“What’s up dog?”
My dad has this thing now where he tries to talk in slang when addressing me. I find it comical because my dad is 62 years old.
“Nothing much dad just chilling. How are things with you?”
Our conversations always start the same. After a little small talk and him telling me that he was making plans to drive up and see me he asked me:
“How is your girlfriend doing? Are you learning Spanish? You know that you should learn. It’s not that much different from Yoruba. If I can pick it up you should try to.”
At first I kind of tuned my dad out but then I was grateful that he wasn’t talking about one of my exes. For some reason he was fascinated with her and thought that she would have made the perfect wife for me. After that relationship I tended to be a little guarded when discussing relationships with my parents. Guarded as in I don’t mention them and pray that they let me be. Seeing as how I’m getting pretty serious with my current girlfriend I decided to tell my dad about her. I mentioned that she is half Mexican. He immediately took an interest in her.
My dad lived for a couple of years in Spain so he’s fluent in Spanish and is infatuated with the language.
“Do you love her?”
Huh what? That question threw me for a loop because my dad had never asked me that type of question before. Although I’m a very affectionate person I wasn’t raised in the type of household where we discussed our feelings. Sure we loved each other but it was something that was implied rather than said.
Skeptical of the direction the conversation was heading I tried to nonchalantly play off the question and hopefully he would let it slide.
“Yea, I guess so. So….”
“Does she love you?”
What did I do to deserve this? Why can’t I have a dad who calls me to talk about sports?
“Son, you know that life is a lot easier when you have a woman that loves you. Trust me I know what I’m talking about.”
At this point I’m wondering if my dad is really getting off on making me uncomfortable.
“Yea dad I’m sure it is.”
Maybe if I agree with him he’ll let this conversation go. I was wrong. My dad proceeded to go into a story about how things would have been easier for him if he did this and he made things harder for himself by making a series of decisions. Perhaps my dad really is getting sentimental in his old age.
“Anyway son I know you have work to do [I didn’t. It was 6:30 and I was walking toward the subway] so I let you go.”
“Alright dad. Talk to you later and let me know when you plan on coming up.”
“Ok and tell your girlfriend, [something in Spanish that translated to “My father said hello.”]
“Ok I doubt I’m going to remember that but I’ll try.”
“[laughing] Alright well I’ll let you go. I love you. Bye.”
“Love you too. Bye.”
As an adult I can appreciate conversations like this with my dad because growing up even though I’m a junior I wasn’t that close to my dad. Sure we lived in the same house but I just didn’t take to him. We often butted heads about one thing or another so I became more closer to my mother. Now we have a closer relationship I’m grateful that I did and do have my father in my life. One who wants the best for me and gives me advice based. on his on triumphs and disasters. I know a lot of men my age never knew their dad or know him sparingly.