Sunday, January 30, 2011

#5 His Chair

The living room is a sacred place of gathering. It usually marks the time of bonding between the family, friends and guests. Holiday gatherings, sporting events or family announcements mark a reason to come together in this area. There is always one constant about these family congregations...where Dad sits.

It's the chair off to the side of the room that still has the indented butt mark in the cushion. It may have some torn and worn down spots on the corners. It doesn't match anything else in the room and its recliner needs some extra push to work. Don't you dare sit there. This is Dad's Chair.

If anyone is sitting in it by mistake, he or she will quickly get up once Dad enters the room. Dad will not hesitate to make a mockery of your friend who is over for the first time and sat in the chair. Not cool, friend.

This is Dad's sanctuary spot. He reads in it, watches TV in it, falls asleep on a Sunday afternoon in it. There is almost an invisible bubble that surrounds it. Do Not Enter. After long days at work, Dad has been known to sit in it while waiting for dinner. He just needs to unwind. The Chair is shaped to his body and understands the exact comfort he needs.

You've tried to sneakily sit in it a few times when nobody was home. It is pretty comfortable. But beware, Dad knows when someone else has sat in it. And He isn't happy about it. There are other chairs in the room, so why don't you sit in this? "Why doesn't Dad sit in another chair?" You ask. You just got grounded. And to get over the stress of having to punish you, Dad needs to go relax in his Chair.

Monday, January 24, 2011

#4 Hating your taste in music

This phrase becomes part of a Dad's vocabulary as soon as he mistakenly introduces his kids to their first record, tape cassette, CD or mp3 (depending on your generation). Let's face it. No matter what you play, your Dad won't like it.

"You call that music? Let me tell you about music..." as you roll your eyes and he explains in excruciating detail about the first time he heard ______ (insert band name here). You'll soon learn to respect his taste in music, but he will never understand why you like the music you listen to.

He'd rather drive in silence then listen to your radio station and definitely requires that music coming from your room be only audible to those people in your room. He claims all music today is stolen from music from his day (half true). And he'll prove it to you by dusting off his old music and playing it for you, demonstrating that they share the same amount of bars and rhyme schemes. He does this through his toe tap dance, snapping fingers and bobbing head.

As the song ends, Dad has the look of "need I say more?" Don't dare try to argue with Dad when it comes to music after this point. But in the end, Dad knows he can't stop you from listening to that garbage you call music, so he caves and buys you a walkman, discman, or ipod (depending on your generation) so at least he won't have to torture his ears to the rabble.

This serves as a preview for posts to come: What is Dad Music?

#3 Massive Sunday Breakfasts

Most Dads have limited experience in cooking. Their idea of cooking is standing over a grill, flipping the occasional burger and/or steak, and drinking a beer. However, there is that one other sacred rite of the Dad that they consider their apex of cookery. Everyone has experienced waking up to the smell of bacon and coming into the kitchen they are welcomed to the sight of dear old Dad slinging hash and flapjacks like he is working the griddle at Dennys. Dads around the world love making massive breakfast on a Sunday Morning.

It is always pretty standard breakfast fare: eggs, pancakes or waffles, bacon, sausage, and orange juice. However Dad always insists that these are not normal pancakes, they are “Dad’s World Famous Pancakes” which really means he just followed the recipe on the Bisquick box and made the pancakes into a Mickey Mouse shape. Dad always makes the bacon just a little different than you want it either cooked way too long or barely at all so you have this wiggly piece of pork belly snaking down your throat.

The other main feature of the Dad Breakfast Banquet is how…much…food he makes. The family probably shops at Costco so Dad is going to be utilizing a ten pound box of Bisquick, four dozen eggs, and about five pounds of meats. You better believe that Dad is going to use all of the stuff he bought so there is always going to be about thirty left over pancakes that will be eaten over the next few days as substitutes for bread. No matter how much bacon Dad makes, it will always be gone by the end of the meal because bacon is too damn good to waste.

After the five course breakfast is over, the family is left with a kitchen that looks like it has been through a war. There is batter in every crevice, bacon fat streaked across the counter, and the dog is in a food coma from catching all the scraps Dad dropped on the floor. This is when Dad usually leaves the premises for a good Sunday walk (in his White New Balances of course) while the family is left with spraying down the whole kitchen. Thank God for the Dad provided meal fit for a person who just got kicked off The Biggest Loser.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

#2: White New Balance Shoes

If you are a Dad, you are going to need shoes for jogging, walking around the block, dragging your kids to a museum, and of course "puttering around the house". A Dad needs a versatile pair of shoes that can fit any scenario and that is why Dads always have at least one pair of white new balance shoes. But why do they have to be New Balances? Well, because they are comfortable and support a wide array of flat feet (which nearly every Dad has) and bad heels and they are a generic white and gray color. Does anyone know when their Dad bought a pair of these shoes? The answer is of course they don't. Hospitals give them out as standard issue to all new Dads right after their kid is born. Dads across America rejoice in wearing these icons of fatherhood so much that they usually purchase more than one pair at a time so they do not have to waste time going to the store to get another pair or in case their favorite flavor of white New Balances is discontinued.

Style and appearance is everything when it comes to being a dad. You have to talk the talk and most importantly, walk the walk. Strolling through downtown suburbia after a kid's Saturday morning AYSO soccer game in white New Balances is the ultimate fashion statement for a father.

#1 Classic: The Mustache

Do you have a mustache? If you said yes, chances are that you are a Dad. If not, you're probably a pedophile.

But seriously now, chances are that your Dad had a mustache at some point. It's unwritten law that he have one. He'll make a point about having it groomed and not remember what his upper lip looks like without it. It proves his manliness and his masculine hygiene. College guys dedicate all of March trying to replicate one. Girls are reminded of their father figure upon seeing it on a guy (Warning: this can be both good and bad).

This simple act of growing one symbolizes being a father. Don't believe me? This comic says it all: