It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. --Anne Sexton
I remember Dad as a handsome, impulsive young buck who lived life fast and furiously and was a bundle of fun. If this picture doesn't say it, then I'll give you two examples:
When I was sixteen, Dad took me to the mall to shop for school clothes. He strode confidently through JC Penney’s and started pulling all the tops down off every female mannequin, occasionally tweaking a "breast" or flicking a "vagina". The mall police caught up to us, and I had to interpret the awkward conversation between Dad and the rent-a-cops:
“Who cares? They don’t have nipples,” Dad shirked.
“It's not right,” the officers awkwardly retorted, reluctant to have this conversation with a teenage girl and her dad.
Dad would not relent. "They're plastic," He signed, with a sly grin.
The officers resorted to pleading, "Please, just tell him to stop."
"Okay, fine," and we sped through the store out to the car where I laughed at Dad's animated mimicking of the exasperated faces of the security guards.
Then, during my junior year, my high school made it to the State championships for a one act play competition held at the University of Texas in Austin. Afterwards, we waited anxiously in the auditorium for the judges to make their decision.
I was chatting with my friends when suddenly I heard a smattering of gasps and giggles mixed in with familiar guttural noises and high-pitched nonsensical sounds reverberating through the sound system. I looked up saw Dad doing his best gyrating Elvis impersonation into the microphone. A few people rushed the stage and the emcee wrested the microphone from the Dad’s hands. This did not faze him one iota, and he continued to perform more enthusiastically to the crowd. Frustrated, the emcee announced, "If he belongs to you, would you get this monkey off the stage?!?!"
My friend Scott turned to me and queried, "Hey Kambri, isn't that your DAD?!"
My mother scrambled to the stage as Dad was taking his bows. Always the entertainer, Dad had left his lasting impression. Later when I asked him just what the hell was he thinking, he said that since the UT students had just bawdily spoofed all the plays -- a way to keep us occupied while the judges made their decisions -- it couldn't be all that big a deal for him to take the stage for a minute.
As the Chinese proverb states, "One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters." And, if there's one lesson Dad taught me, it would be:
It is easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
Happy Father's Day to him.