My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad

So my mother told me that I wasn't allowed to write a special birthday-slash-father's-day post for my dad because it would make him sad and weepy, and then he'd have to close his office door and have a little cry, and that could get kind of embarrassing for him, because henceforth---I would imagine---no-one would ever take him seriously in meetings. And so I promised that I wouldn't.

And yet it's his birthday today, and Father's Day on Sunday, and because I haven't actually got him anything else (um, yet?), I thought a little recognition couldn't go amiss.

And so I hereby present you with a list of things I like best about my dad, and if you would like to add your own favorite thing about your dad in the comments and then direct him here on Father's Day to read what you said about him, that would be fun too. Wouldn't that be fun?  So please, feel free to go ahead and do that and pretend it was your own idea, and I will promise not to tell your dad that this very touching "present" was actually pretty much just a last-minute act of spontaneity that didn't cost you a penny. As long as you promise not to tell mine about the time I drank half the vodka in the liquor cabinet and then filled the rest of the bottle up with water. 

(Um, just so we're clear, I was not two when I did that, by the way; there wasn't supposed to be any juxtaposition between story and photo. Although I must admit, I do look a little tipsy in this picture, don't I? "Can you walk in a straight line please, ma'am?  Can you blow into this breathalyser? Hmm, well, how about just brushing your hair?")

Anyway! Some Things I Like About My Dad Include The Following:

*  When he hugs you hello or goodbye, he wiggles his bottom back and forth. I don't think he knows he's doing it---or, at least, I don't think he means to---but it's equal parts hilarious and endearing. And also sometimes a little embarrassing. You know, just in airports.

* When he gets food in the corner of his mouth while eating and someone points it out discreetly, he just raises an eyebrow and says "fur spater" ("for later"), like, hey, it ain't no thang, I'm just going to eat this errant piece of lasagna this afternoon when I feel like a snack. (Um, then he dabs it away, of course. He's not crazy.)

*  He will always drive you somewhere if you need to go there. Also, he will always pick you up.

* And when he drives you there or picks you up, he only has to do it once before he's memorized the way. If you need to go there again---even if it involves a series of complex one-way streets and sudden right-hand turns---he's on it, man. He's like one of those GPS units. Except without the annoying voice.

*  He will paint your toenails. No, really! Even if you are sixteen and moody and atrociously sunburnt in Mexico and wearing some sort of strange knock-off platform Birkenstocks and a pair of Oakley sunglasses purchased in Chinatown. Also, he will do a good job. There will be barely any smudges.

* He will pretty much always be on time for you. Actually, he will pretty much always be early.

* If he likes something, do you know what he says? He says "well, isn't that the business!"

* If you can't finish something, he'll eat it for you. You can be sure of that.

*  When I was little and I had terrible earaches, he'd lie with me in the middle of the night and tell me stories about a magic penny that traveled from person to person, going from wallets to cash registers to pockets to gutters, and he never got tired of making up a new installment to keep me distracted. When it got really bad, he told me to wiggle my toes through the pain until it was gone. Twenty years later, I still wiggle my toes when something hurts.

What about your dad, Internet? Tell me your favorite thing about him.

Jun 13, 2008

What a sweet tribute! If your dad is anything like mine I think he'll still get a wee bit weepy.

I'm very impressed with the nail polishing...I don't think my dad would do that.

My favourite silly thing about my dad is that he makes up silly words all the time and gives them meanings that change every time he uses it. My favourite word of his is .

And also? You can tell from everything he does for me that he's always got my best interests at heart. He'll say the difficult stuff because he knows I'll appreciate it know, 50 years from now when I finally decide to look back and be grateful.

Jun 13, 2008

Oh crap...I have somehow messed that up. The word was "bondokalo", and that was a link to my entry about it.

At least the link is a pretty pink though!

