Saturday, January 7, 2012

You Are the Man

Had dinner with my dad tonight, and I caught a little glimpse of the man I used to know. I'd like to think that even when he doesn't remember the person he used to be, I will.

You are the man who went swimming with your friends in high school and watched as your clothes were stolen by hooligans (I’m assuming that’s what you called assholes in the 1940’s). Later, when that fact was included in the town newspaper, you saved it in your box of keepsakes. You are the man who saved embarrassing newspaper clippings about yourself.

You are the man who, when mistaken for Joe DiMaggio on a commercial airline flight, said nothing to correct the stewardess. You are the man who let an airplane full of people think you were cheating on Marilyn Monroe with my mother.

You are the man who, when playing restaurant with your daughters, ignored the plastic peas and pork chops, and ordered a Manhattan instead.

You are the man who once convinced the staff of a Holiday Inn to take your daughter’s puke-covered teddy bear and clean it up. You then convinced the same staff to sew the bear back together when it came undone in the wash. You are the man who saved the life of Snuggles.

You are the man who once ate a chocolate-covered grasshopper with your business associates when visiting New York City, and you are the man who still refuses to eat at any restaurant that features a buffet.

You are the man who took me to celebrity-studded theatrical performances, five-star restaurants, and once drove around Washington, DC for three hours to ensure I was able to spend the night in a hotel with a pool. You are the man who first introduced me to duck a l’orange and filet mignon. And you are the only man who loved the movie Dumb and Dumber as much as I do.

You are the man who, upon learning I was going to marry a man you’d never met, who drove a motorcycle, pierced his own ear, wore his hair longer than mine, and doubled as the lead singer and the drummer in a rock band — continued to say nothing. You are the man who ignored the fact that my mother’s head began to spin off her body in front of you, and you are the man who stood up, headed for the nearest bar, and bought your future son-in-law a drink. You are the man who accepted my husband just as you did me — unconditionally.

You are the man who still watches Saturday Night Live, even though you often don’t know who the host is, and never like the musical guest.

You are the man who can stay out later than me, get up earlier than me, and accomplish more than me in between.

And that is the man I will always remember.

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