I am basically going to punk out on you, and it is just as well. I have typed and deleted a dozen great memories of my dad, all of which would demonstrate his perfectness. And I can't seem to publish them, so I am going to just go with one.
It is fall. Late at night. I am 25 and my dad and I have just split a bottle of champagne, but we are failing at being drunk. We are staring and the floor in silence when he sighs and says,
"Whatever your mom gave you, it's up to me, now. Clothes, boy troubles, hair problems, whatever it is. I need to hear about it."
I shift uncomfortably in my chair.
"Dad, you don't want to hear about my hair problems."
My dad shifts too. Then he looks at me long and hard. I brace myself and prepare to cry.
"You're just saying that because you have no idea what your hair looks like right now."
Since my mom died, he has done an admirable job of being my dad in the customary way - but he has been equally patient with an avalanche of other issues most would consider beyond the fortitude of most men. Boy problems. Hair malfunctions. Shoe passions. Work intrigues. Friendship dramas. Further shoe manias. Ongoing hair unpleasantness. A continuous, multi-year boy conundrum, all laced through with fashion dilemmas that would make most women wish they had been smart enough not to breed. I could have ignored his suggestion that he be the target of all subjects rather than just the dad ones, but he asked about them all, every time I talked to him. "How's the boy conundrum? Are you having good hair? Did you buy the shoes? Can I help you with the work intrigue? Are your friends still catty and unfriendly? Did you choose the black slacks or the blue dress?"
And every year on Christmas morning, my sister and I have under the tree a new dress to wear that day. Not only are they good and pretty dresses, but they are also flattering and FIT properly, with no consultation whatsoever from US. To this day, we have no idea how he does this. No idea.
I have a lot of friends with no dads, shabby dads, crummy dads, or mean dads. I even have friends with average dads. And I am aware that it is shabby on some level to parade my excellent dad out onto the internet and brag about his perfecty goodness, but I can't help it. Excellent. Dad. I am telling you.
Happy Father's Day.