I’ve told you all about my father– his requirements of a presentation detailing why I should be able to take an internship across the country, his lecturing and his need for my success. But in the spirit of Father’s Day, I decided it’s time to share with you some stories of how special/embarrassing he really is.
Growing up, I was the epitome of “problem child.” I lied, snuck off to meet boys, and ditched class like school was nothing but a silly chore. My dad’s a professor so you can only imagine how frustrated he was with me all the time.
He hired countless tutors in hopes that my failures in science and math (his strengths) would somehow evolve into victory. Unfortunately, for him: no such luck.
But I was his only daughter and lucky for ME, he refused to give up.
Sundays were spent in his office as he struggled to teach me the basics of algebra.
“Goddammit Farrah, LISTEN TO ME. x + 2 = 4, therefore x is 2. FAHMIDI????“
Huh? X is a number?
I usually spaced out during our tutoring sessions and thought about what I was going to wear to school the next day, which he rarely approved of.
I used to wear short shorts and a belly shirt — whole body on display as he just sat in the car and looked at me in horror, without ever saying a word.
My dad was just an innocent bystander- he kept his mouth shut about most things unless it came to my grades. And even then, my attitude was so bad that he could barely get a word in without me storming off and slamming the door.
Puberty at it’s best- really, how do fathers deal with their pubescent daughters?
My mom forced me to join the swim team when I was in high school. My grades were shit, so they hoped that I would have some hidden athletic ability that colleges might take notice in.
Granted, I learned how to swim in the THIRD GRADE because my parents were so afraid of me getting in the water before then– so I wasn’t exactly a good swimmer (more shattered dreams for my parents). But that didn’t stop my dad from coming to all my swim meets/championships/practices.
Let me paint you a little picture:
My dad the PHD: full mustache, sunscreen ALL over his face because of his ridiculous fear of the sun, floral visor, and knee high socks.
He looked like the modern day Mario in a sea of white, waspy parents there to cheer on their kids that could actually do a flip turn without ending up on the wrong side of the pool.
But to me, he was just humiliating. I was so embarrassed to have my dad with his ridiculous over sized glasses running up to me after each swim meet, excited that I had been allowed to participate in a race.
And my attitude only got worse. When my parents were going through their divorce, I wasn’t mature, I chose sides– and it wasn’t my dad’s. My mom somehow convinced me that my Mario-doppleganger father was “evil” and that I should only be with her.
I ignored my dad my entire senior year of high school, refused to hang out, was silent during our father-daughter dinners and barely acknowledged him at my high school graduation.
The severity of my actions are NOT lost on me. And once I grew up and realized the weight of my mistakes, I’ve worked hard to make up for it since.
Despite my awful treatment toward my baba, he never stopped making an effort and never stopped caring.
And I am so grateful.
Because where would I be if I couldn’t call my dad on a weekly basis to mess with him a little? (just for a laugh)…
“… Dad, I think I’m going to get my nose pierced…”
Farrah, mikoshamet (I’ll kill you), you vill never find a job or husband if your nose has a hole in it…”
But my nose has two holes?
Or my personal favorite: “Dad, I think I’m going to quit my job.“
Farrah, I canNOT support you and your berother- I am getting old, I cannot afford to do dat.
Chill Daddy-o I’m just playing around. Irrelevant- he still continued to lecture me for 45 minutes on the importance of being self sustainable.
I know that some of his ridiculous pressures on me come out of love. Like calling me everyday for six months threatening me that if I didn’t find a job, he would force me back home or much much worse… LAW SCHOOL.
But at the end of the day, my dad paid for my rent for seven months after college just so I could try to pursue what I wanted. His lectures and pressure might have been frustrating, but how many kids are allowed the luxury to live wherever they want without having to stress about money while they work an unpaid internship?
And whether our dads like to admit it or not, they need us too. They need us because if your Persian dad is anything like mine– he’s a little socially dorky. I mean, he can’t be EVERYTHING- PHD, professor, engineer, socialite? That’s like an oxymoron.
So when my dad started dating after his divorce, it took for a few failed relationships until I realized that if he’s anything like he is when he’s with me (constantly talking about work/the importance of succeeding), then he’s going to need some help with his conversational skills.
I remember when he first started dating my now-stepmother. After their first two dates, I was at his house for dinner and I asked him how everything was going. He says,
“Vell, I don’t know, I tink it is going okay.”
What do you guys talk about?
“Ve talk about my kelasses, my e-students, ve talk about your brother…”
Um, so do you ask her questions about her?
“Vat do you mean?”
I had to teach my dad how to STOP talking about work for five minutes and focus on HER life. That while he has a lot going on, he needs to put all that shit aside and just focus on HER.
Because no one really wants to hear about the mechanics of engineering during dinner- that shit is BORING. #sorryboutit.
Four years later, they got married and he still always brings up how I was his “dating coach.”
So here’s to you Baba joonam, Happy Father’s Day. You make me want to tear my hair out sometimes because you craycray, but I still love you — despite your floral visor and knee high socks (that’s the next change on our list).
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Love My PsychoDaddy,