An ode to my father…

2 Nov

Guess what, my Dad apparently got online and read my blog. Mom told me that he actually thought it was funny – I can’t believe it. He isn’t one to flow over with compliments. I mean you really have to work for it. I guess in some ways you never need to question where you stand with him – he will usually tell you straight up how he feels. My mother is not a chef by school training but she is a chef by life training. I have heard Dad yell out at the end of a meal “Janice, that was some powerful stuff” and I have also heard him say “Janice, you have done a lot better.” A few months back Dad told me my lasagna was perhaps the best he has ever had. That was a big deal. In thinking about Dad and a few funny stories come to mind:

1. Many years ago my mother had a pair of floral leggings which my father detested – he still hates leggings. One day we came home from running errands to find Dad standing in the kitchen wearing the leggings while making bread. I remember laughing out loud at the site. Mom said “Leonel, what are you doing?” Dad replied “How do they look?” Mom replied “Terrible.” He replied “Well they don’t look any better on you.” I don’t think I saw the leggings again.
2. One year we were getting ready to go on vacation when Dad out of the blue announced he needed to get his hair cut before leaving. My mother would have been organizing, cooking, packing, planning so this would have been a huge annoyance. In fact I have heard my mother say the “F word” twice in my entire life and one of the times was during the planning of this trip. We drove into town and dropped Dad at the barber shop before leaving. My father returned with his hair completely shaved off. As in shiny bald head shaved off. He normally had something like Einstein hair, so the shave was rather shocking. Rumors of cancer quickly flew around our town. Not sure why he took this notion, but it made for an interesting start to our vacation.
3. He often uses the car keys to clean his ears. It looks like he is trying to start his head instead of the car.
4. A few years ago he thought he needed a change before retiring so he decided to move to Calgary to work. We now call him the 2 week cowboy – that is how long he lasted.
5. For the grade ten semi-formal I made a hair appointment in town to get an “up do”. After waiting an extra hour for my appointment the stylist just bombed my hair. I am very particular about style so this was a big deal for me. I walked out of the salon totally emotional. Guess who was there to pick me up? Dad. I got in the car and in a grade 10 girl way started to cry and said “I hate my hair! She ruined it! I don’t want to go to the dance!” Now most fathers would say “Oh honey you are beautiful, what can I do for you?” Not my Dad. He said “Emilie, why don’t you get out of the car and get back in when you grow up.” Talk about feeling like an idiot because it is true.

For most of my early life I was often thinking “why does Dad do that?” As in he didn’t behave like most people I knew. We recycled years before others people did. He had all kinds of side gigs – he made yogurt for the health food store in town, sold milk to various families in the area and he sharpened blades for local businesses. He used the pockets from the back of his jeans to cover up holes in the knees. He had crazy hair. Most every single time someone came to our house and a geographic location was mentioned he would pull out his magnifying glass and world atlas. At some point I stopped trying to understand him and instead I just accept that he is different from anyone I know. In fact the older I get the more I absolutely appreciate his individualism in a world where most people are vanilla ice cream.

So Dad in case you read this – I think you are weird, but I also think you are cool.

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3 Responses to “An ode to my father…”

  1. sarah whiting November 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    great insights into your relationship with your Dad 🙂

  2. Kara kilfoil November 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    I have always appreciated your dad in all his eccentricities….this was a lovely tribute to him.

  3. Yvonne November 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Love the stories about your Dad, we have a thing going that we never call one another by our given names!

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