Sunday, June 15, 2014

In appreciation of my Dad

While enjoying an extra helping of blue cheese on the yummy salad I had for lunch the other day, it occurred to me that I used to hate the stuff. I used to call it "Dad's stinky cheese." And then I started thinking about all the other stuff I didn't like as a child but have grown to appreciate as an adult (Brussels sprouts, wine, sensible shoes), and THEN I started thinking about my father, and how it's father's day, and I should tell him how much I've grown to appreciate his stinky cheese. And how much I continue to appreciate HIM.

I have written before how my father was my first model and helped foster my love of beauty products. He's also helped foster my love of reading, an interest in history, and my fascination with pop culture. He's always been on top of the latest gossip - both of the celebrity and non-celebrity variety, and his love of music and musical films has definitely been passed on to me.

What I have grown to appreciate most about my Dad, and I appreciate quite a bit, is his love of a good story. Growing up hearing his yarns would sometimes make my eyes roll, sometimes embarrass me - but you know what? They were never boring. A lot of them had to do with trying to kill/maim/embarrass his younger siblings, some of them had to do with his various jobs and travels, some of them had to do with my mother, and most of them were pretty interesting...the first time I heard them. But you know, I've been alive for four decades, and I could have sworn I've heard all of my father's stories at least a dozen times.

I wonder if my Dad was trying to tell me a story here
Last year during one of my visits home he surprised me though. During a rambling conversation about how DC had changed since he lived here 40+ years ago, he casually mentioned that one time he had tea and scones with Ezra Pound on the grounds at St. Elizabeths Hospital. And I had to stop and say EXCUSE ME WHAT? He was surprised I had heard of Ezra Pound. I was surprised my father had never told this story. I heard him tell the story of impaling his brother with a homemade spear about 50 times, but never this charming story about driving from West Virginia with a family friend to visit with a famous poet.

It was then it dawned on me that my father probably had a ton of stories I had never heard - and probably several of them are way juicier than how he got lice that one time from playing with the kids of the local prostitute. And I needed to tell him how much I enjoy hearing his tales, so hopefully I get to keep peeling at the layers that is the onion of my father's kind-of-fascinating life.

Happy Father's Day.

Meditatio  by Ezra Pound

When I carefully consider the curious habits of dogs
I am compelled to conclude
That man is the superior animal.

When I consider the curious habits of man

I confess, my friend, I am puzzled.

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