Men are pigs and women are crazy.
If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.
Try it; it’ll put hair on your chest.
I wouldn’t wear that to a worm wrestle. (Pronounced wr-ah-sle)
Did you do your best? That’s all I can ask of you.
Any man who won’t buy you a diamond doesn’t deserve you.
I don’t care who started it; you finish it.
Quit yur belly achin’.
Only apologize if you mean it.
They’re all idiots. (When referring to us kids he’d say, “You’re all idiots; but your my idiots.”)
Get to the point.
You’ll never be a secretary. (This was in reference to my poor memory for delivering telephone messages. Now, I know it was prophetic.)
Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
I’m always right.
The world according to OG (my dad if you’re unfamiliar with my blogtionary), would be a much better place to live in than what most people consider the real world. In the real world, you have societal pressure to be politically correct and uber-sympathetic to the point that it’s paralyzing. But in the world according to OG, things are clearer, more defined, and all the happier for it.
Life is messy and complicated; we all know this. But what most of us don’t get is that the best way to counteract a messy, complicated world is to simplify.
Leonardo dav Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Albert Einstein said, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.”
OG is in the same caliber as da Vinci and Einstein. He’s the “boil it down,” “in a nutshell,” “call a spade a spade” guy. He doesn’t mince words, he doesn’t sugar coat, he doesn’t pull his proverbial punches.
He unapologetically tells it like it is and then sits back with no small measure of amusement to watch everyone else around him freak out at his words.
I love him for this. For this and for so many other reasons.
The list above are lessons he taught me by what he said. Most of those quotes, I remember being repeated so frequently growing up, I know them by heart. I’m so grateful for this set of wisdom from OG. But like all great men, OG is a man of action. Because it’s true that “actions speak louder than words.” Here is a list of some of the things that OG did/does and what those actions taught/teach me.
OG takes on projects for improvement and he delegated. We re-decorated our “kids’ bathroom” in our home when I was in middle school, including putting in a shower. He did a lot of the hard work and assigned doable tasks to us kids (stripping the hideous wallpaper). But we also cleaned up our back-yard patio (I sanded pretty much the entire siding trim to prep for paint), and tackled the front-yard landscaping (so. many. bugs.). I learned that things can always get better and we have the power to make them better. And I learned, it helps to spread the responsibilities around.
OG laughs a lot. During that same “kids’ bathroom project,” while he was working on the plumbing for the new shower, somehow a pipe burst and water was flooding into the old tub. He shouted at me to hurry and help unclog the tub drain which was stuffed with the old wallpaper scraps we’d just removed while he went to turn off the water to the house. I got started shoveling the soggy, sticky trash away from the drain and OG went out of the room. Then, all the sudden, he appeared back in the room and hauled me out of the tub because he’d remembered that he accidentally left an electric drill (still plugged in) in the tub and I could have gotten electrocuted. Once I was safe, then he went and turned off the water. We got the drill out, cleared the drain and then looked at each other and busted out with laughter. OG taught me that pretty much anything can be fun.
OG picks his battles and always stands up for people who needed it. When you’re opinionated and verbal about those opinions, you’re a target. Especially when you’re a referee. That’s one of the things I shared with OG – we refereed soccer together for more than a decade. I remember so many occasions when he was shouted at and insulted. Most of the time, he’d blow it off. But whenever crazed spectators or coaches went after a fellow ref, a player, and I remember on one occasion, me, he would not have it. OG would step in and not let some be treated poorly. He’s tough. He taught me that not every fight is worth having, and that we have to help each other out.
OG can be selectively passive aggressive. When Big Bro and I were in high school, OG asked us to do two chores: Me vacuum, Big Brother dishes. He asked once and we said we would. We stayed in our rooms. He reminded us. We stayed in our rooms. He proceeded to take all the dishes out of every cabinet and put them on the counter. Then took all the shreds from our paper shredder and covered the floor with them. When we finally left our rooms, we got the message. Loud and clear. OG taught me to communicate creatively, and also to do what I say I’m going to do. Preferably when I say I’ll do it.
OG is good with babies. The Baby Whisperer would be a good name for him. Any crying baby in church, if held by OG would soon be giggling or sleeping. He taught me that gentleness is for everyone, and its okay to look silly if you’re trying to make a baby laugh.
OG talks in silly voices, sings made-up lyrics to famous songs and dance his own special “Dad dance.” He taught me that you can’t take yourself too seriously.
OG let you try, fail, quit and grow. I never had to play soccer, or take piano lessons or get an A in all my classes. OG (and Mommacita too), didn’t stop me from auditioning for plays, running for student council – heck he didn’t even know I’d applied to college until I got accepted. When I wanted to quit playing soccer and just referee, they let me and OG helped me get better at it. When Mt. Man asked me to marry him, I said yes, know he hadn’t ask OG first. And when I told OG, “Andrew and I are getting married,” he said, “oh, says who?” and I replied “me.” He laughed because that was enough for him. OG (and Mommacita too) let us kids make independent choices and shape who we wanted to be. We received, guidance, support and encouragement, but not steering or shielding. I learned so many things by this. Trying is good. Failure is constructive. Don’t waste your time on what you don’t love. Make decisions. Get better if you need to. The list goes on and on.
OG makes coffee for my mom every morning. He doesn’t drink coffee. I learned that doing something, no matter how small, for other people is a huge gesture. And that every marriage is better with coffee in it.
OG does not eat at Long John Silvers’. As a kids, we loved the place! Now, I can barely restrain my gag reflex thinking about it. But OG never went there with us; it was just a “mom” thing. Back when OG was in high school, he was on a school trip for band or football – something any way – and they stopped at a LJS. OG expected to get the tax (probably $0.02 back then) taken off the tab because it was for a school thing. They did not. He was offended. And so, he never eats at LJS. OG is stubborn. But, he taught me that sometimes you have to draw your own line in the sand. There will be times when you need to say, no, not again. Even if it’s over disgustingly battered fish.
OG helps people move, clean, garden, clear out sheds and so on. He’s served in food kitchens, building houses in foreign countries, and in prison ministries. He kept a little old lady (my great-grandmother) company a few nights a week for years before she died. He helps strangers load large items into their cars in crowded parking lots. He holds doors open for people behind him. And if he can’t help you, he’ll try to find someone who can. He taught me that generosity of yourself is something you can do every day.
OG rides bikes. He just finished a 65 mile bicycle ride, and he’s had a motorcycle for more than a decade. Through this he’s taught me that being active your whole life is important and that enjoying the ride is also important.
OG calls you. If you’re important to OG, he’ll find a way to talk to you on a regular basis. He’ll call. And he always appreciates it when you call him, even if you always happen to call him when he’s on his bicycle. He taught me that relationships take effort. Even if it’s small effort, it is required to have a relationship with another person. And he taught me to always pick up the phone and return phone calls. (And I guess another lesson is to have fun with your ringtones.)
My OG is a great man, and the best Dad a kid could ask for. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you.