Saturday, June 16, 2012

Missing My Dad

They say girls marry their dads. In my case, that’s sort of true. My husband is a terrific father. Rick is goofy and funny like my dad. He is also very smart and loves books, which would be like my dad as well. Rick isn’t the neat-nik my dad was, but he’s not a slob. That would have been a deal breaker for me. Thinking about Father’s Day, I can hardly believe Dad has been gone twenty years. I didn’t spend enough time with him growing up, and I deeply regret that. What I do remember is all good, though. My mom took on the role of disciplinarian, so Dad never fell off his pedestal. We all idolized him. Dad was an airline pilot. He actually could have been the poster child for what a pilot should look like - handsome, tan, curly dark hair with white side burns. He was the total package. He flew jets, but always drove like a little old man. In fact, he once got a ticket for driving too slow. At home, my parents kind of lead reversed traditional roles. Mom was the handyman, while Dad liked to clean. I remember seeing him return home after a three-day trip. He had his tie loosened, pilot hat askew, and was picking up little pieces of lint as he went up the stairs. We didn’t have company all that often, but when we did Dad would have the vacuum out before our guest’s car hit the end of the driveway. He had two vacuums - a spare in case one broke down. I guess I got my Planning For Disaster gene from him. My mom was my dad’s wardrobe consultant. The 1970s was the era of white shoes with matching white belt. One day my dad stopped by the airport to check his mail. A flight attendant apologized and warned him that the little dog she had with her had pooped under his mailbox. My dad looked down to see the most perfect turd he had ever seen. He assumed this was a joke and proceeded to step on the turd and squish it with his white shoes. The flight attendant look at him like he’d lost his mind, while my dad realized he’d stepped on a real piece of poop. Then he gagged. My dad was thrifty but I’ll bet those loafers went to the landfill. I hope the white shoes/white belt fashion trend never comes back, but it would be awesome if my dad could.

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