Thursday, February 23, 2012

#73 Paying the Bill

"So the bill split 4 ways + tip is $17.75 per person!" Okay that seems easy enough-you just pay with a $20 because that's all you have. Your friends count the money once...twice...a third time. "You guys, we're short" your friends look dumbfounded. How can that be? I just paid more! The mystery of paying the bill never stops when eating out as friends. How come this problem never happens when I go out to eat with my family? Oh that's right...because Dad always pays the bill.

Unlike eating with friends, a family meal out is handled in swift, and sometimes secretive motion when it comes to payment. Dad handles the bill. Always. Sometimes he might not even look at the total; Other times he can calculate tip and tax in his head to make sure it all added correctly. Sometimes you don’t even know the bill has been paid. Dad must have a secret bank account to pay for dinners. Dad shuffles through his giant wallet full of receipts and apparently coins to reach for his credit card. Visa and Dad must have some agreed partnership with how often it’s used.

Maybe it’s old fashion that Dad handles the check, but you never see mom object. Don't him and mom have a joint accnt? Why doesn't she ever pull out the credit card?Dad smiles to the waitress upon receiving the receipt; then he gives his autograph in a swift motion as if he's a rockstar used to it. Cursive is so cool when Dad does it. Just remember the lesson, in order to make paying for things quick and easy, bring Dad along.

Disclaimer: Only time you'll witness Dad not pay is when Grandpa pays. And that's just a Dad taking out his son. Seniority even exists in Dad world.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

#72: Getting Home From Work

5:45 is a magical time for children. They have had their after school snack of Juicy Juice and a PB&J, had a play date, and are about to buckle down for some homework. Five math problems?!?! How am I ever going to get this done??But at 5:45, they hear a car come up the drive and the garage door open. That can only mean one thing: DAD IS HOME!

When Dad walks in the door, it is a stampede of children to get to him. Dad always has the same process. He walks in, yells “Hey kiddos!” as the kids squeal his arrival, and drops his briefcase (yeah, real Dads have briefcases). He then squats down in his probably wet trench coat and opens up his arms into a catchers position. Hugging Dad when he gets home is a full contact sport. An immense hug is undertaken by all parties followed by the standard questions on Dad’s part. How was your day? Did you learn anything in school? Sure, I can help with your math!”The kids are each clamoring for attention from Dad, yelling out to him to listen about all the riveting events that unfurled at school today. Dad! Dad! This kid Paul in my class stuck a Lego up his nose and couldn’t get it out, it was soooo gross!” You know, extremely important events in a kid’s world.

From here each Dad is different. Some go in and sit down and talk with mom. Some go put on their sweatpants and take a walk. Some put on their whistle and coach their kid’s soccer team. Then there are the unique Dads. I know a Dad who walks in the door, hugs his kids (as described above), and then yells “WHO WANTS TO GET DADDY A BEER!?” Chaos ensues. Like beggars clawing over each other for a scrap of bread his children would fight and push and shove to get a beer out of the fridge and get it to Dad, who would already be sitting in his recliner. That is quality Dad work. We applaud you.

The Dad greeting is a special greeting. Even though it happens every Monday through Friday, it does not diminish its importance. Because the house feels weird when Dad is out being a business man (that’s what he is right? A business man?) so when he makes his return it should be celebrated. Welcome home Dad.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#71 Last Minute Valentine's Day

You’ve seen the cards out for a while now. Walgreens has the decorations and dedicated aisles of chocolate since December 26th. Red and pink have been flowing passed your eyes from all directions. Yet come second week of February when you ask Dad, “Hey, what’d you get mom for Valentine’s Day?” A look of terror comes over Dad as if you just revealed he has cancer.

“Valentine’s Day is this weekend, eh? I’ve got something up my sleeve” Dad answers snarkly. If only you could read his mind as he pans over the newspaper I TOTALLY FORGOT! What’s the thing she’s been hinting at for the past year? What was she mad about that I didn’t get her for Christmas? Are there any coupons in this paper?

Just because Dad knows everything doesn’t mean he remembers everything…especially the significant events of birthdays, anniversaries, and valentine’s day. Last minute gifts are Dad’s specialty. That isn’t to say thought didn’t go into them. It’s more of a Dad can’t perform without pressure or a deadline. Why do you think you’re always souvenir shopping on your family trip an hour before your flight?

Then as you bring up your hand-made card sealed with a kiss, you notice mom’s smile as she sits up in bed. Breakfast in bed, fresh bouquet of flowers and a jewelry box on the nightstand. Dad comes through in the clutch again. And to top it off, Dad got the babysitter for tonight cause he’s taking mom out for a night on the town. Dad comes through yet again.

From all of us here at That’s So Dad, we wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day! Even the last minute planned ones.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

#70: Dad Strength

When we grow up, we see Dad as a superhero. He can do anything from mowing the lawn to stopping a bullet with his chest hair. Every child growing up got sucked into the same argument: My Dad can beat up your Dad. The argument would go back and forth saying the same thing over and over, expecting a certain outcome that would never get resolved. It is a lot like Congress, except it takes place on a playground. The strange thing is that the kids involved are absolutely certain their Dad can beat anyone up. Why do you ask? Two simple words: DAD STRENGTH.

Dads are mentally strong people. It is developed over years of changing dirty diapers and listening to children ranting as long as they have been alive. But more importantly, they are physically strong. Dads can and will bear hug their child to “calm them down” and will not let go until they relax. It is like being in hugged by a boa constrictor, the more you struggle the tighter it gets. Escape is not an option, little Tommy may as well be stuck in quicksand. The Dad Hug is a standard example of Dad strength and should not be toyed with. There are times where a kid thinks he can beat his Dad at sports or wrestling or anything like that. Dad usually lets them win, but beware when he unleashes the full Dad strength. You will be on the ground in seconds tapping out as Dad has your legs in a double knot. That is true Dad strength, the strength of a thousand suns, the strength of The Terminator combined with Predator, the strength of Sean Connery manhood on steroids. It cannot be stopped.

It is strange because a lot of Dads are not really big guys. They may be thin or gangly, but do not let that faze you. Every Dad upon birth of their child is bestowed upon them a single drop of blood from Hercules himself. Seriously, there is a room of Hercules blood in every hospital where they give it to new Fathers. This secret practice has been carried on since the first humanoid stood erect, laced up his White New Balances, and climbed to the top of Mount Olympus seeking guidance. There he received true hero’s blood to aid him through fatherhood. Without it, mere toddlers cannot be contained but with it a child can be grappled and calmed down through a simple hug. The legend continues on to this very day. The Legend of Dad Strength.