trips. last summer he rode up and down the east coast.

last week he went on a thirty mile bike ride by himself and hit a raccoon.

it's been said that real men have beards. (i don't want to this to start a large argument. we are all real men. don't shoot me.) my daddy has had a moustache since he was nineteen. 

so if we go with the "real men have beards" stereotype that isolates other men that choose not to have or cannot grow facial hair, my dad is a beast.

that is thirty-three years of moustache. the best part is my mom hates it.

so really, that's twenty-five years of him staving her off from shaving it off in the dead of night.

trust me, she's threatened.

my daddy is super supportive. he went to all my swim meets, made sure that i practised the piano and my various other instruments (and was only slightly dubious when i bought a cello), went to all of my band concerts and football games with the marching band, went to all of my honour's award banquets, and donated to various funds and stuff that i was involved in. he started a college fund for me when i was really little, and now he's using that money to pay for my expensive private school. college was always an option for me. he also invested in mutual funds so i have money to support myself when i graduate. he was patient with me and taught me how to drive (even though he won't let me drive his stick shift). my daddy has driven me to over thirty states and gone with me to forty-one of them. he's gone on hikes with me up mountains. we've ridden bikes together. he taught me how to ride a bike, which was a long and terrible process that took about six years. (sorry about that, daddy.) he drove a really terrible speedboat so i could tube at the lake.

he supports my decision to live in england.

he doesn't pretend to understand how my mental illness works, but he supports me endlessly.

when i have a bad day or need a hug, he says, "give to me LARGE hug!" in a russian accent and enfolds me in a huge hug. he gives me kisses on the cheek and calls me sweetheart. he sings to himself and talks about the efficiency of smartwool socks when hiking. he quotes movies and makes up songs.

he makes us pancakes every single weekend.

i like to say that my dad is superman, but not because he has superhuman strength or ability, but because he's a regular guy that does everything right.

there are so many things i could say about my dad. i'll look back on this post and say, "shoot, i knew there was something important that i forgot." and i'll inwardly curse myself.

but there's so much about my dad that i could say that i could never ever get out. i can't get it out to anyone. i wish i could tell him everything about him that makes him so awesome, but i'll never have the words or the capacity to do so.

i wrote a poem about my father and i presented it at the sigma tau delta convention in portland this year. i don't think he has read it. i'm going to end this post with it.

My father used to line peas up
In the dark crevices of his gums
Packed tight like heart tissues.

In class he called me sweetheart and someone cried.

His green bike has sat in the garage
Twenty-four years
The mileage mixed with dead flies on the wheels.

So many miles.

He sings a tenor while I play the piano
And folds my laundry so sacredly.
He sang me a lullaby every night.

He brews in beakers like a witch behind a classroom
To trigger a cosmic lightbulb in the mind (of a sixteen year old)
And comes home with papers covered in red ink.

He tells his mother he loves her in the way he can’t tell me
Because I understand
And she doesn’t.

So many miles.

happy father's day, daddy. i love you so much.

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