Friday, 2 September 2011

Things My Dad Said - A Father's Day Tribute

Once again I want to say a big thank you to everyone for your prayers, kind words and gifts over the last few months.  Even though things improve a little bit every day, I still really miss my dad and feel an ache in my heart every time I have to help mum deal with each new bit of paperwork or red tape and I won't even go into what it feels like when I hear dad's voice on mum's answering machine.

Dad with cheeky monkey #1 at my sister's wedding, four years ago

The fast approaching celebration of Father's day (which in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of September) has brought fresh reminders of my grief.  So I decided to act on a nebulous thought I've had for some time to record some of the more embarrassing, cringe-worthy or bizarre things my dad uttered during the thirty-four years that I knew him.  I'm sure most, if not all, of you will be able to relate to the embarrassment a child can feel at their dad's comments.

Dad with cheeky monkey #2 when she was born four years ago

To my beloved husband and all the other fathers out there who love to dish out the "dad comments" to their kids, I wish you a happy Father's day for Sunday.  And to those of you who, like me, will be mourning a little this Sunday, I send my love and pray that your heart would continue to heal too.

Dad with me, the baby he referred to as a "wizened monkey"!

Things my dad said...
1. Okay, this one is possibly the most embarrassing of them all.  I hit puberty relatively early and by the time I was ten it was fairly obvious that I needed to start wearing a bra.  I was adamantly against such action so, in a desperate attempt to make me see some sense, my dad said to me, "You know those African women we see on the documentaries with saggy, hanging breasts?  Well, that's what you get when you don't wear a bra!"

2. My dad was the unfortunate parent who got the job of teaching me how to drive.  Teaching a directionally- and spatially-challenged teen to drive was obviously frustrating, especially when I was learning such difficult techniques as 3 point turns, gear changes and parallel parking, because it was at these moments that my dad would stress, "FEEL the car, FEEL how it moves."  I couldn't get him to understand that all I felt at those times was a fear that I would crash the car and frustration at his apparent lack of helpfulness...

3. As long as I can remember, dad has had a running joke about how the Jews are descended from the Chinese (due to the various cultural similarities displayed by these two races).  It was very embarrassing when he mentioned his theories in front of people who weren't in on the joke and we were treated to confused and "is he mentally unstable?" looks.

4. Dad didn't just limit his embarrassing comments to the spoken word, he put them down in writing too!  He was forever writing letters to the editors of newspapers or magazines as well as writing notes to our school teachers addressing various issues.  One such note he wrote to my PE (physical education) teacher when I was sixteen read, "Please excuse Deborah from swimming lessons today as she is indisposed."  My teacher just shook her head and said, "Your dad and the notes he writes! I get these for your sister too!!!"
Cringe...I guess it was better than having him write, "Please excuse Deborah from swimming today as she is experiencing monthly womanly troubles and the last thing she feels like doing while undergoing such hormonal fluctuations is splash around in a pool and feel like she's drowning for an hour."  Although that note would have been more accurate!

5. At my 21st birthday party, during his speech, my dad told everyone that my Chinese name (which I use as my middle name) meant "summer leaves floating on a peaceful pond" and everyone laughed, thinking he was soooo witty and hilarious.  Not!  What he didn't explain was that my Chinese name is supposed to mean "summer peace/peacefulness", but my maternal grandmother had insisted that it be written in the feminine form which actually changed the meaning to something along the lines of "summer duckweed", ack.  Actually, I just wish he hadn't mentioned it at all.  Middle names are not something we willingly talk about in public, right?!

So that's just a summary of some of the highly embarrassing things my dad said when I was growing up.  Thanks for sticking with me on this rather lengthy, and self-indulgent, post and feel free to share the crazy and embarrassing things your dad has said to you!

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