Monday, May 30, 2011

#33 The Coat

"It's a little chilly outside, so grab your coat!" Dad yells to you as you're leaving your room. You finally trudge up the stairs carrying your coat when you see Dad waiting by the front door in his. What a sight to see. Dad stands tall and proud in his mismatched, much too big, owned-since-before-you-were-born, coat. "This baby could have kept me warm during the Ice Age," Dad chuckles to himself as he notices your embarrassed look.

Dad prides himself on keeping up with the latest fashions: the turtleneck, the newest walking shoes (which are always an upgraded model of white newbalances), and some misfitting polos that he buttons all the way to the top. But when it comes to his coat, there is no arguing. This coat is here to stay.

The coat is in family portraits, birthday photos, graduations and even some photos when Dad was in college. Somehow this coat is a hybrid of casual and formal attire. It doesn't go with anything yet it makes appearances at every event. Even when the coat is black, it still stands out.

But you appreciated the coat as a kid. It made for an awesome blanket in your forts. Because of its all encompassing and overwhelming size, you could hide under it without anyone knowing. You've borrowed it on vacations when the temperature dropped below what was expected. By far, the family favorite was seeing you and a friend come into the kitchen together pretending to be conjoined twins, bound by Dad's coat and walking in sync.

Dad opens the door for you guys to leave. "Oh, it's a little warmer than I thought..." Yes! He can leave the coat at home. But Dad knows how quickly the weather can change so He quickly ties his coat around his waist. "Always gotta be prepared!" That coat makes appearances everywhere, no matter what.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#32 Gifts for you that Dad wants

"Here, open mine!" Dad proclaims. Dad's knees clatter with excitement and his upper body flails like yours after one too many pixie sticks. You start to untie the ribbon of the present Dad got you. The wrapping was obviously done by mom, but this present was especially picked out for you by Dad. You remove the box and there before you sits a present that you don't fully comprehend.
"You like it?"

Classic Dad. Dads tend to get their kids a gift that the kid doesn't necessarily want, but rather Dad buys it so he can relive his childhood or try out the latest toy without feeling guilty. These gifts range from Train sets, Legos, complex model airplanes meant for an age group you're not part of, to even Easy Bake ovens (this way Dad can sneak in brownies without mom knowing). Sometimes the gifts are too random to even make sense: a new bed comforter, a matching belt, or next year's social studies book and Brain Quest set.

"Oh...thanks Dad. I love it."
"LET ME SHOW YOU HOW IT WORKS" Dad quickly takes the present out of the box for a demonstration for all to see. Forget instructions, Dad has already memorized them at the toy store when the cashier demonstrated the gift in the first place. The demonstration continues to a round of out of rhythm applause while people scan the room for the birthday cake. "See! It's not only fun, but practical!"

You thank Dad with a big hug and set the present down with the others. At the end of the party you shove all the presents at the foot of your bed and lay down because your sugar high is finally wearing off. *Knock knock* "Want me to show you more of what that present can do?
I can tinker with it to make sure it runs right." Dad passively asks as he is already digging through the present pile. "Go ahead Dad, knock yourself out."
You've never seen that gift again.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

#31 A Briefcase

Dad arrives home late after a long days work. “Sorry I’m late—I had a lot of paperwork.” Dad is always talking about how much paperwork he has to deal with. You guess that’s what working as an adult is. But funny thing is, you’ve never seen Dad with any papers. If Dad has so much paperwork, how does he carry it all around? The answer is in his briefcase.

Dad is much too classy for a Jansport backpack, and don’t even attempt to get him a shoulder bag/satchel. Dad carries his leather, musty, metal buckle latched briefcase with meaning. The briefcase serves purpose of organization amongst that paperwork, pens, calculator and extra set of cufflinks, but it is also a status symbol.

Much like Batman never fights crime without his utility belt, Dad never leaves for the office without his briefcase. A shoulder bag would trigger his joint problems and a backpack just looks silly. But the briefcase is sturdy and for the hardcore Dads it comes with a 3 number combo for each latch. Does Dad work for the FBI?

