Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Man of the Hour

Remember a few years ago when "25 Things About Me" was a huge thing on Facebook? Everyone posted their lists, then tagged 25 people, and you got to learn a lot of new, fun and interesting facts about each other. I was very into it. I read everyone's. Found it fascinating. I eventually did mine, and even did one for Luna. (Maybe I'll post that one some day. It's pretty funny.) I also did one for my dad, and sent it to some family members on his birthday. Recently, one of those relatives said he couldn't find it here on the blog. That's because I never published it. Until now... 

1. Today - 3/18/12 - would have been his 69th birthday.

2. He always wanted pineapple upside down cake for his birthday.

3. Not your average everyday guy, my father was not a drinker and did not enjoy steak.

4. In fact, he did not by any means approve of drinking, regardless of whether you were of age.

5. Without fail, every time you asked him to pass the salt he always said, "it doesn't need salt." Yet, the man loved potato chips.

6. His irrational disdain for random things/people bordered on insanity. But it was amusing nonetheless. Hazelnut coffee, gum chewing, and former Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams immediately come to mind.

7. He was saying the phrase "What the F*ck" way before it was cool.

8. I only saw him choke up - not cry - twice: when we walked into my Grandma Sylvia's wake, and when I read what I wrote to him at our rehearsal dinner.

9. Anyone he didn't like, knew it. He was incapable of hiding his feelings. (Sound familiar?)

10. He was a master at Trivial Pursuit. He always teamed up with my mom. They formed a deadly combination. To keep her interested, he made sure to land on a pink question (Arts & Entertainment) at least once a turn. His reason? "Mommy likes pink."

11. His middle name was Richard. Because of the preponderance of men named "Dominic" in his family (due to an antiquated Italian tradition of naming the first son after the paternal grandfather), his family called him "Dick." He, not irrationally, hated this name. I don't think anyone outside of my immediate family knows this.

12. Sometimes when we were fighting, I would pejoratively refer to him as "Dick." This never ended well for me.

13. Despite popular opinion, he did not begin rooting for the Jets purely to make me happy. He stopped liking the Giants and started liking the Jets. For me. There is a faction of my family who deny this. They're mistaken. It's true. People change their minds and their allegiances.

14. Going to live sporting events was not by any means something he enjoyed doing. To him, watching at home in his chair was just fine. Still, he took me to at least one Jets game every year starting in 1985.

15. My favorite memory of him is a phone conversation. Right after the Yankees won the World Series in 1996 I called him - drunk - from college. This was my first experience of a Yankees championship. At the end of the conversation, I told him I loved him. I didn't do that too much before that phone call. I did it a lot more afterwards. My friends who were there followed suit and called their dads.

16. He was surprisingly fleet of foot for a big guy.

17. He had the talent and opportunity to play Division I college football. He chose love and marriage.

18. He was an amateur magician, singer, and songwriter. Very amateur.

19. The man could drink cold, two-day-old coffee that had been sitting in his truck without flinching or thinking twice about it.

20. Coffee from 7-11 was his favorite. Wawa was #2.

21. He also ate anything that was in the refrigerator, no matter how long it was in there, as long as it did not have fuzz on it.

22. His legacy lives on through parents who tell their children at dinnertime, "You don't have to like it, you have to eat it." Pure genius. At the time, though, I did not find it remotely amusing.

23. We never made it to 12 o'clock mass before 11:58 because he insisted on finishing the Sunday crossword before getting ready. He always finished. The problem was how late he always started it: never before 10:30.

24. He was meticulous about his rock garden, about his kitchen tile, about hanging wallpaper.

25. After years of hard work, he finally had a comfortable pair of shoes when I bought him Merrills for Christmas. We buried him in them.

Miss you and love you, dad. Happy birthday.

"The man of the hour is taking his final bow. As the curtain comes down I feel that this is just goodbye for now" -Pearl Jam

4 comments:

  1. #10... Your Daddy was a smart, SMART, man. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. justice
    thats the one !
    bernie williams ?????
    un

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for giving me the idea to post it, Unc. Long live Bernie Williams!

    ReplyDelete

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