Most people that know me know that my greatest hero is my Dad. We look alike, we sound about the same, have the same mannerisms, we both love naptime in front of the TV in our favorite chair…heck, we were even born on the same day: 32 years and roughly 90 minutes apart. Dad is the perfect example of what a good dude is, always there for my Mother and my older Sisters, was my first soccer coach and my first real buddy. My dad is everything a role model should and ought be. But there is this one thing…
Earlier this morning I was reading a blog here called The Hubby Diaries, a hilarious blog illustrating the ins and outs of a marriage between a very funny woman and what appears to be a very interesting man who skews a bit towards pessimism. Visit her and read it if you get a chance. Anyway, upon reading her blog it reminded me of the one thing that I don’t wish to inherit from my dear old Dad.
My Dad worries. And when I say that he worries I’m not talking about the average everyday “Oh crap, it looks like rain and I don’t think I have my umbrella” type worry but full on “The world is going to swallow us all whole and there’s nothing that anybody can do about it” type worry. Basically my Dad tends to think that every bad thing in the world that can happen will happen directly to him and if not to him to every person that he has ever loved. Now I know that this is innocent; Dad has always loved us very, very hard and, yes, even to the point of worry but as my father has gotten older his ability to worry has reached gargantuan levels.
And it’s all CNN’s fault.
My father has approximately 297,413 channels (okay, I’m exaggerating, but he has a lot) on his sparkling HDTV that we bought him for Father’s Day a few years back. Channels featuring sports (which he loves, I got my love of sports from my Dad), channels featuring Westerns (Dad loves cowboy movies), channels featuring comedy (Dad has an infectious laugh just like me) but of all the channels he always finds his way back to CNN where Anderson Cooper and the rest of the gang give him ample reason to worry about any and everything. Case in point…
The other day I get home and the landscaper guy is working on my lawn (God bless his heart because my yard is a train wreck). He is the same guy who does my parents yard at their house and a family friend, a bit kooky but decent with lawn equipment and a good guy all the same. We exchange the usual pleasantries and then he starts in with:
Him: Your father told me to cut all these trees and bushes down.
Him: Yeah, he wanted me to cut all of these bushes down completely.
Him: He didn’t say.
Me: Hold off on that, I’ll call him.
So I call dear old Dad on the mobile phone and he answers on the third or fourth ring, with CNN in the background of course. The usual pleasantries exchanged and then I needed to get to the crux of the issue of why he needed to have bushes and trees in another person’s yard eliminated.
Me: The yard guy said you told him to cut down all the bushes in the yard
Me: Care to share why?
Him: Not safe to have them there.
Me: Care to share why?
Turns out there was a report about a Mexican gang in Maryland (I’m in Atlanta by the way) who’s initiation was to shoot and kill a Black woman (I’m a Black man by the way) in order to gain entry to the gang. Furthermore those bushes provided the perfect hiding place for anyone willing to do me harm when I come home from work.
My father is not insane, though my mother might occasionally tell me otherwise. He is in his right mind and thought this all the way through. No vegetation at all in the yard is the only way to keep me safe from evildoers. God bless his frightened little heart. We compromised and I told him if it made him feel better I would cut the bushes down a foot or two, but I wasn’t going to go Sahara in the back yard in fear of roving Mexican gangs in Maryland. He tried to pull rank but I managed to stave him off.
When I look in the mirror in the mornings, I see my Dad, when I talk I can hear his voice, when I play pickup soccer games in the park I can still hear him yelling from the sidelines that I’m not aggressive enough, we’re that connected and as I get older I become more and more like him, I guess it’s that whole born on the same day thing. But the day I start to worry at Dad levels is the day I have to say enough is enough. Just as a precaution though, I’m going call Comcast and see if they can delete CNN from my cable package.
~thanks for reading 🙂