Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lessons From Dad...

I can appreciate Doris Day like no other person in my generation... I am in love with her music and her movies and wish I could be her... {well, I wish I could be Martha Stewart, but THEN Doris Day}...

My favorite show is Three's Company. I'd give anything to have one date with John Ritter back in the day. I'm in love with him. I was excused from school the day he died and had a day of retail therapy, chocolate overload, and much crying. I was in high school...whaaaa? i'm not normal, nor do i claim to be... but nothing gets me happier than an episode of three's. i would watch it as a child and never catch on to the sexual innuendos and think now looking back how funny it was to have that on all the time. i mean it's harmless, but still haha. it's hard to tell who loves the show more when we watch it together. {i have every season on DVD and i have yet to open the last season... i refuse to see it finalized. it will never end to me!!}

Appreciate the value of a dollar. I remember anytime I would walk towards $200 jeans or expensive shoes, he would say, "is that worth 8 hours of work? if so, go for it." Putting it in perspective, I would think about serving snobby customers at my summer job and imagine 2 days of it just to pay off my jeans... hm. nope. not worth it...  money doesn't grow on trees, sheila!

The value of a simple lifestyle. He always told me it's the simple things in life that bring the most happiness...well, ain't that the truth... He broke his back just to give me the lifestyle I have today, and I love him for that. Never own a house that's not within your means. Never drive a car you can't justify paying. Always have a rainy day fund. Pay cash, don't be in debt to others. Live without whatever you can, but on the same token- splurge on things {when you can} because you can't take your cash with you when you go. He said he's never seen a u-haul behind a hearse so don't get too attached to your belongings, give freely. 

How to be a good daughter/sister/girlfriend/aunt/step-daughter/granddaughter... he's helped my with every role i play in other people's lives. He advises me when I need help and encourages me to do the right thing in every situation. I vent to him about family/friend drama and he always tells me what i don't want to hear- the right thing. He lives the golden rule. cheesy, but true. 

Generosity. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- my dad is the most generous person you will ever meet, {if you're ever lucky enough to meet him...} He will has given the shirt off his back to a stranger. Even his shoes. He has never been too good for anyone no matter what his social status is or how much he has in his bank account. He doesn't need to tell anyone about his good deeds, he's so incredibly humble. I have so many sweet stories of my dad's generosity that I cannot wait to one day pass down to my children. I walk in any room with such a sense of pride when I am with him. I'll never forget the long drives through the "bad parts" of town to help me learn from their mistakes and yet teaching me at the same time to remember extreme poverty exists- and to do something about it. The children that were starving on the streets never asked to come into this world and to be the person that never judged or looked at an individual with a crooked eye. To treat everyone with respect. Even if it meant my dad was personally taken advantage of, he still treated everyone fairly and trusted everyone- because he thought everyone deserves it until he proves him otherwise. 

To have a sense of humor. To laugh a lot. To brush things off and not to make a mountain out of a mole hill. My favorite physical feature of my dad {besides his blue eyes} are his crow's feet around his eyes. It's a physical manifestation of the good times he has had. He can look in the mirror and see tangible evidence of a good life. 

To work hard to play hard. I remember going to work over the summer, when all i wanted to do was lounge in his backyard pool. {It was the summer after I graduated college, I spent 3 months living with him and he never made me feel bad about waking up at 11 and going straight to the pool...} He would bring me sandwiches to enjoy as i would lounge and when i would begin to complain about going in to work my server shift he would stop me and talk about how lucky i am to have a job to go to and make side money. He was right, I never complained about making the extra cash, so why complain when I had to go in to actually make it?...

For pushing me through 4 years of college- and when i would call and complain and say i was taking too many courses (21 hours) he would remind me of all the other kids who did it AND worked 3 jobs to support their family. ok, ok. not paying for school made it seem easier. I would always joke around with my dad because everyone around me was finishing undergrad in 5 years, and he would say, "so, if they jump off a bridge, would you??"... whenever I would feel accomplished about finishing 'on time', he would say, "so? want a cookie?" ok, he'd never say that, but that's the feeling i got hahaha he was saying how society was messed up for thinking late is the norm and on time is "early"... oh dad. 

