Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Be-lated Father's Day Post

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on the subject but I still wanted to do a blog post on my Father. For those of you who know me, you know my father is indeed my best friend. I joke with him (even though he doesn't seem to get the joke) over the idea of having him as my maid of honor one day. I mean, your maid of honor is supposed to be your best friend, right?
I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a father who has always loved me for who I was/am and has enjoyed watching me grow up. He loved my diaper stage, he loved my horrible adolescent stage, he is currently loving he's adult child stage with me. I am baffled with how he has done this. I hope one day I can do the same for my kids.
And with that in mind, I'd like to do a post of the 8 things my father has taught me in my 25 years on earth:

1) Listen to both sides of the story-
My Father is a lawyer so I'm sure this has something to do with it but he's always enforced the idea of listening to both sides of the story before passing judgement. Even when you hear both sides of the story it's still not a good idea to pass judgement as the sides you are listening to have both been influenced by the person who is telling it to you.
2) Make new friends, but keep the old -
My father has had the same best friends since he was in 3rd grade but he has accumulate an obscene amount of amazing friends along the way. Part of what helped me feel better about not being home for more than a week after my mother's death was knowing that he's friends would be there to take care of him. In previous post I have mentioned that I have been lucky enough, like my father, to have the same core group of girlfriends since I was about 9. I have also accumulated amazing friends along the years. It's hard to not compare this to my father and think he may have had a heavy influence on it.
3) Single-Sex colleges are the way to go -
A good deal of people find it insane that I went to a all-women's college. They seem to have the same facial reaction as they might have if I told them I killed a kitten by stumping on it for 3 hours. I'm unsure why people are so repulsed by the idea of a single-sex education but I always thought it was the best option for me when going to college. My father went to Washington & Lee when it was still single-sex and all the amazing stories he told me made me feel like a single-sex college environment would probably be the best fit for me. There is a time for study, a time for play, and also a time to form the strongest friendships you'll probably ever make as an adult. When talking to my other friends who went to a co-ed college, it doesn't seem like they had the same experience as me. It also doesn't seem like they formed the same sisterhood bond with their fellow female classmates that I did. Perhaps this wasn't important to them but to me, a strong bond between women is very important. My father experienced this in college as well and has continued to remain in contact with his college buddies just as I do with mine.

4) Don't be a Skank -
Okay, okay, he didn't EXACTLY say this but he did more or less bluntly tell me that if I chose to openly sleep around with many different men during certain periods of my life (ex: upon moving to a new city/starting a college) that a reputation would be assigned to me no matter what I did to change it. By no means did he tell me to never have sex or to not enjoy myself he basically told me to 1) think before I do 2) if I MUST behave badly be discreet about it. This life lesson has proven more useful in adulthood as I have seen many girls who try to enjoy themselves the way boys do with sexual behaviors get pigeoned-holded and not taken seriously. It impacts things as far as their careers. Perhaps he wasn't thinking this far in advance when he said it but my Dad is a wise, wise man so I like to believe he was.
5) Your 20s are met to be the years spent on you -
This is something I've repeated to myself time and time again through out my first few years outside of college. My Dad telling me this during my college years didn't seem to impact me as much as they do now. When I think back to what I was like at 22 and right out of college and what I am now at 25, I can't believe how much I've changed. I feel that my father (and mother) telling me that it's okay to fuck up, struggle, get angry, get out of control, do stupid things etc were part of figuring out who I am and knowing that they weren't going to judge me for doing said behaviors but only encourage them as long as they were helping me figure out who I was and who I will eventually be made a huge difference.
6) Don't be a Lawyer, plant a tree-
This advice came from my drunk Father when I was in 7th grade on a Glace family vacation in Mexico. He said it to a stranger who was in Law School but I felt like it was directed more at me. Or so I'd like to believe.
Note: When my Father was in college he called my Nana and declared that he would name his daughter "Garden" (being the hippie that he was) and my Nana replied, "John, who did you knock up?". I think this conversation between my grandmother and father also highlights how completely comfortable our family is with saying ANYTHING to each other.
This is me directing my father in my thesis film.....he didn't make the final cut.
7) Always be nice to cops - It pays off, seriously. While in high school I used to get countless speeding tickets and half of them I used to get out of by going to court and the cop saying, "She was very nice about it". Now, maybe that wasn't teaching me a lesson as I continued to speed until around 20 and now I drive like a grandmother. One extreme to the next, I guess. But honestly, I understand we all hate "pigs" and they ruin our supposed fun but honestly, it just is easier to be nice to them. Has disagreeing with a cop really gotten ANYONE anywhere? No. So, thanks Dad for breaking it down plan and easy earlier on so I didn't have to learn the hard way.
8) It's easier to be friends with everyone -
I'm still learning with this one. My jealous Scorpio nature followed by my stubborness and need to feel in control makes this one hard. I find as I get older it's becoming easier to follow this but I have a long way to go. My Father has taught me this by excellent example. I have met so many people who have met my father in passing and they all hold him in high regard.
Example: When I took my driver's test the second time (yup, I failed the first) the guy who was doing the test asked if I was related to John Glace. Trying to impress the man who was holding my freedom in hand I said, "Why, yes. He is my Father" and prayed that this man liked him. Turns out that he went to high school with my father. My father was, not to brag, pretty damn popular. He was a star athelete and was president of just about everything. You'd think he'd be a douche because let's be honest, it's expected. Well, this man remembered how nice my father was to him even though he wasn't very popular himself. He never forgot it and was impressed by his kind nature. Not only did I get my license that day but I realized that being nice to someone even for a moment in their life can impact them for long than you'd ever imagine.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something grand and important but I'll just file that under "My Dad is the SHIT and taught me basically everything I know".
Thanks, Dad. I love you. You ROCK!

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