Monday, September 26, 2005

Family Talk Plan

Normally, when I get the impulse to post about my Dad I just fight it, or ride it out until that impulse goes away. But usually the phone conversations we have do bear repeating. I called my Dad last Friday night while I was working late in the office scanning business cards. Now, here are some things you need to know:

1. My father would like me to call him only when I am sitting in a chair in my apartment and have lots of time and focus to devote to talking to him. He does not like when I am talking on the phone with him while walking down the street. He does not like when I am multi-tasking on the phone with him, such as washing dishes or wrapping up left-overs. Standing still outside, like waiting for a bus, is also forbidden. Even folding laundry is too noisy and attention-splitting for him. Of course, I continue to do all these things anyways and it drives him nuts.

2. The photo from the bake sale is the one posted below. The one of me in the office is one my friend Catherine snapped of me when she was visiting. It's not a very flattering photo, but I thought my Old Man might get a kick out of seeing my desk and such.

3. My father believes that New York City is still the murder capital of the US and roughly equivalent to the biblical cities of Sodom and Gommorah.

Edited transcript of phone conversation:

"Those photos you sent were nice. What, did you have your bake sale in front of a prision?"

"It was in front of a school yard, Pop. That was a basketball court. It's chainlink fence."

"What's that building in the background? It looks like a maximum security federal penetentiary"

"That's a New York City Public School. An elementary school."

"Same thing. It looks like everyone was having fun but you."

"I was having fun! Did you get the photo of me in my office?"

"Christ, was that a photo only a father could love or what? Were you running late that day?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Obviously you were running late because you didn't get a chance to put on any make-up or do your hair. Jesus Christ. You go to work looking like that? You probably fit right in on the subway. It was a better shot of that woman's ass in the corner."

(My father starts talking about his new girlfriend)

"Listen, [she] gave me something to give you about how much calcium you're supposed to get everyday. So, I'm going to throw it away, but if you ever meet her, tell her, you know, thank you for the calcium. Hello? Are you there?"

"Yeah, I'm here."

"What did I just say about the calcium?"

"You said tell {}.."

"That's not her name! You've got to get her name right first! Don't screw this up for me! You tell {} thank you for the calcium info, I've got it right up here on the fridge and I look at it everyday. Can you do that?"

"Yes, I've got it."

"You're not even listening to me. What are you doing? I think we're going to go dancing again this weekend. We had a good time at the disco a few weeks ago. Are you laughing? Is that nice to laugh at your father? Remind me to punch you in the face the next time I see you."

"No, no, it's good. I'm very happy that you're happy."

"I know you don't approve. I know you think I'm moving too fast. Because, I forget why. Come on, let's here it. Tell me again what your problem is."

"No, no, it's good. And you know what, I'm actually kind of busy..."

"You called me! Why did you call me if you didn't want to talk? I can hear you typing, you know. Hello? Say something! I know you're busy but you have to make a noise, otherwise I think my hearing is going."

"I'm here. I'm here."

"You know, most people, when they call their father, they would make them number one. But you make me number two. That's okay, with you I'm just happy to be number two. Okay, I have to get going now. Look, I'm sorry you don't have big plans for the weekend, but your brother and I will be very busy having fun. Okay Sweetie, I love you. Don't forget about the calcium."

1 comment:

jesse said...

My mom is the same way about phone calls. If she hears the sound of a cash register or a baby crying, she'll act like I'm trying to put one over on her. "What's that noise? Who's there" It's like the lipstick on the collar of familial relations.