Thursday, January 26, 2012

Am I becoming my father? Why yes, yes I am

It's stunning to compare photos of my wife and mother-in-law at similar ages. In some cases, they look almost exactly alike. I mean, we're talking virtual identical twins here.

Terry jokingly refers to it as The Curse. I have my own version of it, though I've never given it a name because I've only recently noticed it.

It is my solemn and somewhat sad responsibility to officially announce, here on this blog, that I am rapidly turning into my father.I don't know when it started, nor do I know how far it will go, but there's no doubt that I am morphing into a 21st-century version of Bob Tennant.

Not that this is bad, mind you. My dad was a great guy. It has been 12 years since he passed away, and I still think about him all the time.

Knowing that I miss him, God very graciously decided that the next best thing to having him around is actually being him. And thus, my transformation has begun.

How do I know I'm becoming my father? Four major clues:

(1) I enjoy dad humor
As my former co-worker Jennifer Cimperman has pointed out, dads tell really bad (painfully bad) jokes. The kind of jokes not even the most down-on-his-luck comedian would ever stoop to tell on stage. And we think we're absolutely hilarious. Seriously, just when you thought society was finally rid of that old joke about people dying to get into cemeteries, a group of dads resurrects it and it lives on. My apologies.

(2) My fashion sense
My father regularly wore, for example, a red t-shirt with purple sweatpants, and I would mock him for it. I gave the eulogy at his funeral and even mentioned it there, for Pete's sake. And now I look at old pictures of him in that outfit and I'm starting to think, "Hey, that's pretty stylin'." (Yes, I say it as if the 'g' didn't exist at the end of "styling.") I may need professional help here.

(3) I have hairs growing in strange places
I'll look in the mirror and notice there's a nine-inch mutant hair growing from my ear. I don't mean from inside my ear, but from the actual outside fleshy part of my ear. What is that all about? I used to laugh at the fact that my dad would have these rogue hairs growing from, say, his nose, and apparently I would think to myself, "That will never happen to ME! I'll be 18 years old forever!" Nature is cruel, my friends.

(4) I have no real idea where anything is in the house
I realize this is a problem that plagues men in general, but I think it was worse in my dad. My childhood memories consist largely of my dad standing in one room and yelling to my mom in another, "KATHRYN! WHERE DID I PUT THE ELECTRICAL TAPE?" And my mom would tell him. Then, six seconds later: "KATHRYN! WHERE ARE THE SCISSORS?" And so on. We've lived in our house for more than eight years, and I still can't tell you exactly: (a) which switches turn on which lights, and (b) where we keep almost any useful item. Without Terry, I would spend most of my time wandering around the house looking for stuff.

I realize this is how life works. Inevitably we become our parents, whether it's in looks, in mannerisms, or in thought patterns (or, if you're really lucky, in all three). And like I said ,that's OK. I just need to figure out whether Wal-Mart or Target would be my best bet for stocking up on red t-shirts and purple sweatpants.

1 comment:

  1. Soon you will be boiling water in your backyard over a wood-burning stove.