I don’t talk about my parents much, unless it’s to pick on them for being hippies and raising me wrong. I guess when you get to be 30 most of the things you spent your 20s depending on your parents for are kind of pointless. You’re no longer in college so it’s weird to call your dad when your car breaks down to ask him to fix it. Especially since you own the car. And your dad lives in North Dakota. It feels a bit awkward to call and ask for money, so you just suck it up and eat sandwiches and instead of Starbucks you drink 7-Eleven coffee. It’s a point in my life that most of my friends figured out 5 to 7 years ago - my parents aren’t responsible for my financial well being any more. I mean, I have a Master’s degree… but I’m a slow learner.
I just wanted to tell a quick story about my dad, that maybe he doesn’t even remember, but that I think about every once in a while and even though it’s kind of cheesy, it’s totally my dad.
My senior year of high school I was deep into a drug and alcohol funk that had me and my parents screaming at each other pretty much 10 times a day. I was out of control, and my parents were dealing with some big things on their own, so they didn’t really have the energy or understanding to deal with what I was throwing their way. My sister was your typical good girl, so good in fact that she didn’t have a curfew, and didn’t get drunk until she was a respectable 3,000 miles away at college. I on the other hand came home drunk 3 nights a week, snuck out of the house, was doing way too many drugs and had a kind of a death wish. My parents were in over their heads. All of this was going on and I was saving up for a trip to Russia so that I could back pack across Eastern Europe with my sister. My parents were going to pay for my plane ticket and I was responsible for everything else. One night at a dance, my friend Bob and I were so drunk that we left open containers in my car, a beer in the cup holder between the seats and a 12 pack of Zima in the back seat. Of course the cops that came to all the dances weren’t so thrilled that I was about to get into my car and drive home (who knows, maybe they saved our lives that night). We were about to be arrested when the cops realized who I was, my distinctive last name and the fact that my mom had been Vice Mayor of Camp Verde plus the fact that my dad was kind of a prominent business man in the town of 6,000 pop. was a dead give away. My mom was called and asked to come pick up her drunk daughter. My dad was out of town and heard all about it when he got home. I was grounded for 2 months, and my parents were going to cancel my trip to Europe.
Honestly, I look back and wonder why they didn’t cancel my trip. I was trouble. I needed to be punished. At this point I didn’t think there was any salvaging my trip, but I was called down to the kitchen one morning and my dad sat me down. He told me the were still sending me to Russia, and when I asked why, he said, “If we clip your wings now, how can we expect you to fly later?” He was sure that by taking away my opportunity to see the rest of the world, that I would never get better. I would never snap out of the surly. I thank him for that. It seems cheesy, but I would be such a different person today if I hadn’t spent a summer away from the bad influences that made bad behavior easy. I don’t know what that conversation was like between my mom and dad, who convinced whom or what went on, but I know that my dad was the one that broke the news to me. I’m glad I have a dad, that even though he’s a Republican, get’s it. Thanks, dad.
Happy Father’s Day.