Five things I used to hate about my father that I have come to appreciate:
Paul has a rather eclectic music collection, including but certainly not limited to: 60s pop and rock, house music (this still annoys me though), blues, 70s rock, 80s pop, and of course, Guster (our collective fave). His iPod on shuffle is like no mix you've ever heard. It's mind-blowingly unpredictable.
I used to find this quite annoying because while on long road trips, his vote often trumped mine. Which meant out went New Kids on the Block. At that time, this was (and, given their recent resurgence, is) devastating.
Now that my own musical tastes have matured somewhat, I appreciate all those hours upon endless hours of listening to most every kind of music. Adrian and I like to play a game on Pandora called, "Who sings this?" I win. every. time. Thank you Paul for giving me victory over my husband!
2) My father's use of proper English.
Paul speaks like he walked straight off the set of some BBC program, minus the accent. Though he does pronounce the "h" in "white." This annoyed me to no end.
I'm now an English teacher. Umm, yes. People are often surprised by my knowledge of English grammar and while some of that is due in part to having learned Spanish grammar, much of it is because of my father's impeccable English. These lovely words stringed together in such a way that you can actually hear my voice as you read them? You can thank Paul.
|Intimidating bunch of Italians, no?|
3) My father's sense of humor.
Paul has a truly off the beaten path sense of humor. Again, his humor resembles something out of a BBC program. He loves his humor likes he loves his champagne, dry. Hah. He doesn't even drink champagne. But his humor is dry. And sometimes it takes people a while to understand when he's joking and when he's serious. Which of course caused me years of embarrassment as a teenager.
Little did teenage Emily know that she would grow up to be just like him! Jokes on you, 15 year old Emily! Also, I now see the wisdom in continually embarrassing your teenage children: it forces them to grow a thick skin and roll with the punches. Which brings me to...
4) My father's endless supply of fatherly sayings.
Let me list out a couple for you before we begin:
- Almost only counts in horse shoes.
- Piss poor planning leads to piss poor performance.
- Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
- Anything you want, you can have. In your imagination. (This means "No, I will not buy that for you.)
- Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Ok now that you have an idea of his mottos, let's continue.
Did I love all these sayings when I was a kid and had forgotten some project until the very last minute and was begging for him to take me to the store to buy supplies? No. Because he didn't take me. And it made me so mad. I used to tell him that it was his job to help me. (I also may or may not have told him on numerous occasions that when I grew up, I was going to live alone with my mom and we were going to kick him out. It could still happen...assuming my mom doesn't mind if Adrian comes along too!)
Thanks to my father, I now have an arsenal of clever sayings to use against my nephews and my future children! Hizzah! To give credit where credit is due, my father actually learned all this from his father, who was equally awesome. My dad posted this on his facebook wall about his father: "He had a way of motivating us kids that is not seen much these days but successful nevertheless. It took a while to finally realize what he was up to but when the light went on for me it was a revelation."
I feel strongly about doing things the right way. About putting in my absolute best effort. About letting everything I do and create be a reflection of who I am as a person. It's a lot of pressure I put on myself, but in the end, I know that I will be proud of who I am becoming. And I owe a lot of that to my dad.
He also taught me that sometimes, even your best efforts won't bring about the result you were hoping for. And in those instances, you can relax in the knowledge that you did your best. A longtime friend of the family once commented to my sister that what he admired most about my family was our roll with the punches attitude. We understand that in life, you win some and you lose some. And when you lose some, you just keep putting in you best effort because it's the right thing to do.
5) My father's seemingly never-ending wallet.
Hah! Who are we kidding? I never hated my father's wallet and I continue to love his generosity to this very day! Some call me a financial leach, but I prefer daddy's girl.
What has he bought me? You'll have to wait til his eulogy to find out.
(Backstory: Thanks to this here blog, my father came to realize that I have mediocre-to-excellent writing skills. So he asked me to give his eulogy someday in the faaaaaaaaaaar distant future and I promised I would. Then I devised this plan to turn the eulogy into just a long list of all the things he's paid for that no one ever knew about. Starting with my teaching certificate...)