On my mom's birthday, I wrote a blog post designed to make her cry. It was a cute story about how my grandfather was at a gig (he was a musician) while she was born, but he managed to get to the hospital during a set break and see his new daughter. Then he went back to the gig for the second set because, well, what else could he do?
Today is my dad's birthday, and I can't think of anything I could write that would make him cry.
I've never seen my dad cry. Not because he's a big macho insensitive man. He's actually kind of a softy who likes puppies and squishy pillows. He's good at not saying very much, and then suddenly saying the funniest thing in the world. He's also über-smart. You know how most children grow up thinking their daddy knows everything? And then one day they grow up and discover that actually their parents don't know much more than they do? Well, only since I've been a grown-up have I realized that my dad really does know everything. Seriously, I dare you to watch Jeopardy! with him and feel good about yourself after.
I've never seen my dad read a book that is less than 600 pages. And he reads 2-5 of them per week. When he was retired, ever-so-briefly, that number tripled. I can't go to the bookstore and buy him the brand new book about New York by that guy who wrote The Princes of Ireland because I'm sure he's already read it. Last month, I talked him into joining GoodReads, so I could keep track of what books he's ready, and within 30 minutes, he'd added 50 books -- all read in the past month or something.
He also loves cheese. More than anyone I've ever met. Everything he eats is some version of a cheese and bread. Like cheese and crackers, or a grilled cheese, or a pizza. You get the picture. He eats so much cheese and eschews fruits and vegetables, that I am convinced he has The Scurvy. Seriously. You can't even trick him into having a Vodka-Cranberry because that has too much Vitamin C. He's too smart for that.
He's also a liar. When I was six, he told me they'd painted the St. Louis Arch blue. Why would anyone tell their kid that? I believed him for 10 years, and repeated that in geography class in high school, to the laughter of teachers and students. Last week I saw the arch for the first time since I was six. It wasn't blue. I texted him that, and he wrote back, "The arch appears to be shiny and mirror-like in December due to the approaching solstice."
He's also a really good cook, and has kindly adapted all of his meaty recipes for my vegetarianism. Yesterday, he dropped off French Onion Soup for me, just because. He told me he made himself, but he lies a lot, so who knows.
That's enough about my dad. Happy birthday, Dude!
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