Sometimes I really wish I was sluttier or did a lot of drugs or got arrested from time to time so I could have some good old fashioned trainwreck stories about myself just for your entertainment. But I don’t have these stories (at least not any I’m willing to publish online) and the whole “I’m broke” or “this is what my crazy roommates are up to” adventures start to get old for even myself after a while, so here’s a fresh topic for everyone out there in radioland: my awesome dad.
I need to tell you about him because…I don’t know. I just don’t have any drug overdose or murder stories to share.
Just before I moved to New York my dad and I were sitting in a Starbucks together with my new laptop that he just set up for me. I had never had a laptop before so he sat me down so he could teach me how to connect to WiFi and know how to do basic compter things as well as buy me one last latte before I moved out of his house that I had been living with him in for 19 years. We sat with my shiny new computer and looked up the living expenses of going to school to Cal State Fullerton and compared them to that of SUNY Potsdam. We talked about the amazing life chapter I was about to begin. We talked about how my laptop’s new password is the name of his favorite dog.
Sometime around when I turned 15, Dad and I were driving home from El Paso in our ancient minivan together. We pulled off I-10 somewhere in that vast, empty, dry, tan area that is not quite New Mexico and not quite Arizona. It was my turn to learn how to drive. There was nothing around us in any direction and he let me take the wheel in a crappy old minivan that could have broken at any moment.
When I got my learner’s permit he took me to the mountains, to the desert, to the beach, to the Queen Mary. Excuse me, I took him on all our adventures.
My crazy dad even let 15-year-old Lizy drive around LAX. I got honked at only once, but Dad took my side. Years later, getting stuck behind an Amish buggy in the middle of nowhere, USA (in a car he picked out for me) doesn’t seem that bad.
When I was 15 Dad and I drove in my ’92 Chevvy together up to San Louis Obispo. I saw my speedometer slowly, slowly, inching higher and higher. Dad had always been very annoying about making sure I never went not even a mile over the limit, but this time he wasn’t noticing for some reason. I let the speedometer get higher. When I finally hit my mark at 100 miles per hour, feeling like the Queen of the 101 freeway somewhere outside of Santa Barbara, my dad (who was paying attention the whole time) said “ok, you hit 100. Now take it back down.”
A lot of my favorite memories with Dad revolve around our driving stories. When we were kids he couldn’t wait to teach us to ride our bikes. He even taught our neighbor how to ride hers. As the four of his kids started turning 15 and 16, he was ecstatic about teaching us to drive.
Dad loved us as children, but loved us through our “growing up” years too. I never felt a sense that he wished we were still young. He loves being a part of all of our growing up milestones – he eagerly looked forward to buying us each our first graphing calculator. To this day I have not bought a calculator without his assistance.
When I’m having a rough, stressful day I think about how nice it would be to spend an afternoon with Dad. He understands better than anybody how important it is to waste a few bucks on gas for a long car ride for no other reason than to get away from it all. We could talk about what’s bugging me or talk about nothing at all, but at the end of that ride my soul will be happier.
Why am I so lucky? I don’t know. Dad doesn’t stress me out like I hear about other student’s dads. He’s funny. He’s nice. One time when we were getting a little too hyper at the dinner table he called Ben a “chicken shit.” I am literally fighting back my laughter in class right now as I think of that moment. He was fed up with us but loved our energy too much to really be mad. So he snapped and called Ben a Chicken Shit. It was hilarious.
When my parents were considering getting me a car, Dad called me up and said “what do you want in a car?” I said “I don’t know, a Focus is nice.” The next day he sent me a picture of Mrs. Potts: a 2008 Ford Focus that was the next model higher than his own 2008 Focus.
Two years after sitting in that Starbucks with him while he showed me how to connect to my WiFi, I now work as a Technology Jedi in the school library teaching other students how to connect to WiFi.
This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg on the awesomeness that is my dad. I want to highfive him every day for how cool he is. I want to blog about him. I want you all to know that he’s the greatest.
So that’s that. My dad. The coolest.
No, you can’t have him.