November 19, 2004


Annika made me laugh with the list of advice her dad has given her. My dad also has a very dry sense of humor, and he's always been a sort of hands-off type of dad. He never intimidated any boyfriends, he never preached, and he wasn't the house authoritarian (that was our mama). So when he spoke, it was usually something memorable. Some of his wisdom was simple ("Never drive barefoot") and some of it was more complex (He made me figure out how much money I would have to pay on student loans each month if I chose to go to a private school instead of a state school.) But there is one "dad moment" that stands out for me.

It was the first day of 8th grade. I wanted to wear something my mom thought was unacceptable and would make my teachers think I was a punk, and we got into a huge fight before school. Naturally I thought she was being unreasonable, and she thought I was being stubborn, so Mom called Dad at work so he could "talk some sense into me." She handed me the phone and Dad took me through a logic exercise I'll never forget. "Do you want to wear that outfit to school?" Yes. "Do you think Mom is being silly?" Yes. "Do you think that, if anything were ever to happen and one of your teachers didn't like you, Mom would find a way to blame your outfit from the first day of school?" Yes. "Is it worth it?" No. So I giggled and changed clothes. I don't think I ever even told my mom what he said that day, but he got me to give in, which was no small task when I was 13.

Posted by Sarah at November 19, 2004 08:50 AM | TrackBack
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