Dad Fact

This is from about the time that I teased Dad until he threw out his food and left the room. (Now that I have a teenager, I totally get that.)

This is from about the time that I teased Dad until he threw out his food and left the room. (Now that I have a teenager, I totally get that.) Also, as ever: please enjoy Dad’s mustache, which he probably grew that morning.

Almost nothing grossed Dad out. I mean, you know how sometimes you find a huge bruise in your apple; a salt-encrusted mystery nugget in your potato chips; a bizarre, blackened stalk of some kind in your green beans? –Dad would eat that just, for the shock value. A little kid suddenly sneezes, sending ropes of snot down his face? –Dad would wipe that kid’s face with his own cotton hanky, and fold it right up and put it back in his pocket. No problem.

Hair, though? Hair was just about the only thing that grossed him out. If you even pretended you had found a hair in your own plate of food, Dad would be finished eating his. Finding a hair on his plate is the only time I ever saw my dad dry heave. He could handle anything but that. Once, when I was a teenager, I was deliberately baiting him about hair in his dinner for some reason (well–¬†the reason was that I was a teenager and didn’t know when to quit). He and I were eating sandwiches at the kitchen counter, at about 10:00 at night, each of us having just come home from work. The second or third time I said, giggling, “I don’t know. Maybe there IS a hair on that–” Dad suddenly grabbed his sandwich and tossed it in the trash. Then he said, “You know, Julie, there’s joking around and then there’s being an asshole. You figure out which one you are.” Then he went down the hall and went to bed.

Even right now, I’m¬†laughing to myself at this memory. Because it never came up again– Dad wasn’t the kind of guy to hold grudges over little stuff– and because it was so hard to get under Dad’s skin that, when you actually did, it was really really funny– and because the reason I remember this at all is that it was the only time he ever came close to calling me a name.

(To my face, I suppose. Based on my experience with my own kids, I’m sure Mom got an earful.)


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