Friday, June 14, 2013

Fabulous Friday: For the Men in My Life

I have always loved the look on his face in this photo. This was taken during my dad's speech.

Today is fabulous for two very important reasons: 1.) It is my five year wedding anniversary and 2.) this weekend we are celebrating father's day. I thought it would be fit to do a combo post about the two most important men in my life.

Let's start with the first man I ever met: my dad (Maybe it was a doctor, but let's just pretend it wasn't.) My dad is a character. When my siblings and I talk about him, it is usually with reverence, like "Oh, Dad is the smartest man we know" or "Dad is so sweet, and he never gets mad" or "I want these really expensive x (fill in the blank). Dad will say yes." My dad is all the these things. He is the smartest man I know, he is one of the kindest men I know, and there are very few things he says no to. (That is why we have my mom around.) But, the things I think about when I think about my dad are the little things that make him who he is. Let me illustrate:

To begin with, he has always had important corporate jobs (though he is a physician by training), yet he dresses like he is a lumberjack. On the way to an interview when I was looking at boarding schools, I distinctly recall my mom yelling at my dad because he had worn a suit with a big patch sewn onto the knee. At a Christmas dinner after he had just gotten a new sweater, I asked him why he was still wearing his old one. He told me he was "finishing one before he started another." He almost exclusively wears college sweatshirts and L.L.Bean snow boots.

Historically, my dad is the first person to want to do something extravagant, but he will suddenly decide to be unreasonably frugal at the most ridiculous time. Case in point: Years ago we were at Costco, and my dad saw a canoe hanging from the ceiling. He said he wanted to buy it despite the fact that my parents do not live near water. He thought we would have an awesome time canoeing around...somewhere. In that same Costco trip he told me I could not have a pack of gum because it was 89 cents.

My dad has the strangest grooming routine of anyone I've ever met. Sometimes he wears my mom's perfume, and he has recently taken to using some fancy hair product, which he seems to distribute on only one part of his hair.

My dad is famous for the "five second" time outs, which were his strictest form of punishment growing up.

He is a manical dancer. I will never forget New Year's Eve 1999 when my dad had just had major knee surgery (because he blew out his knee trying to score a goal at my sister's father/daughter soccer game) and insisted on dancing the whole night long on his crutches. On my wedding day during our father/daughter dance, my feet never touched the ground--and that is not a idiom.

Photographic evidence.
For birthdays my dad makes movies about my life on the computer with photos of occasions from my birth to the current moment. It will be set to music. I will cry. (Especially at the fact that he ended the video with the sun setting, which made me think he was telling me that my youth had in fact left the building--permanently.)

But, my dad is so much more than his quirks. He has taught me the importance of family, the meaning of unconditional love, the necessity of hard work, the pleasure of cultivating a life of the mind, the joy that comes from having children, the importance of commitment, and the value of seeking happiness in whatever form you find it. My father has accumulated accolades in his life that make it difficult to be his daughter for fear that I will never live up to what he has accomplished. So, imagine what my husband must have felt...

Lucky for J, another great quirk of my dad's is that he has no protective instinct. He loved J. immediately and has ever since he met him. He truly considers him another son.
When I met J. twelve years ago, I had no idea that our relationship would end in marriage. I told him I would only date him for one month. Turns out, the universe had other plans for us. Aside from the examples of my parents and grandparents, my relationship with J. has taught me the most valuable lessons of my life. He continues to challenge me and support me in equal measure, to love me and tell me I'm beautiful almost every day, to believe in my ability to do almost anything, to accept me despite my plethora of flaws, to comfort me, care for me, cook for me, laugh at my jokes (which are always funnier than his), paint walls for me, pretend he didn't see the J.Crew bag hidden in the closet for me. He shows up for me--always. He is one of the best men I've ever known, and I am so lucky that I get to take on life with him by my side. Happy Anniversary, babe.

To celebrate these two men, we are taking a sailboat ride on Sunday, and I can't wait to smother them both in lots and lots of fabulous love.

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