My Daddy Is Cooler than Your Daddy
Your dad may be a great guy who did all of the appropriate dad-like stuff. He may have even done some fun activities with you and your siblings, but your dad isn’t my dad, which means that your dad isn’t as cool as my dad. I’m not trying to be adversarial, especially because your continued readership has kept my creative juices flowing over the past several months, but facts must be stated, and I must state them.
Yep, I’m a daddy’s girl, and no, the fact that I’m married with children and living on my own has not changed that one bit, nor should it. If men can be mamas’ boys well into their seventies, I should be able to dote on my dad, and allow him to dote on me, well into my senior years, too.
But I’m not here to just give a comment without any proof. No, that would be irresponsible of me, so sit back and relax and get ready to call up your dad and question his lack of coolness after you read this list.
- My dad likes his beer at a frosty 28 degrees. Does your dad have a specific temperature for his alcoholic beverage of choice? I can remember the yard parties from my childhood years and my dad sending me to the cooler to get another beverage. “Feel around,” he would say, “for two that seem colder than a landlord’s heart.” I would head off with my assignment determined to find the ones at 28 degrees using just my fingertips to gauge the temperature. When I found two that seemed about right, I would walk back cautiously but quickly to him. “Hmm,” he would ponder aloud. “This one is about 31 degrees, but this one is just right.” I would ask if he wanted me to take back the one at 31 degrees. “No, no. You did your best, and I want to reward you for your hard work, so I’ll drink that one first.”
- My dad taught me how to center my body for perfect posture and balance. “Let’s go practice getting our equilibrium aligned,” he would announce. And my brother, my dad, and I would head out to the curb, arms outstretched, and walk for blocks foot-in-front-of-foot on the curbs of our neighborhood. My years in JROTC in high school were much better because of those early lessons, and surely my brother’s current military career is all the better, too.
My dad has a stick-to-itiveness like no other. It was 1996 when my dad gave up his peach suit with the matching butterfly-collared shirt and his red, white, and blue plaid bell-bottomed pants, only because they no longer fit. He doesn’t follow the crowd. No, siree. If he did, he would have worn those hideous Cross Colour Jeans (Remember those? I had some in lime green. Damn my pre-teen need to belong!). And Dad’s charitable, too. He offered those vintage staples to my then twenty-three year old uncle for absolutely no money, but my uncle did not appreciate the gesture. Instead, he turned down Dad, but my dad, ever mindful of the number of poor and homeless around Chicago, donated those fashionable items to a local support center.
- My dad had a snow button on his car. This would allow his car to cruise easily down snow-covered roads as he drove us to school, but the snow button, which he pushed on particularly snowy mornings was even more powerful with “Ebony Eyes” by Rick James and Smokey Robinson pumping loudly through the speakers as we approached our Catholic School at 7 AM. My dad, singing in his coolest falsetto, would elicit my brother and I as background vocalists, and our trio of cool would park outside the empty playground waiting on 7:15 so that we could avoid the early morning care charges. Then, to make a cold morning seem bearable, he would pop in “Muskrat Love” by America, and my brother and I would sing light folk music and sexy R&B as we approached our classroom doors.
My dad taught me how to drive when I was seven years old. You may be thinking, “No, he didn’t!”, but he did. Really. And somewhere in my mother’s old-school picture stash is a photo to prove it. We would go to Washington Park, and my dad would put his perfectly chilled Budweisers and our Hugg juices and turkey sandwiches into a cooler and sprawl out on a blanket in the grass. After lunch, and no doubt a six-pack of beer, Dad would walk my brother and I back to the Oldsmobile Firenza (yep, that’s what I said), giving us the keys and a last-minute crash course in pedal pushing and wheel turning and head back to the blanket (and cooler) to watch us circle the parking lot. We could barely see over the wheel, but we were driving. I only went up on the grass once (nobody was injured), and Dad never lost his cool. From his spot about 30 feet behind us, he screamed, “Reverse, dammit!” and popped another cold one and waited until I managed to back off the grass and circle back around to him. “You know not to do that again, right?” he asked. “Yes, sir,” I responded. “All right,” he replied. “Let your brother go next. When you stop crying, you can try again.”
See, he’s the coolest, right? I know. Great dads should be publicly appreciated. Don’t forget to share some good stuff about your dad, too.