I look exactly like my dad. It’s not a bad thing though. Growing up, I thought my dad was the coolest motherfucker there was. He’s incredibly popular, outgoing and social more than anyone else in the family. Sure, he smoked and drank a lot, but I’ll pass that off as a by product of being well known by everyone. Little me just thought that was what men did.
There were two men I closely wanted to be like: my grandpa and my dad. My opinion of my grandpa more or less remained constant the older I got. He was hard working, never had a complaint, and loved our family til the day he passed. I like to think I have a bit of his work ethic in me after years of trying to get my act together and he’d be proud of what I’ve become.
I would argue my dad is nothing like my beloved grandpa. He was angry, loud, uncontrollable, and frightening. I think naturally as I got older, I saw through his bullshit and had a slow realization of the type of man he really was. I suppose that’s the unfortunate thing about growing up, you grew wiser and people aren’t as they seem.
My dad got old, his hair grew gray, and his face grew more tired. Deep down, I know I’m looking into a mirror and that face will soon be mine. It’s only inevitable.
So what if he was a womanizing, flirtatious man that my mom constantly believed was secretly seeing another woman? Am I to believe it to be true? Do I let it “slide” and give him a pass? My existence is because of him after all.
Optimistically, I know my dad is not perfect. Far from it. Grandpa told me himself, “Your dad’s kind of a loser. But he’s still your dad. Family stick together.” He was always too real with me and I perhaps needed that as a punk 16 year old.
I know I’m only outgoing and as extroverted as I am because of those early years watching him interact with his friends. I know my love for nice restaurants and good food comes from him never cheaping out on a day out with the family. Part of me may never forgive him entirely, but if there’s a day where I have the floor, I’ll tell him that.