And now, another word from Mr. Handsome…
One of my worst fears growing up was that I would turn into my dad. Now don’t get me wrong, Dad is a wonderful man and a good father, but when I was a teenager, he was certainty not cool. In fact, it seemed like he went out of his way to try not to be cool.
Other kid’s dads would gel their hair, wear stylish jeans, get tattoos, work out at the gym, drive sports cars, and wear Air Jordans. My dad wore farmer jeans, paid $10 for the same haircut from the same barber for 20 years, wore plain white New Balance casual footwear, and drove the 15 passenger family van. But the more I grow older, the more I find myself doing the same things he does. It’s horrifying. Here is a list of the things I swore I would never do.
Purposely Wear out of Style Clothes
It takes effort to be as out of style as my dad. His classic outfit around the house was a flannel shirt with sweatpants. Looking back, I think he was doing it purposely to embarrass us kids. But now I am doing the same thing. The only difference is I am trying to embarrass Ellie. I still love the look of horror on Ellie’s face when I walk out of the bedroom in my purple shorts and red t-shirt.
Embarrass the Younger Generation
Dad was always saying ridiculous stuff around our friends to embarrass us. It was awful. But now I find myself doing the same thing to my little sisters, who are almost two decades younger than me. I still laugh about the time I dropped them off at summer camp six years ago. Right before I drove away, I said, “I put your blankey and nightlight in your suitcase because I know you get scared in the dark.” I made sure to say it loud enough that all their little teenage friends heard me.
Tell Long-Winded Dad Jokes
My dad had his go-to dad jokes that he pulled out whenever he could possibly squeeze them into a conversation. Every time he told them, they got longer and longer. Of course, trying to tell dad you had already heard the joke was of no use because he was going to finish it regardless. Every time he would start one of his long-winded dad jokes, I would groan inside and swear I would never tell one of his jokes. But then I was sitting around a campfire with a group of friends, and somehow one of his jokes just fit the conversation perfectly. I had no choice but to tell the joke, complete with all of dads sound effects, commentary, and vocal inflections. The worst part was, all my friends starting howling with laughter after the punchline.
Read all the Displays at Museums
On family vacations, Mom and Dad would always make sure to stop at a few museums along the way. They wanted our vacations to be both fun and educational. All of us kids would scamper from display to display and make it through the entire museum in about 20 minutes. Then we would start begging mom to let us get back on the road so we could head to the beach or wherever our final destination was. “We have to wait until your dad is finished,” she would say. So we would search the museum to find Dad, and inevitably he would still be at the first display, reading every single word. We would then spend the next three to four excruciating hours watching him read every written word in the entire building. And heaven forbid there was a self-guided radio tour, because then we would be at the museum all day.
Well on our last trip before Covid, Ellie and I decided to stop at a museum on the way to the beach. It was something like $20 per person to get in. Melanie and Little Buddy made their way through the museum very efficiently, while I settled in and started reading the plaques. I had just spent $40 for this experience, and I was going to get my money’s worth. Ellie has since swore to never take me to a museum again.
Tinker Around in the Garage
Dad was always tinkering around in the garage, and I always thought it was the biggest waste of time. Well now I understand. When Little Buddy is running around like a crazy kid, tinkering around in the garage sounds like a very attractive option.
Talk About Politics
Growing up, my dad was always talking about politics with his friends, and I always thought that was the biggest waste of time. But when I became an adult and received my first significant paycheck, I quickly realized just how much money the government felt it was necessary to take out. Let me tell you, those politicians just sit there and spend my money and waste it on pet projects and fraud, and let me tell you what I think about blah blah blah…
Flirt with Mom
This is a family blog, so I won’t get into much detail, but there was nothing more disgusting then watching Dad kiss and flirt with Mom. Well let’s just say Little Buddy may have the same complaints one day. But hey, it’s a sign of a strong marriage.
So I suppose it’s just best to accept that I am slowly but surely turning into my dad. My dad was far from cool, but he was always there for us, and we always knew he loved us. I suppose there are worse people to turn into.