My dad has been on my mind lately. He's my stepfather legally but in every way that really matters, he's my dad. A post by Snooty Primadona got me thinking about some of the stuff that he did when I was a teenager still living at home.
Let me preface these by showing you my dad. He's one of those hard-working men who looks older than he actually is. He married my mom after knowing her for 3, yes, THREE weeks and she already had 4, yes, FOUR daughters! He was only 26 years old. We turned him gray-headed in two years flat.
I have three stories I want to share. The first is how protective he was, the second is the 'dad' story of when he flat out caught me doing wrong, and the last is when he was having fun but embarrased the crapola out of me. I still laugh to think of the last one.
I was 11 when they got married and by the time that boys were interested in me, boys were interested in several of my younger sisters as well. He was the only man in the house until my little brother was born and sorry bro, but baby boys don't really count in the man-count. Anyway, as the various stud-muffins of our little town would drop by to pick us up, my dad would very oddly pick that very time to clean his shotgun in the living room. He wouldn't ever say much..just clean his gun..stare at the boy that was brave enough to cross into the entryway..and ask him if knew how to tell time. "I expect her back by 11:00." That was it but let me tell ya, it was certainly 'nuff said ya know what I mean?! I actually felt bad for those guys...not that it was what lead me to sneaking outta the house later to meet these boys a couple of years later. Oh..did I actually type that out-loud? Oh well, I'm 45. I can't get grounded now. Right? Right?
Another time that is engraved in my memory is when I was at a wrestling match with some friends of mine and we decided to go 'cruise first street'. That of course is the primary socializing activity for my small hometown in Kansas. I wasn't supposed to leave the wrestling match though. And of course..what always happens when you are doing something you aren't supposed to do? Yep, you drive right past your dad going the opposite direction and see him do a U-turn in the rear-view mirror. At this point, my incredibly quick thinking friends yelled "Lose him"! I immediately turned into a shortcut through the hospital parking lot and hit the gas. I veered through there and came out the back street. I made a few more quick turns and lo and behold! there he was again! Right behind us! I made one more quick turn...and I should tell you now that we had a big snowstorm a day or so before...the car slid on the snow and ice and headed nose-first into a big snowbank. I was stuck. It was total silence in that car. My dad stopped his truck behind me and when he got out..I swear to God, the man was 9 foot tall! He walked up, opened the door and said "Get in the truck now." Me and my two girlfriends scrambled out and into his truck, the silence continued. He drove back to the high school where 4 more words were spoken. "Get out. Not you." My friends looked at my like they knew they would never see me again. I didn't think I'd ever be seen again. He drove me home and again he spoke. "Give me your driver's license." I did. I got out and he drove off. I knew my execution was delayed long enough for him to think about which method would derive the most amount of torture for me.
He apparently drove to my mom's shop and told her what happened while shaking my license in the air. He wanted to burn it then and there. She laughed. Yes, my dear mother who loves me more than anything, laughed. I think that probably didn't help my cause at that point. She had told him earlier that I was going to the match and than she had told me that I could go get a drink in town if I wanted. She didn't tell me that but she told him that. But..I panicked and tried to outrun him, thereby sealing my fate and future execution. Needless to say, I did survive that incident and did eventually get my license back. I think I was grounded about 2 months and didn't have my car the whole time. He became a legend in my school.
My last story that I want to tell you about is when he embarrassed me. Back in the day, you could be 18 to go into a bar. My mom bartended for a short time at one of the local nightclubs and I'd go in to see her now and then. One weekend night I was there chatting with her and a bunch of the locals. My dad was there also and there was quite the party going on. I was out dancing and having lots of fun when I realized that my dad was out dancing with one of my parent's friends also. My dad can't dance. Let me restate that..the man cannot dance. To make matters worse, a neighbor at the bar is laughing at his dancing antics and yells at him "Get down and dance!" My dad...LAID down on the dance floor and wiggled all over! Everyone was laughing and I was trying my very best to melt into the wall so no one would realize that he was in my family! Looking back on it now, I'd probably do exactly what he did! Life is about having fun. Being smack dab in teenage angst and self esteem issues, I thought I was going to die. Now..it's one of my favorite memories of him. Laughing and 'dancing' on the floor with my mom laughing while rolling her eyes at her silly husband.
I love you and I'm thinking of you.