Jun 13, 2008

My dad has the bluest eyes - they are that really, really light icy blue that's sort of creepy - and they freaking TWINKLE, like Santa Claus or something, when he is teasing you. He also has really soft, baby-fine, curly hair that looks hilariously incongruous when he needs a haircut - big burly balding dude with a cigar hanging out of his mouth and baby curls around the side of his head. And despite the fact that he is Mr. Gruff Macho Man, when his dog died, he made sure that when he buried her he put snow underneath her and some pine boughs over her, because that's what she loved to do best, lie in the snow under the pine tree. Every time I think of that my heart just melts and I almost forget the time he decided it would be hilarious to snap the back of my bra in the movie theater lobby when I was 13 and embarrassed enough by life itself without that huge loud SNAP ringing out. Plus he is the best grandfather ever and spoils my son rotten, just as a good grandparent should.

Jun 13, 2008

Aww, that was a sweet tribute to your dad. He seems (and has always seemed) wonderful.

One of my favorite things about my dad, of which their are many, is the way he gets along with my four year old daughter. There is just something about watching your big, stoic father become a big, silly mushball around your tiny kid. Steals my heart every time!

Jun 13, 2008

Agh, that's supposed to be 'there', not 'their'.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad has been telling using the same cheesy puns/one liners since, probably, the day he was born. We all roll our eyes everytime we hear one of these over-used gems, but I always laugh on the inside. :)
Great post.
House of Jules

Someone Being Me
Jun 13, 2008

My favorite thing about my dad is that I can always count on him to show up if I am in trouble or hurt. Like the time I called him at 3 a.m. on a freezing January night to tell him my water broke at 32 weeks and we were at the hospital. He walked into my hospital room at 7 a.m. after hopping up from bed and driving 3 hours to get there and stopping at the wrong hospital first. He did the exact same thing for my sister a year before on a freezing December night. I know I can always count on him.

Jun 13, 2008

This entry? Almost made me cry.
I love that when my dad and I are walking somewhere, he'll gently put his hand on my should and lead me to the inside of the sidewalk so that he's on the outside, nearest to the cars, just in case.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad read once that a good way to preserve your balance as you age is to stand on one foot for 30 seconds, then switch to the other foot, at least once every day. Because of this, when you are out with him in public in places like elevators, or waiting for taxis, he is often listing ever so slightly to one side as all six feet four inches of him diligently balances on one foot.

And he always, always takes my phone calls, even in the middle of the work day, even if he is in an important meeting.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad's passed on, but when I was a little kid he always called me his Princess. Probably 80% of dads do that with their little girls, but it always made me feel special.

There's nothing like the connection between a girl and her daddy. When we found out I was pregnant with a girl, Ben said "What the hell am I going to do with a girl?" and I told him "Ha. Just you wait." He is Boolie's hero, and I get teary watching them together.

Jun 13, 2008

My favorite thing about my dad is his ability to fix anything, and his willingness to help other people fix things. Anytime something broke that belong to my friends or their families, he'd offer to fix it. Sometimes he grumbles, but he's like Dr. Cox on Scrubs--he may complain about it, but you know he loves it too much to stop.

Camels & Chocolate
Jun 13, 2008

Awww, I love Papa Burns! Particularly that he does your nails -- that's awesome! My dad wouldn't know what nail polish was!

And I'm saving my dad stories for my own Father's Day post! ;-)

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 13, 2008

Aaaaaargh! These are making ME weep!

Jun 13, 2008

What a great post! Your dad sounds great.

I remember that my dad had the best voices when reading characters in stories. He is probably why I love reading so much. That and how he loved Frank Sinatra. Learning to dance on his toes is a big reason why I love old standards AND dancing.

I miss my Dad.

Jun 13, 2008

One of my favorite things about my dad is that he's a really smart guy who isn't afraid to be goofy when we're going through the drive through ("And I'd like a French fry, and and a French fry, and a French fry..."), or at the grocery store, or at the bank. I also like that he knows what he wants, and he puts his family first, which is sweet to hear him talk about.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad has an answer for every question, especially rhetorical questions. My favorite is when he doesn't know the real answer, so he makes something up. He might be the reason I'm a wonder killer, but I love him for it.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad accidentally pronounces Beyonce like Bay-on-ce, despite us telling him the correct pronounciation.

