When people meet my dad for the first time, they have one of two very distinctly different reactions:
1) Your dad is awesome! or,
2) Oh my god, your dad scares the shit out of me.
While he can be a bit intimidating (correcting others when they refer to him as “Mr.” rather than “Dr.” doesn’t help), he’s also pretty hilarious. He’s one of those people that mercilessly roast others, but in a way that you can’t help but laugh with him and join him in being an asshole. You know that cynical, borderline-bitchy tone I always top off my articles with? Yep, that’s from him.
So in honor of Father’s Day, I have decided to compile a list of warnings and lessons that my dad has so kindly bestowed upon me throughout the years.
1. “You can’t go through life being drunk and stupid.”
First of all, this is a modified quote from the movie Animal House, which was released in 1978. He can’t take full credit – but he won’t hesitate to recite it whenever applicable.
If you never went through a wild phase in college, I commend you. I was not one of those people. I always refer to my sophomore year as the “year of my demise” because I was constantly blacked out and embarrassing myself. While this was acceptable at school because everyone was just as hammered, it’s not so acceptable on a family beach vacation when your parents have to report you as a missing person.
I recall that this vacation was where the phrase was coined, but it definitely came up time and time again. This particular time also stood out to me, because it lead me to start being a bit more responsible. (Emphasis on a “a bit” – hey, I was still only a sophomore.)
Now at 24, I have obviously gotten my drinking habits under control. However, we all have our slip-ups. On those mornings when I wake up with my head pounding and my dignity awry, I never fail to hear those famous words echoing in my head.
2. “Don’t bring home any losers.”
While most parents advise their children to date someone who treats them right and makes them happy, my dad takes a somewhat different approach. When discussions come up about bringing home a significant other to meet my parents, my dad’s reaction is always the same: “He better not be a loser.”
To be fair, some of them have been total losers. Once the inevitable breakups occur, my dad will never hesitate to make fun of my sisters and I for dating them. (What were you thinking?)
The worst part is, when we try to join in on the shit-talking and admit to our mistakes, he just won’t let that happen. Instead, he’ll follow up with, “But to be fair, we all know you’ve done worse.” …Thanks, Dad.
3. “Good luck – don’t lay an egg!”
After reading that phrase, you’re likely extremely confused. My dad does this thing where he says certain phrases that he thinks are common, but in reality – no one knows what the hell he’s talking about.
First of all, it’s important to note that my dad is the father of four girls. Yes, I know – for any guys reading this, it’s probably your worst nightmare. That being said, he has made it his sole mission to get us involved in sports – so he can at least have one reason to be a proud father. For the first three of us, this mission was a no-go. While we’re all active and work out frequently, sports was just never our thing. Luckily, the youngest managed to excel in tennis – which means my dad has been her #1 fan throughout it all. Of course, this involves his “motivational speeches”, which only serve to piss her off.
He is most notorious for “don’t lay an egg”, which apparently translates to “don’t fuck it up.” However annoying it may be at the time, my sister admits that winning a match and receiving praise from our dad (rather than his usual burn) is a great feeling of accomplishment.
4. “Stop being such a psycho.”
Again, raising four girls means dealing with our mood swings, random outbursts, and passive-aggressive door slamming. While our mom is the voice of reason in these situations, my dad tells it like it is – by informing us when we’re acting borderline crazy.
No one will call us out on our shit like he will, and sometimes we do need that brutal reality check. While some may find this insensitive, my dad just isn’t one to tiptoe around our feelings. In a way, it’s allowed us to be more realistic toward certain situations as well. #NoFilter
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!