If it’s Sunday, it’s Mel’s Show & Tell.*
Today — Father’s Day — I tell.
Does anyone else have a Dad who says the same things over and over?
I do. So about 20 years ago for my Dad’s birthday, my sisters and I put together an ENTIRE BOOK of his repeatisms. I will spare you the insider ones such as “I always carry a garlic shaker” and leave you with some of the true gems, the ones that turned out to be helpful in life rather than just annoying in the moment (said with a smile, Dad).
- Sometimes you COUNT the votes and sometimes you WEIGH them.
- You are blessed with parents who care.
- Everyone is NOT doing it because YOU are not!
- What kind of sissy word is “fair”?
- Treat people when you don’t need them the way you wish you’d treated them when you do need them (sit with it a moment ’til it makes sense — it actually got me a job once).
- Leave things better than you find them.
- Come in when the streetlights are on!
- Elbow your way in.
- Draw a wider circle. (meaning: don’t find reasons to exclude yourself)
- I’m glad I had daughters because they are so genteel (usually said after a burping contest — or worse).
- 90% of the world’s work is done by people who don’t feel very good (we were not allowed to slack much).
- Drive like everyone else is out to get you.
- Just because G*d picked your nose doesn’t mean YOU can (said to one of my sisters, I’m sure).
- Here’s a book I want you to read.
- Starting is half done.
- Everything in moderation, including moderation.
- Put the short things on the short shelf and the tall things on the tall shelf (he actually said this to me last week when looking in my fridge for tonic).
Up there is a photo I found online of my Dad, the consummate teacher (although not by profession) teaching citizens about his main passion, freedom.
We kid him a lot, but my sisters and I hold immense respect and love for our Dad. It’s amazing to us that this man who grew up without a father had it in him to become a great one anyhow.
XOXO, Dad. Thanks for loving us so well.
Now I’m going to obsess and compulse over the height of things in my refrigerator.
I must make an addendum to last week’s Show & Tell photo.
I was reminded that besides the boots and the pipe, I was outfitted in a red velvet dress that my mom sewed. Not only sewed, but also embroidered and crocheted or one of those arts that was completely lost on me. The bib was made of organza into which she needled my name.
So amidst the charge of rotten-ness I leveled at them, I must also acknowledge the love they have always showered on me.
XOXO to you, too, Mom.
* That was my homage to Tim Russert each week. Now it’s also a touchstone to a Sunday ritual I was not ready to part with. My condolences to his family, friends and fans.