My old man is not much given to pronouncements or proselytising or penning poetic letters of advice.
He’s more of an armchair philosopher who ponders aloud such thoughts as “I wonder if the secret to marriage might be to always live in separate houses.”
My response to most of the “advice” he offered in such fashion was “that’s pretty much the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
But given the plethora of Fathers Day advice that clogged up facebook yesterday, (seriously, do you people actually live in Hallmark-land? I can’t seem to get even a visitor visa there,) I started thinking, what did my dad teach me…
Here they are. The 5 Things I Learned from my Old Man.
1. Home brand products contain the same stuff as the twice-the-price branded stuff.
“I don’t like that kind of spaghetti.”
“Lisa. It’s exactly the same.”
“No it’s not. It’s the cheap stuff.”
Life lesson #1: Don’t be seduced by the packaging when what’s inside is exactly the same.
2. You can be treated like a girl, or you can be treated as an equal. It’s up to you.
“You’re up to bat, kiddo. Do you want a lolly pitch, or do you want the real thing?”
Life lesson #2: The only person stopping a girl from surfing, washing cars, mowing lawns, riding bikes, scoring goals, jumping off roofs and building fires, is that girl, herself.
3. Even people who are tone-deaf can sing along to Johnny Cash. Especially Ring of Fire.
4. Cats bring comfort, entertainment and random acts of extreme violence into your life. You just never know which will come when.
5. If you put a box of crackers and a slab of cheese by your side as you’re watching the TV, you’ll eat until it’s empty. Better to put a snack-sized portion on a plate and walk away from the refrigerator.
Finally, my dad showed me that the best way to motivate a headstrong kid is to tell her she can’t do something.
“I don’t think you’ve got the motivation to get good grades,” he dared me, at the beginning of grade 12.
“I do so. I could get the top score if I wanted.”
“Ha. I doubt that.”
“I’ll prove it. And when I do, you can buy me a car.”
I actually thought I was out-smarting him.