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Fondest Memories of Dad

This is in response to jessypi's question in Lisa's Meme post.

The question was:

What is your best (fondest) memory with your father?


My father and I have never seen eye to eye on many things. I was never "Daddy's" little girl. I favored my mother more. This means on most occassions my father and I have a strained relationship. To him, I /am/ "Daddy's" little girl because I am the youngest. Unfortunately this means I'm very much still treated like a baby. But that has its perks sometimes, even if on most occassions I find it rather annoying. This doesn't mean I haven't had any fond moments with him. I have. They're just harder to come by.

Despite our differences my father has always been there for me, supporting me the best way he knows how. Often times, his support is veiled or he doesn't understand my needs so his support isn't always something I understand. The important thing is that he tries to be there for me. My father is the type of person who will quite literally go out of his way to help those he cares about, whatever their needs.

In 1999, I went to I-CON, a Sci-Fi convention held at Suny at Stonybrook University on Long Island, NY with Darrick and our mutual friend Tim. Darrick's car broke down on the way to my house, so we were forced to use my father's Jeep (now mine), a car known for its own problems. My father had a huge fit at first because he thought I'd be the one doing the driving. In fact, we got into a screaming match over the use of the Jeep, which resulted in my stalking away and destroying my room. He let us use it anyway, and calmed down once he understood that I wasn't the one who'd be driving to New York, Darrick was. I didn't know this until much later, however.

We got to New York just fine. On the seocnd night of the Con, the Jeep broke down 2 miles from the hotel on 495 - the Long Island Expressway. We did not call my father until later Sunday morning. It broke down midnight on Saturday (going on Sunday). He told us not to worry; if we could, find a way to go ahead to the Con and enjoy ourselves, he'll be there later that night.

We were staying at the official hotel, so we went ahead to Con on the bus the hotel provided for transportation. It was several miles away from the university campus where the Con was located. We spent the day there and my father finally got to the campus around 6pm or just a little later, after driving 6 hours and meeting the same rush hour hell that we met that Friday; the beach bums returning on Sunday. We went to where the Jeep was parked and discovered my father forgot his tool box. So, we scoured Stonybrook, NY for an open tool shop late on a Sunday night. No Luck. We devised alternative means of towing the Jeep back to MD. We found a parking lot with a hill, then backed it up onto my father's tow dolly and towed it backwards so it wouldn't kill the transmission. My alternator went up in the Jeep that weekend.

He didn't have to come. He could have said too bad, find your own way home. But, he didn't. It's not the only time he's done something like that. A few years later, he travelled to Indiana to get my neice, her husband and their child after her step mother threw her out of the house. This was even after she'd treated my father badly several times.

There are other memories that I'm rather fond of as well:

We went to Scotland in the summer of 1995. My mother had just been diagnosed with cancer, but this was his dream trip and he wanted to share it with her. So we went, all three of us. My fond memory has to do with part of our stay in Edinburg.

Now, you have to realize that my father, by nature, is not generally a trusting man. The first full day we were in Edinburg we went to this little card shop we scoped out which was just down the street from the hotel. We asked the clerk there how to get to Edinburg Castle from the shop. The lady behind the counter started to give us directions when an elderly man piped up:

"Do you need a ride? It's on the way for me, I'll take you there."

Imagine my surprise when my father accepted the ride! My jaw dropped to the floor, I think, or very nearly did. We knew nothing about this man. He was a stranger to us, a foreigner - though a native of Scotland. We all piled into this man's car and sure enough we were dropped off at the castle. I was left dumbfounded for most of the morning. My father's explanation was that he looked like a nice guy and besides, did you see his car? He's pretty wealthy. He wouldn't have done anything. Even still... I am left flabberghasted!

Then there's Disney World. He took my sister Loretta, her daughter Angel, Darrick and I to Disney. To be fair, I paid for the price of admission for Darrick and I, but my father insisted on paying for everything else. One night we had dinner at the Polynesian Resort: O'Hanas; a very good restaurant. Somehow we managed to attract the attention of the server from the neighboring table. She was pretty funny and had us in stitches most of the night. The thing about that which stood out the most was her interaction with my father.

She was flirting with him! Outrageously so! She didn't even try to hide it. She was enjoying herself, and I'm pretty sure my father, through his perplexion, was too. His hair was sticking up a bit, one of us had pointed it out, so he started to pat it down. She licked her fingers and started patting his hair down for him. When we left, she planted a kiss on his cheek. He was so out of sorts that we found ourselves laughing about it for a good 20 minutes after we left the restaurant.

And finally there's his efforts to ensure that I went to an audition. He heard that the Soap Opera As the World Turns was holding auditions locally. They were holding them on September 13, 2002. He badgered and badgered me about going. This was very perplexing to me because he had never supported any of the acting or stage managing projects I'd done in the past. Acting or doing stage work has been my dream ever since I can remember. Oh, sure, he'd come to the productions and watch the shows (he got free tickets through me) but he'd grumble every time I left for a reshearsal. I was surprised that he was looking out for me and told me about the audition.

The audition was in College Park at the University of Maryland. We started out early that Friday morning. It was a beautiful day. I got dressed up for the audition, one of those rare times I wore a dress, but probably didn't need to. Most of those auditioning were college kids, to be expected, and they were dressed mostly in casual outfits. We got into a bit of traffic, but managed to avoid the large majority of it. We witnessed, from afar, a car accident on the way to the campus. We saw a dust cloud, and the aftermath, but no specific details other than many people stopping on the side of the road to help. With an audition to go to, we passed the scene by.

Parking became an adventure, as the directions we had said to park in one lot, but that lot said that we needed to park in another lot or we'd be fined or towed or both. Rather than waste time, my father dropped me off near the building where the audition was being held, then went to go find a parking spot. The auditions were supposed to start at 10:00 am, and we were already running a bit late because of traffic. I went to go stand in line.

Surprisingly, I was only number 75. I had fully expected there to be hundreds of applicants, given the size of the college and the popularity of the show, but there weren't. I stood beside one girl, who'd done modelling and some commercials most of her life, and one guy, who'd auditioned for WB's Pop Stars and made it to the second round. We became line buddies, cheering each other and chatting while we waited. I learned quite a bit from those two about acting and how to get acting jobs, but I've yet to follow up on their advice. I still remember it though! Things like that, how to get ahead in the acting world, I tuck away.

Meanwhile, my father got the car parked and made his way over to the line, He stood with me, outside the line, for a small while before wandering around the campus. There was no sense in him staying put when I was the one doing the audition. At one point he went and got me a drink. It was hot, and he'd found the student lounge. He made cetain that I knew he was there to support me. Eventually I was called forward to audition. He came as far as he was allowed as I went to do my reading. After it was over, we went to grab lunch at the student lounge, then went home before Friday beach traffic (which sucks!) became to scary.

For all the grumbling that I do about my father, I love him very much. I know that he loves and cares about me very much as well. It's just hard to communicate with him on most occassions. It's as though we speak two separate langauges. Sometimes, I wish we could have a closer relationship than we do. I think that as much as we are different, we are very similar as well. I think that often gets in the way of things. So, I've learned to appreciate him for who he is, and hope that he can do the same.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jessypi
Jul. 22nd, 2004 08:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
khall
Jul. 23rd, 2004 02:29 am (UTC)
       That is very beautiful. You should let him read it, hon.

K.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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