June 19, 2010

Happy Father’s Day! (Rerun Alert)

It’s Father’s Day. If I weren’t a lazy a-hole I would have written something special to honor my dad, but that didn’t happen so I am going to re-post an oldie but goodie. Summer is the season of re-runs, so think of it like that. Just pretend my blog is one of your favorite shows, but instead of being famous, dating Paul Rudd, making millions of dollars each time I write something and getting free swag all the ding dong day, I’m just sitting on my lazy summer ass drinking beer, lounging by the pool, reading and watching TV. Isn’t that what summer is all about? Anyway, this blog contains some good stories about my dad, and really gives you, the readers, a glimpse into what it was like to be raised by such a weirdo. It should explain alot. The apple doesn’t fall far, people. Not far at all. Enjoy, and Happy Father’s Day!

So, the other day my son drops a bombshell. Not only am I ruining his life, but he is having the worst day of his life as well. My son is seven. If I am already ruining his life at age seven, this kid is gonna be a freakin’ mess by age twenty. We’re talking messed up enough for his own Dr. Phil two-parter. What caused him to react so strongly? Did I deny him food and water for days on end? Did I Make him sleep on a bed of nails? Did I sell him to a band of gypsies? Worse. I had the nerve to talk to him in front of his friends at school.
I laughed about how dramatic he was being, then I realized something: When I was little, I thought my parents were ruining my life too. I was sure of it. I wanted to run away and find my real parents, because surely there had to be some horrible mistake. I couldn’t possibly belong to that freak show.
As our kids get older, we are all going to go through this same scenario over and over again. We will be crappy parents who are repeatedly scarring our little angels for life. But you know what? They’ll get over it. Things that seem like the end of the world when we are little sometimes seem funny when we grow up. They give us our sense of-humor, our personality, and make us stronger. To prove my point, I offer the following “life-ruining” events from my childhood. In spite of these events, I think I turned out okay.
1. Earliest memory of a crappy event: When we came home from church one night and my dad ran over our cat. Since my dad highly disapproved of being dragged to church, I think that subconsciously this was his way out. In the future, if he got anywhere near a church, he would have painful memories of killing his children’s loving pet, therefore making it detrimental to his mental health to attend.
2. In another religion-related incident…when I was 6 and we were coming home from church, I stopped on our front porch to turn and wave to my next-door-neighbor, who happened to be my first true love. It was at this point that my mom thought it would be funny to pull down my skirt, leaving me waving in my Wonder Woman underoos. I could never again watch my favorite tv show without having crippling underwear-related flashbacks.
3. My dad forgot to pick me up at Kindergarten. It was late, and everyone had gone home but my teacher. When she went it for a cup of coffee, I made a break for it. When my dad finally remembered me and found me a few blocks away, I refused to get into his car. Unfortunately, he was not alone. He had a carload of his Drivers Ed. students with him. They drove next to me giggling the whole way home.
4. In 1978 I wanted nothing more than a Snoopy Snow Cone Machine. Since my parents sucked, I never got to taste the fruity deliciousness of an ice-cold Snoopy treat. On hot summer days, I still dream of those cones.
5. My dad though it would be an amazing father-daughter bonding experience if he took me hunting with him. It wasn’t. First of all, he said we were going pheasant hunting, which I thought was hunting for those poor, olden days people from my Disney cartoons. While morbid, this outing intrigued me. It wasn’t what I had thought. He shot a bird, I freaked out, and we left. I held the dying bird in a towel and cried all the way home. Although, I suppose, better than being a Disney character killer, nothing says crappy childhood like finding out your dad is a serial bird murderer.
6. In 6th grade I left my small private school for public, and my mom forced me to get a perm so tight it gave me brain damage. In fact, I am positive that perm is why I suck at Math. My mom assured me that “all the cool kids getting perms”. They weren’t.
7. Dad loved to take my sister and I to the grocery store in his “work-out” clothes. His “work-out” clothes amounted to a pair of polyester shorty-shorts, a headband made from an old tube sock, and one of those shirts made from see-through netting that he cut into a half-shirt. Unfortunately, my dad’s version of a half-shirt meant that it landed above the nipples, which in my opinion, is the main part that the half shirt should cover.
8. For some reason, my dad bought this big, brown, junky car that looked like a piece of crap on wheels.  Unfortunately I had to ride in it, and I spent a lot of time hiding on the floor. He insisted on yelling out the window to any kids we drove past (once including a boy I was crushing on), “Attention kids! Patti Rust is in this car!” He later sold that car for a case of beer. If you ask me, the buyer got screwed.
9. Dad often took us to our favorite pizza parlor, where for reasons known only to him, he put a coin in the jukebox and danced around that music machine like he was the slutty chick in a Whitesnake video. He did this EVERY time, which tells you how much my sister and I loved that pizza.
10.Dad, who had more than enough cash to purchase decent underwear, instead decided to fix his holy ones using duct tape, and then proceed to walk around the house in said underwear. He didn’t care who was visiting. Most of my friends bear this childhood scar as well.
11.Dad – who was a teacher at my high school – told his students that he was on a prison work-release program. This spread like wildfire. The only plus-side I can see with such a rumor, is that you can tell everyone that your dad taught you the fine art of making a shiv out of anything from a tardy slip, to toilet paper, and all the bullies will leave you alone.
12.When I turned 16 my child-labor-loving parents forced me to get a job. Even though my dad knew every business owner within a 300-mile radius, he refused to help me score something good, so I ended up working at a greasy fast food burger joint. I blame him for the acne outbreak of ’88.
13.When I turned 16, my parents also refused to buy me a car, even though all my friends had cars. When I finally got one, I discovered that it had its quirks. For example, when you made a left turn, the wipers came on, and when you went over 40, the headlights came on. The most annoying of these quirks, however, was that every time the temperature dipped below 30 degrees, the doors and windows froze shut. This often made me late for class. One morning I thought I was smart, and I opened the hatchback and crawled in that way. I drove to school, and then realized I couldn’t get out because the hatch only opened from the outside. I decided to drive back home, apparently a little too fast, because a cop pulled me over for speeding. Unfortunately I couldn’t roll down my window or open my door when he walked up to my car. This constitutes disobeying an officer, as far as the fuzz are concerned. I think I was this close to being on the five o’clock news, and I’m sure I was almost taken out by police sniper fire. I definitely could have died, and it’s all my parents’ fault.
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3 Responses to “Happy Father’s Day! (Rerun Alert)”

  1. Anonymous Said:

    Hi Patti,
    I belly laughed like a kid while reading your Father’s Day re-run article! I have subscribed to your blog & forwarded your article to all of my friends…thanks for making me laugh! You are a hoot!

  2. Anonymous Said:

    Love, love the Rust and Rave picture! Brings back some fond memories of two of my favoritist, craziest teachers!
    ~Kelly (Moshier) Stuck~

  3. Anonymous Said:

    Oh my God, you’re funny! I think I peed my pants!

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