I don't mean that like, if he hadn't sired me this genius could not flow forth from my fingertips... although that is technically true. I mean that my dad introduced me to blogging. He had a blog long before I did, and has had the decency not to write about me on it, preferring to tackle loftier subjects like health care reform and social justice. Unfortunately I can't say the same.
Like any good daughter, I show my love through gentle (and sometimes brutal) mocking. My dad always says that my sister and I keep his ego in check. He's actually kind of important, or we hear, but we're too busy retelling the knee-slapper about how he once somehow got a taxi cab door lodged in the side of a moving bus.
Don't get me wrong: I don't think of him as a clown. He's creative and fun-loving and an incredible role model. I have his ears, his fingers, and, I'd like to think, his sense of humor. I used to get all misty when I listened to that Joni Mitchell song that goes...
My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
The bottom line is that I do feel bad for making so many jokes at my incredibly accomplished father's expense, so for Father's Day I'm going to give you some really impressive facts about Papa Curmudgeon to counteract some of the previous, less flattering mentions (below in italics).
1/27/07: "Dad is obsessed with a game on his BlackBerry called ‘Brick Breaker’. It’s kind of like Tetris, and he plays it any time we have, like, five seconds to spare. He sheepishly admitted to me that he lost while playing one-handed at the urinal."
BUT ALSO: My dad has been a guest at the White House twice since Obama took office. They are basically BFF. A right-wing blogger even included him on a list of suspect guests! She called him a "friend of Valerie Jarrett, Leftist Philantrapist." Dad, it's bad enough you're fist-bumping with a socialist Muslin. Please stop raping Philants.
2/20/06: "My father is extraordinarily intelligent, caring, generous, and successful. However, he has also been known to call inanimate objects 'assholes.'"
BUT ALSO: Well, first of all, I do that too. Secondly, my dad has put up with a lot of animate assholes over the years, including yours truly. I recently found this telling Father's Day coupon from elementary school:
Jeff wishes he could get his hands on this coupon. I wish I still had this sweet Garfield stationery.
5/19/10: "It is a true story that my father, who was captain of his high school debate team, once put his back out changing a roll of toilet paper."
BUT ALSO: Now he works out with a personal trainer and can do a series of gymnastic weight-lifting moves, which he likes to act out when company comes over. Last week he finished the J.P Morgan Chase Challenge 3.5 mile run. He is basically Lance Armstrong, but with more testicles.
1/18/10: "My father—who is constantly devastated by people telling him he's a dead ringer for William H. Macy (I myself think he's more of a Frank Sinatra: all ears and smiles and twinkling eyes)—will never live down the day in high school that he told me I looked like Hillary Clinton."
BUT ALSO: He apologized for that. And also he told me I was gorgeous all the time, even with my massive unibrow and acne and multicolored braces (although he recently said, gingerly and not at all cruelly, "You know, I really did think you were beautiful back then, but looking at photos now... you did have an awkward phase." Aw, bless. My dad needs reading glasses nowadays, but at least his hindsight is 20/20.)
8/29/09: "My father takes birthdays very seriously, as I've mentioned previously, and the celebrations for his 50th in 2005 went on for so long that a friend of his dubbed it 'Garadan.' His name is Gara, so it's like Ramadan, get it?"
BUT ALSO: He made me a freak about birthdays, which is a great gift and which I wrote sappily about here. And he wrote me the sweetest letter ever when I turned one, a letter that I cherish and that I would keep in my purse at all times were it not already filled with destructive agents like uncapped pens and partially-eaten candy bars.
"Sweet Jesus, child, how did you match your shirt to your cake? You have skillz."
Lest you think I'm a total brat, I have written some sweet posts about him, which you can find here and here. There should be more. Does this one count? I hope so. Dad, you're the best father a girl could ever ask for. If I end up with just a fraction of your character, compassion, talent, and grace, I'll be lucky.
And I'll stop making fun of you. That bus totally had it coming. Happy Father's Day!