Friday, April 23, 2010

Advice From My Dad

My dad has never really talked to me about relationships. It's sort of unwritten rule: thou shalt not discuss anything about boyfriends with Father. We discuss things that make us laugh, fifties music, movies and try to gross each other out (he wins, after all he was the one who explained what a bat-wing is). There is only one time I can remember that he decided to offer up a gem of advice. It was at a time in my life where I was neither thinking about being with anyone or in a relationship.

His advice to me?

Look at a guys hands.

Seems simple enough, doesn't it?
Just take a look at them.

His reasoning?

If he has pansy hands, he won't be able to look after you. Get a guy with hands that look as if they know what hard work is, get a guy with hands that are calloused, weather-beaten, and unable to get clean. A man with hands like this will be able to take care of you. He will make sure your car is working, he will fix things around the house and will know how to get things done. He will never be without a job, he will always find a way to put food on the table, and he will make it his goal to provide for his family.

At the moment, I laughed. But now, I see it for what it was. A father trying to ensure his daughter is safe, sound, fed and warm. My dad knows me. As much as I want to be taken care of, it's just not in my cards. I am too stubborn, too independent, too determined to prove I can do everything on my own, to allow someone to take care of me. The sentiment was in his advice.

And I think it's sound advice. Though I am certain there are exceptions, and I would prefer a man who's hands aren't black, there is something to be said about this tidbit of information from my father.

My dad's hands are working man's hands. And I have yet to find someone who works as hard as him, even at sixty something--or however old he is. He possesses that unique trait where he just knows everything. Electrical, plumbing, carpentry, mechanics. He just figures it out. Trial and error or some such thing...

If you long for more stories about my father, let me know...I will tell you about the time that his car brakes stopped working so he used his emergency brake to stop his car--this went on for a week. Or the time he decided it was a good idea to remove the dishwasher from their house and gave me a goose-egg on my forehead.

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