Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Open Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,

I'm a horrible daughter. Or maybe just a horrible person, actually. I'll explain. I don't remember holidays. I don't remember birthdays, and if it weren't for my mother and Facebook, I'd probably never offer another well-timed Happy (Anything)! again.

Exhibit A: Yesterday I received a text from Mom that read: "Happy day of your brother's birth!" She's getting more subtle with the reminders, but I'm not getting any quicker on the uptake. (I did send Josh a Happy Birthday! text after that message, by the way. I got it covered.)

Part of this unawareness of birthdays and holidays is that I don't often think to get gifts for these occasions either. I've gotten pretty good at remembering to do Christmas stuff. But the other holidays? Sorry, nope. Father's Day is no exception, so it's a good thing you don't wear these.

So what's a forgetful, irreverent, states away daughter to do for her sensitive, funny, stand-up guy father on Father's Day?

Well... this one has decided to make a straightforward, minimally invasive list of the things she does because you are her dad.

1. Like you, I make (or buy) coffee in the morning and drink it all day long.

Now as a young (non-coffee drinking) child, I thought that you were nursing that one mug all day, but as a grown ass (need coffee for optimal performance) adult, I realize that you, like me, were likely refilling that mug as the day progressed. So cheers to our respective mugs of room temperature, black coffee.

Oh, and this is only semi-related, but when I think about your mug, I think about us driving to church, you planting the mug on the dash and returning to it after church like a smoker who's finally free of the building. So... cheers to finding a church that brews coffee in the lobby and encourages you to drink it during the service. Much better fit, in my opinion.

2. Like you, I see things (like the mug I posted above) and think to myself, "I could make that."

Now, am I right? Could I really make that mug? No... but I feel that if I were to watch enough Discovery channel programming and consult with someone who actually knew what they were doing (in this case, you), then yes I certainly could make such a simple, but ultimately cool, mug. But this "I could make that" reflex extends to all sorts of things. Shelving, craft projects, elaborate home improvements. More often than not, I see a task that most would agree deserves expert attention and I say, "I could make that."

The other night, while playing miniature golf with some friends, one friend attempted to mock me by referencing "that guy that builds the houses on PBS...?" Without skipping a beat and landing myself in a great position for more mockery, I asked if Bob Villa was perhaps the man he was searching for. Of course he was.

3. Like you, I (often involuntarily) ask "Who sings this?" when music is playing.

But there's a clear difference in the way you and I ask this question. You ask because you know the answer. For you it's like this great little quiz show taking place in our mini-van that none of us realized we were on until you threw the question out there. I don't know how you know who sang all of these songs and who their second drummer was, but there must be a special folder in your brain for this sort of thing. And I think Jessica would agree that one of the funniest things that has ever happened in real life was you providing the hint, "It rhymes with pickleback."

When I ask "Who sings this?" or "What are we listening to?" it's a fact finding mission. I've heard something I like and I would like to make sure that I hear more of it at some point in the future. When it comes to recognizing voices, sounds, hell even instruments, I'm no good. So, I need a name I can look up later. But... in reality, I'll probably forget anyway. The important thing though, is that I ask the question.

So, in summary, I may be states away, forgetting holidays and birthdays, and not calling as often as I should. But I'm also walking around with your mannerisms, making your jokes, and flashing peace signs to the motorcycle caravans that pass me on the road. That's pretty good, right?

Happy Father's Day, Dad.




Anonymous said...

what a great letter to your Dad! i think it totally makes up for forgetting.

my favorite part? "flashing peace signs to the motorcycle caravans that pass me on the road". that just made my day. i love your dad already ;)

Amanda said...

I'm glad you liked it! My dad is a biker through-and-through. He rides, builds custom bikes, and wears Harley t-shirts most days but he'd probably do that subtle hand raise wave to the other bikers. Maybe the head nod. But me... his liberal arts daughter, I'm totally spreadin' the peace. :)

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I especially loved the "pickleback" clue. Your dad sounds pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amanda the letter is awesome. Your super sweet wordsmith skills made me laugh. Don't feel bad about not getting a card or gift, I gave my dad a card that makes fart noises so sometimes less is more. Dad

Anonymous said...

Amanda I could weld up a cool beener mug like that if you want just let me know

Amanda said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, my father. : )

Dad, if you made me a carabiner mug, I'd get a little office coffee pot and drink sweet, sweet java between all my classes.

Amber said...

Apparently your dad and my mom are the same person. She also "could make that" and also quizzed me my entire childhood while listening to classic rock stations.

Jecca Andrew said...

i'm bawling. such a sweet letter.

and yes, i still go into hysterics whenever i think of "rhymes with.... PICKLEBACK!!!"