I know he was disappointed when I wanted a year break from undergrad to law school, but i appreciate him allowing me to take it. I know he was scared i'd lose focus and never go back to school, but after a while he realized i wanted it as much as he did. {i'm sure those late morning wake ups and poolside lounging gave him a heart attack!}

For instilling this passion for traveling in me at such a young age. He's always taken my sister and I on trips. I remember time and time again all the opportunities he has given me to go on trips with him. I remember sitting in my college algebra class and I had a missed call from him. i ran out to call him back and he said, "wanna go to italy with me next week?" ummm... duh. I remember I skipped a test and didn't tell him but made A's on every other exam, managing to pull a B in the class. fine. by. me. That wasn't even the only time he's done that. I've gotten an email: "are you free to go to England next Thursday?"... and "would you care to join Nancy and I to Portugal over Christmas?" or "how about Sweden this Wed?" I have never in my life properly PLANNED a trip with my dad. It has been an incredible journey and I can't wait to tell my kids about it and do the same for them! i'm so blessed to be young and have gone all the places I've been thanks to him. I feel more cultured and more aware of my surroundings, and it's the only thing that drives me to be successful. I want to be able to make enough money to travel the world one day. He encouraged me to take my first trip without him, studying abroad to Brazil, and every day I was gone I would journal about what we would do if we were together. I wished so badly my dad could be with me-not in a homesick way, but it just felt wrong, like i was breaking the code of travel with my dad. I feel like he breaks the code when he goes on trips without me but it's only because i'm in school and can't make it. one day, school won't be an issue, and i can just hop on a plane whenever i want.... that'll be nice.

 For always putting thought into his appearance. I love how he cared about what he wore and never left the house looking like a slob. I was always proud to have him around at school events, or any social function. He was always dressed appropriately and I never had to hold my breath worrying if he would embarrass me. We both make fun of the sandal/sock combo and i'm so thankful i don't have a dad that asks what's wrong with wearing socks and sandals.... I love that he would take us to the mall as kids and we would get bored way before he would {i would perk up when he would bribe me with ice cream... and feel refreshed enough to shop some more hahaha}. I love that he starts his day before anyone else and is already showered and dressed before we wake up. In all of my life, I have never seen him leave the house to even do YARD WORK without a shower first. I have always filed that away and expected any guy I date to do the same, haha, high standards :) {and i'm lucky, in case you are wondering, ordy is the same! in fact... worse... ordy takes 2 showers a day- morning and night...}. you will never catch my dad in sweats, looking a mess, or in anything that isn't age appropriate. he hates name brands and would rather wear  a nice polo without the horse logo than "advertise" for them. hahaha growing up he would point out "idiots" doing "free advertising" when Tommy Hilfiger was huge with the red/white/blue flag logo everywhere. he was always making us buy Gap and Banana Republic stuff so we wouldn't give anyone the satisfaction of free publicity. Oh Max. He's always told me "classic". Classic flats, classic jeans, classic tops. Fads come and go {Jnco, earrings for guys, etc} and looking back on pictures if you stay "polo classic" you can't go wrong. haha he tells me to stay away from extreme fashion because i will regret it. I agree. sometimes.

For protecting me. My safety comes first and I know it. I can call him at 5 am if i hear something, even if it's my air conditioning making the noise. I remember coming home one night at 2 a.m. to my door open. {it's still debatable whether I forgot to shut it or what...but i wasn't taking any chances} and my dad picked up the phone and told me to wait in the car and he would be there. Not only did he come immediately, {even when we had an out-of-country house guest- whom he brought with him hahaha} but he came with a door chain to put on my door to make me feel better. I remember feeling much better watching him install it for me and then go on their way back to bed. 

His sense of direction. Ok, who am I kidding, i definitely did NOT get his sense of direction BUTTTTT i did get his confidence! I am definitely confident about how to get around town when i go abroad!!! i love how i can go to a foreign country and my dad can take us around, no matter what side of the road or what the speed limit. It's nice to feel safe. One summer we took a car trip all over Spain. I will never forget it. We never ever got lost and we found our favorite city, Tarragona. 

His sense of adventure- and the desire to try new things. ok, another thing i haven't fully grasped, but i will one day. He always talks me out of not liking things and to try new things. although it can at times be the most annoying thing {like, 9 years later STILL grilling out and putting STEAK on my plate, after years of not eating red meat, "oh, come on, you'll love it...} he used to pay my sister and i to try new things. $50 for shrimp, sure! $100 for mussels, ok... but i will say, that didn't last long once we started pretending we didn't like stuff just for the easy pay hahaha. but i def did cry the first time i had to swallow that nasty, slimy, mussel. ew. 

And last but not least, for being as stubborn as i am, and never wearing sunscreen :) 

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