If you’re going on a family vacation and your father is constantly worried, then you’re probably leaving for your flight somewhere between 4 and sodomize-me-with-a-fork AM. As a father with tremendous anxiety, his first order of business is to sweat. If it’s 5:30 the morning of your flight and your father’s eyes don’t already sting from sweat dripping into them then he’s already failed and may as well just give up. At no point during this day should your father’s forehead not be shiny, nor should the squiggly green vein on his temple not be activated.
Be constantly agitated.
The smallest, most minor things should have the power to propel your worried father into a blind rage. Say, his daughter asking to stop the car on the way to the airport so she can vomit. “Come ON,” is a typical worried father response, followed by numerous and audible sighs.
Being that your father is the worried type and traveling with your family, he is never not concerned for his family’s well-being. He goes leaps and bounds to ensure that they’re safe and happy, which means he will inevitably be dishonest with them. About what? Who’s to say. My dad used to tell me, my mom and my sister that our flights were an hour earlier than they actually were. As soon as we got to the airport we’d know we’d been bamboozled—and for no other reason than the fact that my dad would saunter leisurely about the airport with an eerie calmness.
Quarantine your family.
Since he lied to his family about the flight time, after going through security he’ll be acting like super chill. His daughters will be off getting food, his wife will be god-knows-where, and he will be re-reading his emails on his Blackberry while waiting for his sweat to dry. But when the clock strikes and it’s an hour before boarding, he’ll be back in crisis mode in no time and that means quarantining the entire family. He will make them sit at the gate and will not allow them out of his sight—not even to pee.
Be kind of racist.
After finding his seat on the plane, the worried father will take some time to survey the passengers of the flight. He will be looking out for red flags—you know, turbans, hijabs, sneezes, anyone sitting in an exit row, lazy eyes…things like that—and then inform any and all flight attendants of his suspicions. His excuse for being kind of racist will be “better safe than sorry” and, after doing this long enough, he will convince his daughters that such stereotyping is acceptable behavior.
Be blatantly rude to anyone who isn’t your family.
If a traveling, worried father was a mouse then customs would be the cheese. As soon as you and your family take your seats on the plane, the worried father’s anxiety will switch from airport mode to customs mode, and will then clutch tightly onto his and every family member’s passport and landing pass for the remainder of the flight, soaking them with his hot, clammy hands. Then, after landing, he will get to once again flex his skills by elbowing every passenger on the plane until he has made 300 enemies and is first in line at customs.
After arriving at your destination and getting to the hotel, a good worried father knows that this is the time to turn on the charm. This is where he shines and it’s moments like this—when his amiable side emerges—that surprise his family most. You see, he now has another anxiety-provoking goal in mind and that’s to make friends with the hotel employees. And make friends he does! He wins them over with the jokes he’s been using on his family for 15 years now, but jokes that are nonetheless new and fresh to the hotel staff.
His reasons for befriending them are twofold:
- He wants them in his corner, should his daughters ever find themselves in a sticky situation.
- He needs to find someone to whom he can inevitably complain—though regarding what, he does not yet know.
Be attached to your cell phone.
The greatest irony of the traveling, worried father is that he builds up the trip so much, stresses over every minor detail, and then spends the entirety of the vacation on his Blackberry. You guys could be in Tanzania, watching cheetahs by the Serengeti, and he’ll still be on his Blackberry, probably texting his travel agent about the next family trip.
The barf to end all trips.
And finally…vomiting. While traveling, a father is never truly worried if he doesn’t end the trip with a thunderous and tempestuous retch. Unfortunate, but true.