Sunday, June 13, 2010

my little dad

With Father's Day coming up next weekend, I was thinking of my dad this morning. (He's still alive-- I just realized how that sounds.) Since he was a Navy SEAL, he likes to cultivate this image of him as a big tough guy, but in reality, he's got about the mushiest center of anyone I've ever known. When I was little and the ice cream truck would go through our neighborhood (yeah, we still had an ice cream truck) he would buy ice cream for the kids who didn't have any money for it.

One time I got in trouble for not watching my brother and sister closely enough- they were screwing around and Katie fell & bumped her head. My dad sent me to my room for the night as punishment. I sulked and pouted because I didn't think it was fair that my 8-year-old self should be responsible for my 6-year-old special needs brother and 3-year-old sister. So I stayed in my room and played with my toys and muttered. It wasn't really even punishment- I had everything I wanted up in my room anyway (you didn't leave your toys out with my brother and semi-feral dog around unless you didn't really care what happened to them.) We only had one tv set and my dad got priority over what we watched which was primarily the evening news, MASH and on Sunday nights, the Muppet Show.

At one point in the evening, I left my room to go to the bathroom down the hall and I found a little pile of offerings in front of my door: some bits of candy, trinkets, and an Electric Company magazine- one of my favorite shows-that had a special feature on the movie Annie which I was obsessed over. I asked my mom about it the next day after my dad had left for work without saying a word. She told me it was his 'peace offering,' that he'd felt awful about punishing me but didn't know how to apologize.

It absolutely cracks me up now to see my dad's online self and how different it is from the image he thinks he projects. Now, understand that my dad minored in Computer Science at Syracuse University-- in 1976. So 'computer science' then meant punch cards. He's gotten the hang of his mac pretty well. My mom's amazing-- she downloads pictures, movies, shops, is all over facebook. My dad primarily fires off angry emails to elected officials and monitors upcoming legislation. This worries my mom greatly as she thinks he's probably targeted & watched by the FBI, not only for the anti-government rants but he was in the Special Forces and trained as an explosives expert ; {.

But I don't think she has anything to fear. I've seen these emails (he asks me to either proof them before he sends them or proudly shows me what he's sent recently.) My dad emails like a 15-year-old girl. EVERYTHING IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND THERE A MILLION JILLION EXCLAMATION POINTS !!!!!!!! He also tends to gush- a lot of "I AM SOOOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS !!!! CAN'T WAIT !!!! YAY!!!!" I've been trying to find a way to gently advise him on his online tone, but frankly, I enjoy it too much. The first "OMG" I catch out of him, however, there will be action.


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  2. Heh heh heh. I just realized after writing this that I too gush in my comments/posts when I'm either up really late or a tad tipsy. Well, now I know who to blame!

  3. HA! I know, the wife warns me about blogging under the influence...

  4. I apparently just LOVE LOVE LOVE everyone and everything is THE BEST.
    Could be worse. I could be swearing a helluva lot more....