I wish all the dads out in the world a super happy father’s day. Thanks for being great and raising most of us to be decent human beings. That takes a lot, and I think I speak for many in saying that not being a degenerate is pretty nice.
My dad is pretty awesome. And really strange. Mostly strange. Like so weird, my goodness.
My dad used to walk into my room all the time and start speaking gibberish. I’d ask what he said, and he’d just yell, “THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING!’ And walk out, leaving me completely lost. Back in high school, which I talk about as if I didn’t graduate a mere three years ago. But back in high school, I told my dad that I registered for Geometry class for my Sophmore yeaer. He got excited, because he’s a math geek. He spent the whole summer randomly telling me, “Side angle side! Angle side angle.” Never gave me an explanation. He only said I would understand eventually. So then class happened. And we get to the proofs and the theorems and the shapes I never cared about. My teacher sure enough said side-angle-side and angle-side-angle, and I exploded in laughter. I couldn’t stop, and it was completely unprovoked from everyone else’s perspective. I was sent out of class to get some water and compose myself because I just could not get it together. Such a mess.
Despite my dad’s weird antics, he’s given me some good advice throughout the years. It was always something simple to the point of being near offensive, but also something you didn’t truly understand until you saw an example. Or a couple examples, because I was hardheaded sometimes. My personal favorites had to be when my dad told me to shut up and listen.
Like any guy, I’m sure my dad hoped he ended up with a son to teach sports and stuff, or at least a daughter with an interest. But I’m awesome in other ways so he deals. It didn’t stop him from at least trying to make me athletic, though. My dad tried teaching me basketball, tennis, racquetball, volleyball, and soccer. I wish now that I had tried a bit harder in playing, because I probably could have been a decent athlete in at least one of those sports. But what I did take away from it was how to shut up and listen. Whenever my dad was teaching me a sport, and telling me to stop doing whatever I was doing wrong, I would try to explain why I made the mistake. After a couple times of making excuses, he called me over and said, “I do not care. You screwed up. It doesn’t matter how you screwed up. Just do it right.” He went on to explain that a lot of people get in their own way by not knowing when to shut up, and listen. If someone is trying to coach you, just listen. Nobody cares to hear you talk about messing up and how. They know you messed up. They’re trying to help you fix it. So stop. Period. He strongly advised I learn that lesson as early as possible.
It made me mad at first, because I didn’t much appreciate being told that, but I started to see. Now I can’t stop seeing. Instances where people just won’t stop talking, and they end up causing more trouble or just making the same mistakes. As if they literally talked themselves into perpetual failure. They never learned to shut up and listen. They were never informed of how little they truly know. I never realized how important being good at taking directions was until I saw so many who were poor at taking direction, and saw where it lead. And I think what some people might perceive that as not thinking for oneself, and being a blind follower of authority. But I never specified where I was “taking” the directions. You can take directions from an underqualified moronic authority, and put them right on the curb, just to continue doing what you know works. If the job is getting done, and getting done well, then you aren’t going to be bothered. It’s only until you open your mouth or try to pick a fight that you get unwanted attention, and increased stipulations.
It’s always the most basic concepts that we all fail at the most. I was lucky to have a father that had a very low BS tolerance, and taught me basic self improvement skills and how to make people not hate you. As well has an appreciation for jazz, some mean swing dance moves, and a love for math and science, and education in general, which has since decreased drastically, but still counts for something. So here’s to my dad. And dad’s all around the globe, with all of their life lessons and quirky personalities.