Sunday, June 17, 2012

Smile Like You Mean It

I visit my Dad on Father's Day for many reasons.

As the oldest and the one of his six daughters who lives closest, I feel a certain sense of filial duty.

It's a shared meal.

Lunch is always his choice, often crabs, but this year fried chicken, watermelon, potato salad and corn muffins.

I get pie.

Today's was strawberry rhubarb pie a la mode.

He makes me laugh.

Whether making fun of the conservatism of the Richmond Times Dispatch or saying he'll have to have a come-to-Jesus with their neighbor about his early-morning mowing, the man is funny.

Like me, he gets the Washington Post delivered daily and I mention a recent front-page picture of a tall ship in Baltimore, notable for the men lined up high on the masts.

When he goes to retrieve the paper, he comes back shaking his head and lecturing my Mom about "Newspaper 101."

Apparently in Dad's world, old newspapers should be found in one of two places on the back porch.

This one had been in neither.

Instead, it was discovered under a pile of watermelon rinds in the kitchen. And he was not finding that acceptable.

This resulted in a long-winded but hysterical explanation of how newspapers should be cached while my Mom shook her head laughing at him and I played audience.

And that's probably the biggest reason I go to the Northern Neck every Father's Day.

It's a chance to be the adoring fan every Dad wants his daughter to be.

And considering what he showed me about men, he deserves every bit of it.

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