With Father’s Day approaching, I realize there is much for me to thank my dad for. He’s been a constant source of support and advice throughout my life. He’s helped me through crises in my love life, my professional life, and is my first call whenever I have a tough decision to make. But most importantly, I have to thank him for putting up with all my idiotic choices and not once disowning or beating me, despite times when I’m sure I deserved it. Here are those times.
1. When I wrecked his car and his lawn with one sweet drift.
Despite what is shown in movies, I was not given a car of my own the day I turned sixteen. Knowing that A) I didn’t deserve, and B) I had the decision-making skills of a toddler, my parents opted to let me borrow their cars until I proved myself worthy of getting a junker of my own. One stormy day, I was going over to my buddy’s house to study (read: play Mario Kart and smoke weed), and my father, in his infinite kindness, let me borrow his car so I wouldn’t get soaked. I decided to repay that favor by picking up three of my shithead friends and going drifting.
I apparently made a slight error in my calculation when I attempted to “drift this bitch into the driveway,” although, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift had just came out, so I feel like this wasn’t 100% my fault. I approached my driveway with a slightly too aggressive angle and velocity and ended up drifting directly into the middle of his lawn. If that wasn’t bad enough, due to the heavy downpour, when I tried to drive out, the tires shredded the grass and got stuck in the mud. Apparently, Volvo sedans are not fantastic off-road vehicles. My dad had to get a tow truck to tow my dumb ass five feet onto concrete, damaging both his front axel and destroying the lawn. I’m fairly sure this was the closest I’ve come to being murdered, and I wouldn’t blame him.
2. When I cost him two grand in medical bills because I didn’t understand how insurance works.
I’ll be honest, for most of my life, I really had no idea how medical insurance worked. I got a crash course in that, however, the day after my 2012 Formal. What had started out as an average night of me attempting to turn myself into a walking pile of tequila and get kicked out of the hotel for having sex in the elevator took a nasty turn around midnight.
My girlfriend at the time decided to attempt a “sexy striptease” for me, and through a freak accident (possibly due to the fact that we could both barely stand), kicked off one of her heels directly into my left testicle. I’ve been hit in the nuts several times before and since then, and nothing compares to how bad this one was. I hit the floor immediately, and within five minutes my ball had swollen to triple it’s normal size and was uncomfortably hard. Terrified I had been castrated by a Nordstrom Rack shoe, I called myself a cab and yelled at the driver to “take me to the nearest hospital,” which turned out to be a Kaiser. Which is a part of its own insurance plan. Which meant I paid full price. Two weeks and several unpleasant phone calls with my dad later, he assured me that if I went to an out of network ER again without a life-threatening injury, he would be sure to give me one.
3. When I tricked his girlfriend into getting 14-year-old me hammered.
Apparently, in the summer after my freshman year, my dad decided to reward me for getting suspended twice in the past two semesters by taking the family to Cabo. It was a joint trip with his girlfriend’s kids, and was touted as quality time for our families to get to know each other, although I took it as a place to try and get in the most trouble possible. I started off strong with sneaking into (and eventually getting kicked out of) the resort club, but really decided to kick it up a notch on our last day. We were all chilling near the swim-up bar, and despite my multiple attempts to convince the bartender that I was of age; my non-colored wristband kept selling me out. That’s when opportunity arose, in the form of my dad’s girlfriend waving at my little brother. She was lying on a pool chair, and having been slamming various fruity drinks all morning, wasn’t about to walk over to the bar to keep ordering drinks. She asked my brother to get her a margarita from the bar, and silenced his doubt that he wouldn’t get served with a simple; “I’ll just wave at him so he knows it’s for me.” This began a pattern of him ordering drinks, the bartender looking to her for approval, and her waving to confirm that the drink was for her, not the nine-year-old.
I watched this a few times, and that’s when the Ocean’s Eleven-esque inspiration hit me. I struck up a conversation with my dad’s girlfriend and asked her to wave at the bartender when I went to talk to him. I don’t remember how I justified it, but between the margaritas and the desire to have her boyfriend’s kids like her, she agreed. Just like that, a new pattern was born. I would order a drink, the bartender would look at her, she would wave, and I would sneak off to the bathroom to drink said drink. A perfect plan, until my dad found out. I’m not sure how he found out, because I can’t remember most of the afternoon, but I do know that I got a stern, four-hour lecture while I dealt with my first hangover on the flight back home. And thus began my long-standing tradition of crying through my hangover on every return flight I’ve ever taken.
Thank for putting up with me, Dad. Hopefully, all the shitty ties I’ve gotten you for Father’s Day makes us even. .