Jun 13, 2008

and he will also peel your orange for you - peel it very, very fast!

Jun 13, 2008

Oh, I love your dad!

My dad is the greatest storyteller ever. He totally embellishes, especially as he grows older, but he can completely captivate ANYONE. (He's damn funny, too.)

Jun 13, 2008

My dad used to read to me when I was little, every night before bedtime. And because I requested the same books night after night (and I'm sure that got tiresome), he would make up new plots and incorporate them as he went along. Oh, and he makes up songs while he washes the dishes. Always has. And when I call him to wish him a happy birthday, or happy father's day, he always says, "thank you, same to you!" And no matter how old I get, he always lets me know that I'm his little girl (even though he doesn't use those words).

Jun 13, 2008

I am totally tearing up, reading your entry, then the comments, then thinking about my dad and the things I like about him. Sob!

My dad uses his own language half the time, using made-up words and phrases. He's always done it, so we all know that "any news?" means "any dessert?" and forget that most people have no idea what he's talking about. I have to admit, I always feel a little special, knowing what he means.

Jun 13, 2008

I love my dad for many reasons, but it's the odd little things he says and does that always stand out in my mind. Like how he used to read me Edgar Allan Poe – can you say “Tell-Tale Heart? – at bedtime when I was a kid. And how he saunters downstairs on the way out to dinner, plucking up the collar to his hawaiian shirt, asking us if he looks, "cool." He always has some lesson in everything he does, although it never feels like he’s teaching you. He’s also pretty silly for being such a big, business-like “grown up.” His laugh is infectious, and while he doesn’t have a whole lot to say, when he does speak, it’s always something good and well worth the wait. His eyes tear up when he hears the National Anthem, too, but he's no wimp. Yeah, he pretty much rocks. :o)

Jun 13, 2008

My dad planted flowers in my garden while I was in the hospital and unhappy that I couldn't get my bulbs in the ground. By the time I had recovered enough to walk and be sent home the leaves of paperwhites and other treasures were just popping their fingers up through the mulch.

Jun 13, 2008

My favorite thing about my dad is how he's grown into being a parent. He was never really the type--independent, quiet, serious--but in the past twenty-nine years he's turned into a selfless mentor, a generous benefactor, a complete goofball, just a really cool guy. I couldn't ask for a better dad.

Jun 13, 2008

Yay, my bday is today, too! Woo hoo! Happy birthday and Father's Day to your dad.

Jun 13, 2008

The comments reminded me that my dad used to read Donald Duck cartoons to us when we were little and do every single voice, including a really crazy high voice for Daisy Duck.
Which is a lovely thing to remember after having completely forgotten it.
My other favourite thing about my dad is his complete love for his big old clunky car, which is going on 12 years and has been shipped across a continent to stay with him.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad had the most lovely, all encompassing belly laugh and bright twinkling blue eyes. You couldn't help but feel sunshine pour into the room when he was particularly tickled by something.

His bottom two front teeth never came in and he was very self conscious about the two tiny baby teeth that would peek out of his mouth if he smiled too big. He always looks stern in posed photos, but it was all to hide the teeth.

He loved Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. And he loved reading it to my sister and I. And we loved him fiercely and still do. He passed away six years ago this week and I still miss him every day.

Thank you for this opportunity to share some memories of my father.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad died several years ago, and I still miss him all the time. I think the thing I miss most is that whenever I called him - whether I had just seen him an hour ago, or was off at college and hadn't talked to him in a week - as soon as he knew it was me on the phone, he always said, "what do you need, sweetheart?" You know, in that Dad way of he could do anything I needed. There were times I said, just need to talk, Dad, and we would talk. There were of course other times when I needed something concrete - a ride, money, advice, and he would do that, too. I just can't believe how much for granted I took it that there was someone I could call who would not only say, what do you need, but would actually be willing and able to do whatever it was I came up with.

Jun 13, 2008

My dad is the greatest because he supports me no matter what. He is technically my step-dad, but we have been together since I was 4 years old. It took a few years to get where we are today, but if I could go to a "Dad Store" to pick a dad, I couldn't do better than the one I have!

