Thursday, July 26, 2012

#96: Classic Dad: Mr. Winslow

Carl Otis Winslow of the great sitcom Family Matters defined the working Dad, having to balance the life threatening work of being a cop while also raising three kids in Chicago. Yes, we all know that the star of the show became Urkel with his catch phrase of “Did I do that?” and tons of crazy hijinx. But those would never been nearly as effective if it weren’t for Carl Winslow’s constant berating and increasing anger against Urkel.

Mr. Winslow had to protect Laura from the craziness of Urkel, using intimidation tactics and often yelling as Dads are known to do. Much like Dads as well, Mr. Winslow isn’t worried about his figure as he gorges down donuts (I mean, he is a cop), and enjoys Harriette’s cooking. Just don’t comment on it like Urkel does by constantly calling him “Big Guy.” And although most of the time, Mr. Winslow is having to repair damages Urkel has caused, in classic Dad fashion he eventually develops a fondness for Urkel.

The ultimate compliment to Mr. Winslow is how we still remember him today. Much like many of our other classic Dads, Mr. Winslow still brings nostalgia when discussing TGIF or is used in pop culture references like Kanye West declaring “you got too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins low.” (Okay that was a stretch but I had to do it). We salute you Mr. Winslow as we hope we are Dad-like as you when we are dealing with the pesky neighbor who just won’t leave. 


Thursday, July 19, 2012

#95: The Golf Polo

As all four of our loyal readers know it is the clothes that make the Dad. From the White New Balance Shoes to the Braided Belt to the Sweater Vest, Dads have pretty standard uniforms so they can easily pick out other Dads in crowded places. Well today we have another one of those gold standards in the Dad wardrobe, something actually all men own but takes on a new loftiness when one becomes a Dad. The Golf Polo.

Much like the sweater vest, the golf polo can be worn on almost any occasion. Weddings? You bet. Funerals? Sure why not. Little Timmy's kindergarten graduation? As long as the collar doesn't curl under the Shoulder Mounted Video Camera then rock on Dad. It can be worn any season and anywhere. From a hot summer day at Six Flags to a freezing night at the bowling alley on League Night the golf polo is the social chameleon of Dad attire.

Of course, not all Dad's play golf although like 99% do. You bet that that 1% of Dads still own at least five golf polos that feature logos from golf courses, Disney World, their current company, their son's AYSO soccer team, and that one 5K he volunteered at because mom made him. The golf polo is also a standard feature for Dads at sporting events because a real Dad doesn't wear a jersey to an NFL game, he wears the golf polo with the team logo. It is a great way for Dad to show team spirit and preserve Dadness while screaming at the referee from the upper deck.

One lesson I can give young men going through life is to never turn down a new golf polo. You never know when you are going to need it, because every clothing dilemma can be solved with this basic garment. Except of course for a black tie event, that calls for a Tuxedo T-Shirt. Classy, yet casual.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

#94: Telling the same story over...and over...

 Ahh what a great meal you think to yourself as the digesting begins. Mom is smiling because you actually cleared your plate. But really, you just gave your leftovers to the trash disposal that is Dad. Dad looks satisfied himself too as he finishes off his third plate.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I…” Dad begins. That’s all you need to hear to start zoning out. Dad is about to begin the story you’ve all heard for thousandth time.  Dads are great story tellers and love sharing stories with family, friends, and even strangers. But the thing is, Dads have about 5 stories they re-tell.

Dad shares stories on five different categories: past sports experiences (whether his own or a game he witnessed), meeting mom “You shoulda seen her…”, college days “Those were the best years of my life…”, tales about grandma & grandpa “Well I know MY parents would have…”, and of course the embarrassing ones about you “you were so funny that one time…”. (The wildcard theme is about his first car).

Whether it is over Thanksgiving dinner, passing time in the car, or interrupting your TV watching, Dad will find the time to tell that story. And you’ll sit there and nod. Even though your mind drifts, you’ll always come back right before the punchline of the story. And the funny part is…it always makes you laugh. And that is why Dad will keep telling that story at every Christmas and Birthday party. 


Thursday, July 5, 2012

#93: The Bike Wagon

Summer is in full swing as everyone can tell by the sweltering heat and non-stop Facebook newsfeed updates of albums titled S*u*M*m*E*rrrrrr 2012!!!. Dads around the country are partaking in Dad activities which bring the family together. Whether it is a day at the pool, a baseball game, a trip to Six Flags, or the good ole fashioned road trip, Dad always has something up his sleeve. One of the simplest tactics Dad uses to enjoy some family bonding is the family bike ride, which for children seems like a death march through heat and bugs when there is a perfectly cold living room with a 600 channel TV a mere two miles away. But what does Dad do when the kids are too young to pedal to the zoo and back? He uses the ultimate Dad accessory: The Bike Wagon.

I am not too sure what the Bike Wagon is actually called and I am frankly too lazy to Google it because I am on a roll right now. For those who don’t know, the Bike Wagon is a two wheeled covered seat for two kids that attaches like a trailer to the back of Dad’s bike. Side note, Dad’s bike is almost always a really old “racing bike” where the handlebars curve downwards for aerodynamics Dad never uses. It is always a bike that was top of the line during the Cold War. The wagon gives kids an effortless trip to the ice cream store while Dad sweats through every inch of clothing working literally like a rented mule. Dad likes it because it gives him an extra edge to his “workout” but when he is barely moving the pedals in the lowest gear and still has five miles to the parking lot he realizes how much those toddlers really weigh. No wonder every Dad has “Dad Strength”, they train when we aren’t aware so they can be in peak physical condition.
The mark of a true Dad in the summer can be shown with the Bike Wagon. No one drags a wagon around just for fun, and you can bet the older son or mom won’t be pulling around the little kiddos. As the caravan moves on, Dad is always bringing up the rear with the wagon in tow. Let’s just hope he doesn’t pass out on the bike trail from exhaustion. He deserves a cold beer after the voyage is complete.