Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Big Man, Rittle Camela

My dad, Lurch, came up to visit on Friday night and left on Monday morning.  It was the best weekend I've had in a long while, not because it was terribly exciting but because it was just a good time to live with Dad for a few days and find fun things to do.
Friday:  Enjoyed sushi at Jai-Yen.  He never had it before, and he liked it.
Saturday:  Attempted to ride the Red Line to its terminus on the north side, but work on the tracks made us head back south.  We went to the Museum of Science and Industry, where we toured an old-timey train, a captured German u-boat, watched an Omnimax film on dinosaurs, and ate expensive museum food.  I took him to Piece for dinner, a brewery with a nice little pizza menu.  He enjoyed a pitcher of dark ale, and we talked about Mom.  It was good.  We came back to the apartment and I made him a couple of mix CDs.  He was astounded that I could find certain songs on iTunes so readily.
Sunday:  We rode the El.  All.  Day.  Took the brown line south around the loop, then all the way north, then back south.  Connected to the green line in the loop and took it to both ends on the south side, then took the raunchy 63rd street bus to Midway airport to take the orange line train back to the city.  It sounds pretty boring, but it was a lot of fun and a good way to see the city.  Then we took a bus to Thai Aroma, a hidden treasure Thai restaurant by my apartment.  We were hungry, and ate way too much.  We came home to watch the end of the NASCAR race and look up aerial satellite views of places on Google Earth.  He totally loved that.  I think it convinced him to get high speed internet.
He left at 6:00 am on Monday morning.
The events of the weekend as listed above don't sound too exciting, but within the context of the weekend, I learned some pretty interesting things.
  • Dad refused a pedicure.  Though he grew more accepting of the idea as the weekend progressed (until he heard the price - "Thirty dollars?!"), his initial response was "I don't like a woman touching my feet...unless it involves a sexual situation, heh heh."  The little laugh at the end is his classic bashful, eyes-down laugh that just makes you love this guy.
  • He did say that if he ever would get work done in a salon, he would get his back waxed.  I told him he doesn't have a backhair situation.  He insisted he does, and it makes him self-conscious.  "How long does the hair stay off?"  "Probably a couple of weeks"  "That's it?!"
  • He brought a disposable camera.  Though neither of us care about not having a digital camera, together we joked that someone with a digital camera - say, a Japanese tourist - would make fun of him and take pictures of his shame.  "Fong, rook at big Amelican man.  He have rittle camela."  "Big-u man, rittle camela!"  "He have-uh baby camela!"  "Rook!  He cry!  Big-u man cry about rittle camela."
  • I learned how he met my mom (in a parking lot at "The Rustic" - a dance hall - she just came up and kissed him), and that he hadn't dated anyone else in his life, even though he was 21.  He told me he was in a car once with his friends and some girls; the girls asked when they were going to "park" and "get handled."  He said his jaw just dropped and he didn't know what to say.
  • Mom had been seeing a guy.  Dad later played softball against him.
  • When working on his mix CDs, I jokingly asked if he wanted Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth."  To my surprise, he said, "Yeah, she has a great voice."  So somewhere in the mix of classic rock songs I put together for him, a track is going to click on with "Oooh baby do you know what that's worth?  Oooh heaven is a place on earth." 
  • He doesn't like "city prices," so we tried our best to avoid falling into tourist traps.  On one occasion when he complained about prices, I said with force, "But it's worth coming here, right?  Because you're with me, your daughter...right?"  Then I made him give me his hand, instructing him to flinch and squeal out "Yes!" in weakness.  (You have to know that my dad is what some would call an intimidating 6' 4", and his hand is like twice the size of mine.  It's funny to see him being intimidated, really.)  So after that, every time I would say, "But it's worth it for me, right?" I would take his hand, pretend to squeeze and he would play his cowardly part.  It was our little routine for the weekend.
  • Before he left town, he wanted to get "one of those milkshake things from Starbucks," which is what a barista would call a Grande Caramel Lite Frappucino with Whip and Caramel Sauce.  That's right.  Lurch won't get a pedicure, but he likes Belinda Carlisle and Caramel Lite Frappucinos.  This is my dad.
  • In his defense, while we were drinking the Fraps on the train platform, he admitted to it "making him look like a fag."  I told him I don't think that's possible.
When he left, I told him to call me when he stopped on the road, so I could make sure he made it home all right.  When at 11 am he hadn't yet called, I tried calling him, only to get his voicemail.  After about 6 more tries before 4:00 pm, I started to get worried.  I called Mom, but she hadn't seen him.  We both started to freak out.  An hour later, Mom had tracked him down at Oasis, his favorite watering hole.  We agreed that I would chew him out for not calling me.
He called me about a half an hour later.
Dad:  Yeah?
Me:  You scared me!
Dad:  You know how I am with phones.  I don't like 'em.  Heh heh.  And I know how to drive; nothing's going to happen.
Me:  Well, I told you to call me.  You said you would.
Dad: know how I am with phones.  Sorry.
Me:  (half-joking, just happy to find out he's okay)  You better be...
Dad:  You can't squeeze my hand now, can you?  Heh heh.
No, I can't.  I already miss you.
So there's that,


Anonymous said...

What a gem--you're post made me cry. We are so lucky to have that man in our lives and as a role model. Thank goodness for him!!

Anonymous said...

that was me

manda said...

this is me again--i keep clicking the darn publish before putting my name. soooorrrrry

mkieper said...

Damn, that made me cry too. I love your dad.

I kept picturing the too of you together. I'm so happy that you have a great relationship with your Dad. I'm jealous!