Jun 13, 2008

My dad died 18 months ago, so, it's still odd to think of Father's Day without him. Not, you know, that my family did anything about it (or Mother's Day, for that matter) besides call to wish it upon the parents. We're a fairly low-maintenance family in that regard.

But: in addition to calling him Dad, my sister and I habitually called him by his name, Donald, which he never minded, and seemed to love, really. With inflection: "DONald, stop it."

Once, my friend and I fell asleep on the bus from Manhattan to our town, in our 20s--too much drinking--and ended up at the end of the line, 20 minutes from my house, at 3 a.m. DONald came immediately--I remember saying to my friend, "Oh, my dad will come with no issue," and he did--and was even in good spirits, given the fact we'd woken him. Never gave me a sideways glance.

He adored my nieces.

He adored me and my sister.

And he read me the "Color Kittens" book as a kid, and slept on the floor by my bed when I was three, and having nightmares about the house burning down. (My sister had just been born. Bet that had something to do with it.) I remember that; not just folklore.

And he had a horrific temper, but was incredibly loving. Got that from him, both of those things, too.

I miss him. Cherish your dads, peeps.

Jun 13, 2008

Oh--and he drove me to work, without complaint, when I lost my license eight years ago. And picked me up.

It was great: we got the chance to really talk to one another, and be friends.

I will always, always, cherish those times, even if he insisted on listening to Don Imus on the radio.

All Adither
Jun 13, 2008

I just have to say that this is lovely.

Jun 13, 2008

Your dad is completely wonderful!!!

Rachael W
Jun 13, 2008

This is definitely worth your dad getting weepy. Beautiful entry!

I have many favorite things about my dad, but this is the one I'm most thankful for: he taught me to be tough and never to quit. He can also be extremely thoughtful sometimes, bringing home little surprise gifts just because he knows they'll brighten our day. And they're always exactly what we wanted or needed.

Jun 13, 2008

The summer of my 14th year, my dad trained with me to hike up South Sister (of the Three Sisters) Mountain in Central Oregon. Looking back, it was something he did for both of us, and it was so wonderful. The climb was grueling but we made it! The experience gave me the confidence I needed to enter 9th grade with (literally) a different perspective on what I could do and be. And now I'm weepy. Thank you! What a sweet dad you have too.

Jun 14, 2008

My dad and I have always thought the exact same things are funny. I don't know that I appreciated that much when I was a kid, having a parent who always knows right where your funnybone is, until I realized that it's actually kind of rare.

He didn't spoil me, but he always made sure I had what I needed. Always. He worked some seriously long hours to put me through college, and I once wrote him a letter thanking him for that and hid it where I knew he would find it. He called me later and said, "I found something today that made your daddy cry like a big ol' girl." Heh. Awesome.

Anyway, if that's not enough, I give you Team Hoyt. If you have not seen this, be warned that it will DEVASTATE you, but in a happy way.

Jun 14, 2008

Your dad is very much like mine own dad!
Minus the nailpolish part. But he is always there to help me with directions and the whole picking up & dropping off of the sort. Like when I came home from college, my friends from Scotland needed to get to JFK so my dad took them there. Just like that, 2 hours out of the way and stuck in traffic on Memorial Day Weekend the entire time. That's a pretty awesome father.

Also, I love that my father knows all useless facts that most people don't know offhand. Like when the space station flys over our house, he'll always pull us outside to watch it.

Jun 14, 2008

Holly my dad is the bees knees. He's bought my sister and I our femine stuff when I was too sick to get out of bed (yes my cramps do this to me).

Jun 14, 2008

My dad is my movie / sporting event / go get some ice cream buddy. He is the funniest guy and I appreciate him and all he does and how hard he works for his family.

I love you dad

Jun 14, 2008

I don't do father's day, but now I feel like doing a post about my dad. So maybe I will.

Anne in SC
Jun 15, 2008

You dad sounds like my kind of Dad! How lucky you are to have him.

I have taken your cue and left a post for my dad on my blog (much abbreviated as I'm doing it all at 5:00 am and want to have something before the day gets started).

