Monday, June 19, 2006

Oh, Dad.

As father's day approaches and the spam from RedEnvelope and Bass Pro Shops start flooding my inbox, I feel it necessary to wring my grey matter onto the keyboard and express in real terms (not those devised by aforementioned margin-oriented retailers) how unique and divine my dad truly is.

First off, unique and divine aren't casually chosen terms for Papa Finny.

I mean, how many men do you know who have, in their driveway at this moment, a '57 Chevy, antique fire truck (with working firehose, I might add), forklift, Baja, Willys Jeep and an Iveco? I'd wager, none.

My dad is an original character, right down to the vintage 501's he's been wearing exclusively since college. Ok, they're not the exact same pair -- but you'd be hard pressed to find pants other than those with the famous tan and red label in his closet. Pair those with a flannel of most any color combination (other than green and red, mind you), a worn-in Tshirt and his Levi's beltbuckle and that's the man I've been looking at my entire life. Always the same threads. Always the same beard (although the lengths of said beard have varied depending on weather, time of year, accesibilty to the clippers, etc). The beard in and of itself is a unique characteristic I rarely see outside of shul and the rare trip to New York.

Really the only time I've seen a diversion from this steadfast commitment to denim and flannel was at my wedding (and then my sisters wedding one year later) when he went away from the herd and paired is ever-present cigar with a white jacket and silver vest. Perfect combination of proud pop, irreverant hippie, refined businessman and skilled party-goer. One of the most emotional moments during my wedding was driving down to the beach head for the ceremony and seeing Dad, all dressed up in his white coat, smiling and ravenously welcoming everyone with his hair (and beard) whipping in the wind amidst hugs, kisses and a million handshakes. This is a man who knows how to enthuse a crowd.

You might wonder about the divine part, but I assure you, this is no exaggeration on the term. He can friggen tell the future. Oh, and he can be in ONE HUNDRED places at once, while making calls to another hundred places. All the while, he'll be cracking jokes and helping everyone around him with some random project that he is strangely perfectly suited to perform. It's bizarre.

But back to the "tell the future" thing. Probably, and I'll use this qualifier loosely, it's from years of experience and his open-minded nature, but he has made some very accurate predictions about my life that I, at the time of prediction, wholehardedly disputed and denied. For instance, when I left for college, to a town -- scratch that, STATE -- I'd never visited and, in which, I knew not a single person, my dad could not have been more proud. When, two weeks later, I called begging for a ticket to fly home to visit my friends/long abandoned fling of a boyfriend who I suddenly missed/parents/bedroom/dog/etc he agreed, but under one condition -- I would have to wait one month and I'd HAVE to use my ticket at that time and fly home.

To me, no brainer, of course I'd fly home. That's what I was asking for. That's what I wanted with the very fiber of my being. I'd have friggen walked if there weren't a grand canyon between my school and their house.

So, of course, I said -- "Fine, Dad. Perfect! Fly me home, Daddy-o!"

One month later, to a round of sarcastic surprise, I wanted to do anything OTHER than fly home to see my neglegent friends/annoyingly persistent long-forgotten fling/parents/bedroom turned office. I still missed my dog.

No! I wanted to go see 311 in concert with all my new friends and boyfriend. I wanted to be around for all the parties that would surely ensue. I needed to get caught up on my ill-advised and thoroughly ignored TV classes (what advisor puts a freshman in THREE TV classes their first semester, I ask you?). Going home was out of the question.

But I'd promised. And he'd promised. And with my plane ticket in hand I had to fly home and face the knowing smile of my divine father.

Now, he's not that divine. He took pleasure in telling me, via phone (he was off in one of those hundred places) that he "told me so" and hoped I had a good time at home, be nice to my mother and fly back safely.

So I didn't, I was and I did. And I never called to ask that question again. Granted, I still called for money -- because that is your responsibility as a college student -- but I never asked for a flight home, even when I graduated.

Now, I realize that this one incident alone may not qualify dear old dad for divine status, but the fact that he's done it so many times, and with nearly 100% accuracy, puts the star on his lapel in my book. So what does one daughter of a divine father do with this celestial knowledge? Outwardly ignore it of course, and then internally use it as a gut check for every forthcoming decision knowing full well that he's probably right.

So, on this forthcoming day of dads, I salute my own dad - predicter of nearly everything, schmoozer of nearly all party-goers, builder of nearly all structures, driver of nearly all vehicles, and lover of nearly all people.

Love you, Pop.


  1. So, so sweet. I too can attest to the mad props that is Burts Bees. He is one wonderful human being.

  2. This is such a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.