If you’re lucky, Dad might ask you to bring his briefcase to him from the study. Be careful though, you must’n open it. The worn leather exudes importance and upclose it smells like your social studies book. Was the Declaration of Independence carried in a briefcase?

You hand Dad his briefcase to which He is eternally grateful. “Thanks kiddo,” Dad sincerely states with a wink as if it was a 50s family sitcom. You smile and stand still in your moment of accomplishment. “You can go now.” Dad says sternly, shaking you from your day dream. Dad cautiously watches you exit before he opens his briefcase. What kind of papers are carried in that briefcase? Only Dad knows…

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#30 Sweater Vests

In order to be a Dad, one has to act like a Dad but more importantly one has to look like a Dad. The staff here at That’s So Dad have discussed at length the virtues of White New Balances, braided leather belts, sandals with socks, bathrobes and other apparel that shows to the world “I am a Dad, I want to look good.” One foundation of Dad fashion that must be recognized is that solid rock of upper body clothing. It can be worn any time of the year and for any occasion. From office parties to Sunday brunch, and from little league games to tax preparation the sweater vest is always an appropriate option for Dad.

Sweater vests are great because they provide Dad with some warmth on a cool fall day, but provide him with a free range of motion to do Dad activities like fixing things in the garage, also known as escaping from the family to drink some beer and performing minor repairs on the house. The versatility of the sweater vest is unparalleled due to its resistance to wear and tear and never ending pattern and color choices. Solid colored sweater vests are the most common and are used in many casual situations. Dad always has a sweater vest in the color of his alma mater that he wears while yelling at said alma mater’s football team on the TV. He also has various striped and checkered sweater vests to adapt to certain situations.

The most notable sweater vest is also the most ugly; The Christmas Sweater Vest. A distant cousin to the Ugly Christmas Sweater, Dad busts the UCSV out only once a year: when the family is hosting the family Christmas party. Dad does not wear it ironically; he actually thinks it looks good on him. You groan as you watch Dad belting Christmas carols, working on his fifth glass of eggnog, and rocking the UCSV. Dad does not care though, because he is rocking the sweater vest and looks damn good while doing it.

The sweater vest is the most timeless of apparel in a Dad’s wardrobe. Every occasion calls for a sweater vest in his mind. The most famous example is Jim Tressel, the head football coach for the Ohio State Cheaters. The man is always strolling the sidelines wearing a classic solid colored scarlet or gray sweater vest. The man wants to look his best when coaching, and he knows the only way to do it is with the sweater vest, the main weapon in Dad’s closet.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

#29 Mother's Day Role

In honor of Mother's Day, the contributors here at ThatsSoDad wanted to honor Dad's role in this celebratory occasion. Dad's salute moms because of their loving nature and ability to make the family function and house flow with ease. Dad can only do so much by himself, so on Mother's Day, Dad is more than gracious to reward and honor mom.

Being that it is a Sunday, Dad sneaks out of bed and tiptoes downstairs to unload a Massive Sunday Breakfast. Dad wakes you up, "Wanna help with serving mom breakfast in bed?!?" You wake up enthusiastically to go help in the kitchen. Dad awaits with eggs for you to start cracking and batter for you to start whisking. As you help, Dad keeps giving guidance, eventually taking over realizing you aren't suitable for making mom's favorite breakfast. "Just pour her some OJ, I'll take over from here." Dad knows he must get it right for mom on Her Day.

You rush to your bedroom to pull out the card you carefully constructed for mom. She better like this, you've still got glue and glitter on your hands from the past week. Dad and you creep into the bedroom to deliver breakfast to mom. After she delightfully sips the OJ and praises you for your help, it is gift time. Dad gives mom the necklace he bought "from all of us" when really you have no income. Dad sacrifices his deserved praise for the gift in order for you to get smothered with kisses.