I am still enjoying your blog. Thanks for letting me hang around!

Renee in GA
Jun 15, 2008

My dad had bright blue eyes and a great laugh that can only be decribed as a "chuckle." He used to sing, loudly but very well, when we were getting ready for church. When I called him from school, facing a problem and wishing he would just tell me what to do, he would say, "Whatever you think is best, sugar" which drove me crazy at the time. But now I am so glad I have his voice in my head, saying those words to me over and over.

I miss him more than words can say. And I, like, know a LOT of words :)

Jun 15, 2008

My dad is gone now but I think the most memorable thing about him was that he would never eat the last of a food, even his favorite pie, even when it was his absolute favorite. He would always give it to someone else if they wanted it.

Jun 15, 2008

Wonderful post! And Papa Burns is one lovely sounding father!

How do I put into words all the things I love about my dad but here goes - that he loves my mom and still holds her hand in public after 59 years of marriage; that he and my mom are the best example a girl could ask for; that he taught me how to change a tire; that he tells me I am his favourite girl and I know that he tells all of his daughters this; that he sent me a Valentine's card every year until I met my husband because he wanted me to know that I am loved; that even though he had to leave his parents at 14 to emigrate to Canada because of the war and live with people that he had never met, he still managed to become a great parent; that he is funny; that he is the reason that I waited so long to get married because I wanted to find someone who had a heart as big and loving and kind as his. And because of his example - I did. I could go on but now I have to wipe my eyes. Thanks for this Holly! My dad will be here visiting soon!

Jun 16, 2008

When I was little, I used to sleep with the door open, every night my dad would come up the stairs and stand at the bedroom door while I pretended to sleep.

He caught me out and made me giggle every single night.

I love that your dad painted your toe nails! My husband paints mine, I can see him doing that for our daughters in a few years time too.

Also, that video posted up there..yeah, it made me cry.

Jun 16, 2008

I forgot! It's not father's day here yet, but my father's birthday is coming up, I might just steal your idea since you know, you promise not to tell him!

Jun 16, 2008

I love that my Dad makes super awesome French toast. I also love how he dances almost exactly like Bill Cosby, with his hands balled into fists with his brow furrowed and lips pursed as he juts his head back and forth. He breaks for Motown and the Rolling Stones. He always offers you a stick of gum and shares his Chapstick (the black tube, classic). What I might love most though, is his innate sense of justice & integrity. He can be totally full of crap, but he'll always stand up for the little guy and will do the right thing -- even if it means swallowing his own pride.

Melissa D
Jun 16, 2008

What a lovely post about your dad. Me and your dad share a birthday. :) Hope he had a good birthday and a good father's day.

Jun 16, 2008

The toenail-painting picture! Ahhh! It kills me.

Jun 16, 2008

My biological dad was a pretty rotten person, but I've managed to hold on to some untainted memories of him from childhood-- For one, he taught me to love music. GOOD music. The Beatles, Billy Joel, Chicago, etc. The stuff he loved way back then is still some of my favorite music today. He also taught me to love nature. We always had a beautiful yard no matter where my family lived. I hope I have his green thumb when I move into my new house.

It's been 12 years since my dad left. That's my favorite thing about him now-- the fact that he's gone and my family has recovered from his abuse.

Jun 16, 2008

this is such a great post, i love it.

and the pics are awesome.

Ryan Carlton
Jun 19, 2008

I rarely ask my father a question to which he does not know the answer. Years ago, friends of ours accused him of memorizing the answers to the trivial pursuits questions. He hadn't, he's just that smart.

Also, he always comes through for me. Never fails. When I thank him he just turns and says, "Sometimes you have to be a dad."

Perhaps that's true, but rarely does one do it as well as he.

Jun 20, 2008

While my father wasn't all that excited to be a dad, he's been super excited to be a grandpa. It was the best surprise for him to be so great with my girls.

Wacky Mommy
Jun 22, 2008

oh geez, so sweet! I love the picture of him painting your nails for you.

Sarah Brown
Jun 26, 2008

Oh, this made me cry!