‘I think I married my Dad’
“If my eyes are not deceiving me, your Dad looks like your husband?!? Hmmmm.”
This is what a friend (hi Leslie!) commented after reading my birthday tribute to Dad on Facebook. (You can read it, too, even if you hate FB: “Kissing Daddy Good-night.”)
And you know what? Leslie might be right. Dad and Dude not only look somewhat alike — right down to the blonde lock of hair over one eye — but they act alike too.
Take this Thing About Mugs. I’ve scoured the house from basement to attic and still can’t find a mug that Dude Man liked to use. I would say that it was his favorite mug, but that would be a lie. This mug actually belongs to The Child. Which makes it even worse that it is MMIA. (That’s “Mug Missing In Action.”) He’s lost a mug that isn’t even his.
My Dad was famous for doing the same thing. After a visit from him and Mom, I would find mugs scattered around the house in the unlikeliest of spots. On arms of couches and chairs, of course. But also under couches and chairs, even beds. Once I found one balanced on the pipes of our furnace. Mugs would turn up outside too. On and under the outdoor furniture, natch. But also nestled in bushes and and on the tops of cars.
Dude Man liked to use The Child’s mug because it was very similar to his favorite mug.
The Child’s mug found its way here when Child and Beau (now SIL) took off in the Summer of ’20 on their camper-van adventure. They stored their household goods here “temporarily” while they road-trip roamed. (Note to Child: better come get your stuff before Dad gets his paws on it and it all disappears.)
But back to Dad and Dude.
They also have (or had, in my Dad’s case) a propensity for misplacing phones. Just last week, The Child was a witness more than once to Dude’s Thing About Phones. Almost every day he’d say, “Say, I can’t find my phone; could you call me?” — so he could listen for the ring and zero in on it.
Nine times out of ten it was in the bathroom.
Dad, too, was always misplacing phones. Once, when “portable phones” — remember those? — were all the rage, he took his outside so he wouldn’t miss an important call while working on his roses. The phone was missing for weeks before they found it in the crook of a tree.
Oh, speaking of phones and bathrooms, my Favorite Sister shared a hilarious Dad story with us last Sunday on our Family Facetime. Dad went through a phase when he liked to be called “Deej.” This was a squooshing-together of his initials, D for Dale and J for Joseph. I think he liked the zingy, hip sound of it. His friends and colleagues must’ve liked it too, since they all started calling him “Deej.” Mom even used “Deej” as part of her email address. The only holdout was Regina, the (very colorful) local woman who “cleaned” our house. She called him “Henry Dale” — a reverse of his first and last names, and at a high volume at that.
Anyway. It seems that one day Laura’s girls had some stick-on letters and suggested labeling Grampa’s phone (by then, cutting-edge as usual, he had a flip phone) with his nickname.
But when their cousin Aaron spied the phone on a table (or maybe in the bathroom or on top of a car) he asked, “Aunt Laura, why does Grampa have “poop” written on his phone?
Good question, Aaron.
Before I close, I’d just like to say that there’s one other thing my Dad and Dude Man share. Like my Dad, Dude has shown himself to be an incredible — and memorable — father.
I’m thinking it turned out pretty great that I “married my dad.” We can always get more mugs and phones.
Amagansett, New York. June 2022