Next is Dad rustling around the house in his witty apron tirelessly cleaning and making sure mom doesn't have to lift a finger today. It is afterall, her day. Dad understands this must be done quickly because in a few hours he'll be trudging through the local walking path that mom insists you all must walk as a family. Dad hasn't sweat like this in a long time.

So in this day of praising moms, we must'n forget that Dad plays a vital role in making sure moms day runs smoothly. Dad will have his day next month, so until then He is hard at work making sure the table settings are aligned properly for the family dinner.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

#28 Classic Dads Volume #2: The Dad from Calvin and Hobbes

Continuing with our series on Classic Dads, the staff here at That’s Do Dad has decided to cover a Dad that is a legend in print, not the silver screen. The Dad in Calvin and Hobbes has many classic Dad mannerisms and uses them perfectly in the comic strip by Bill Watterson to mess with his son Calvin. Calvin’s Dad (his name is never given) always provides ridiculous answers Calvin’s questions for his own amusement. When Calvin asked his Dad where babies come from, his Dad says that babies come from Sears, but his parents bought Calvin at K-Mart on special. When Calvin asked why the Sun moves from East to West, his Dad answered “solar wind.”

Another classic Dad move Calvin’s Dad exhibits is dragging the family on vacations out into the wilderness that everyone hates except himself. Making the best out of one such trip where it rains for six straight days, he forces Calvin to fish with him. His reasoning is that “It builds character.” Calvin’s Dad uses this reasoning when he tells Calvin to do his chores, go play outside, do his homework, and any other thing Calvin does not want to do. When Calvin acts up, which is often, Calvin’s Dad uses one of the strongest weapons in a Dad’s arsenal…he sends Calvin to his room.

Whether he is raking the leaves, doing the taxes, or convincing his son to leave a beer for Santa instead of milk, Calvin’s Dad is a prime example of what a Dad should aspire to be. We can all learn from his example and achieve legendary Dad status.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

#27 Chaperoning Field Trips

Bagged lunch, check. Walking shoes, check. Sweatshirt tied around waist, check. Permission slip, check. This is the checklist you and Dad run through the morning of the science museum field trip. You've been waiting for it for weeks now. Not only are you excited to see if your hair really does stick up upon touching that magnetic ball like in the commercials, but this time Dad is chaperoning. You won't have to be crammed in smelly Billy's car or in the middle of the backseat of Katie's car where there isn't a designated seat belt. This time you'll be in Dad's car.

Now mom has been a chaperone a few times, but Dad's chaperoning skills are much better. Of all the times Dad embarrasses you by trying to be a "cool Dad," this is the one area where it will work. Dad enjoys chaperoning because although you kids are hectic, it gets him out of the office with a valid excuse.

Mrs. _______ (insert your teachers name here) announces your car. Dad makes sure he has the directions and boom its a footrace to the automobile. "Buckle up everyone, you're in for a bumpy ride" Dad lets out to his first successful round of laughs. On the way there, Dad lets you guys choose the radio station. Another cool point for Dad.

At the science museum that has the cool local name that every kid knows, Dad's cool points only increase. Not only is he participating in every activity ("It was so funny when your Dad's hair stuck up because he has that bald spot!" Sam couldn't hold it in anymore), but Dad knows everything about everything in the museum! 12th grader tour guide, take a seat, my Dad knows more than you do.

Dad gathers everyone together with an hour left for one last exhibit and a round at the giftshop. Dad sees everyone fading. They need a pick me up. Dad ponders. Time for him to shine on the drive home. "Dad you missed the turn for school." "The Field Trip Continues!" Dad exclaims as you turn into 7-11. Each person in your car becomes loaded with Cheetos, Sour Patch kids, and of course the infamous multi-colored/flavored slurpee. You all strut back into class as if you're celebrities. You can feel every other kids jealousy as they see your blue tongue and cheeto filled cheeks. "Your Dad is the coolest!" quiet Kim states with Dad overhearing. It is these statements that makes Dad excited to chaperone next month for the trip to the petting zoo.