Through it all, I am always my father's daughter, and though I usually speak openly, here are a few tidbits from my life that I may have failed to mention so far.
I was 15. I was with the kids from my youth group. They gave me a beer, and I drank it. It was a Corona — I didn't particularly like it, but I still drank a second one. Then I felt a little drunk and started crying because I was worried that we would all get busted by our parents.
We called it "car surfing," and luckily no injuries resulted from this activity. Of course, now that I'm older and a mother, I realize how dangerous this was. I would totally ground myself for my behavior, if I didn't have to go to work on Monday.
So I never told my dad that I got my period. Unfortunately, my mom did. My dad later congratulated me in front of my slightly older and super-cute neighbor while hanging Christmas lights on the front of our house. Embarrassing!
Like many young girls working through a string of awkward phases, I tried to avoid uncomfortable situations as much as possible. Unfortunately, my high school years kind of congealed into one big, uncomfortable situation. At the time, cutting class seemed like the best option. So if you ever wondered why I didn't show you my report card, it wasn't because my grades were down. I just didn't want you to see my attendance record.
It seemed that my dad and I were always looking for potential career options for me — searching for a stable life direction beyond rock star or award-winning author. Eventually, I found my way into a career, and I even like it most of the time. There are still moments, however, where I struggle with the day-to-day and wonder if I should have taken another direction with my life. Who knows, maybe there's still time for me to become a songwriting, dinosaur-taming, yoga instructor.
Okay, okay. It turns out that, during my teenage years, I may have been wrong about a few things. For example, I now agree that I should not have been hanging out in the neighborhood where my 1981 Chevy Malibu was stolen. I will also agree that it may have been better for me to focus on after-school activities instead of hanging out with boys after school.
As a kid, I always thought that it was scary when my dad lost his temper. If he was angry or frustrated, I internalized it even if it wasn't directed at me. Since I didn't know how to sort and decipher when I was in trouble and when there was just general trouble a-brewing, I spent many of the years between ages 11 and 22 on the defensive. Now that I'm kind of a grown-up dealing with kind of grown-up stuff, I can see where you were coming from. Sorry it took me so long.
I stand by not wanting to listen to Men At Work on repeat during a 12-hour road trip to Florida. However, I have to admit that Pink Floyd is pretty cool, and I almost never change the radio station when Fleetwood Mac comes on.
I don't think that I have ever told my dad that I actually appreciated all of the hard work that he did to keep us in our home with food on the table. At the time, I wasn't oblivious to the amount of hours and jobs that it took to do this, but I didn't voice my appreciation. I really should have.
My dad once told me, "You bring a lot to the table." It's still one of the comments made to me in my life I cherish the most. Simple, kind and supportive words in a time when I was in desperate need. Though I was totally wrapped up in my own mid-20s mess, I couldn't have been more thankful, and I still am.
Louis C.K. takes a comedic look on what it actually takes to be a real father.
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