Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Old Man

My old man is funny.  He's been telling the same jokes for years and they still make me laugh.  One of his favorite things in the world is those special Daddy/Daughter moments when he sets up a joke and I drive it home.  Especially if it's a dirty joke.

My old man loves Mel Brooks and Monty Python.  I was raised on Young Frankenstein and still remember the very first time I watched "The Holy Grail."  We were sitting in our den so I must have been less than nine years old because when I turned nine, my parents turned the den into my bedroom.  It was a Sunday afternoon and Channel 13 was showing it.  My mother came in and said "John, do you really think this is an appropriate movie for her to watch?"  His reply was, "She doesn't know what a medieval whore house is but she still thinks it's funny."  My mom shrugged her shoulders and left us alone.

When we were kids, my old man would pack up a bunch of kids from our block in the station wagon (in our pajamas) and take us to either Carvel or Friendly's for ice cream.  Once, the boy down the hall and my dad hatched a plan.  Michael pretended that he had fainted and my father carried him in and laid him on the couch.  Then we revived him with ice cream.  I thought it was hilarious.

My old man can walk into an empty kitchen and come out with a delicious meal.  He's the person who taught me how to read cookbooks like novels and the true joy of an onion.  He has an adventurous palate and can talk about almost any meal he's ever had. 

My old man knows everyone.  I can't tell you how many times in how many random situations someone has said to me "You must be John Tumelty's daughter."

My old man likes all kinds of music and he likes it loud.  And I mean loud.  He used to play opera on Sunday afternoons and people would set up lawn chairs across the street from our apartment to listen.

My old man is not interested in getting presents but when you find the perfect gift for him, he cherishes it like a child.

My old man rarely swears.  But when he does, you know he means it.  He has a way of calling someone a "silly bitch" that sounds like the worst possible thing you could ever say about anyone.  Clearly, my filthy mouth is from my mitochondrial  DNA.

My old man can quiet a crying baby.  He loves babies and will hold and snuggle them for hours.

I have never seen my old man wear a t-shirt.  Or sneakers.

My old man checks all the sale fliers every week and then calls me to tell me where Diet Coke has the best price.

The first time my old man met Brian he said "Hello Kevin, it's nice to meet you."  The two of them will sit and talk for hours and it makes my heart warm.  When Brian went back to work this week, my old man called him at lunch time on his first day to see how it was going.

My old man has a nomad's spirit.  He loves to just get in the car and go.  Which made for some adventurous vacations in my life.  Except the time that we went to Suwanee Florida.  He told us he had seen it in National Geographic but he failed to mention that the article was about the huge bugs that walk around the town.

My old man will come get me anywhere anytime.  He drove me to concerts, he picked me up at school and he didn't complain the third time my alternator crapped out and he had to come drive me home.

When I was in college, my old man used to randomly drive out on Mondays (his day off) and take me to the Lobster Inn for dinner.

My old man is still desperately in love with my mother.  He dances with her at weddings and parties and still can't keep his hands to himself.  (There's a family story about the time my mother said he had "roaming hands" and I thought she said "Roman Ants" but that's for another time.)

I can still borrow $20 from my old man.  He acts like he is doing it begrudgingly but I know he likes it.

I like to think that I am like my my old man but really, if I was half the person he is, I would be satisfied.