After being a diligent (aka obnoxious) travel/fun blogger while in Copenhagen, it is natural that an extreme hiatus would need to take place post Europe travels. Why? Well for starters, I”ve probably annoyed you all to the point of exhaustion. I can hear it now…”Ok, ok Melissa, we get it, you are having the time of your life. We get it. You can go away now.” And secondly, I really didn’t have anything good to write about when I got home. Normal life seemed…so…dull. For the record, reverse culture shock is a real thing. I don’t care if you were gone 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. Coming back to real life is DEPRESSING. For fear of driving away even more readers, I avoided the posts that would have read something like “Today I went to Target. It sucked. Then I ate some food that kinda sucked too. Oh – and I moved. And that actually sucked really really big time man. Lemme go eat my feelings quick. Where is the gelato when ya need it?”
But today is a a special day. It is time to bring back the blog for a post that may make me cry, but hopefully it won’t make you cry. And if you do, hopefully it is because your heart feels warm. Cuz fall is rapidly approaching (or is straight up here already – just go look at those leaves outside) and we could all use some warm words, warm memories memories, warm infinity scarves, and reasons to be grateful.
Today is my Dad’s 50th birthday. And my heart is exploding with gratitude. I may have only been around for 22 of those years, but I think it is safe to say I am my Dad’s biggest fan. And I am fairly certain that my Dad only gets better with age. I mean, you are pretty kick ass now Dad, but if there was a time in life when you were actually cooler, then I envy those that got to see it. But what’s the fun of living in what ifs? Lets focus on now. Right now it is your 50th birthday. and I love you.
To give a prime example of my Dad’s awesomeness I would like to bring up a time from last year when I was just not feeling life. You could say the feelings where similar to that of post-Copenhagen, except worse. Sorry for my roommates that were there to see it. I found myself calling my Dad about five times a day. And when you are a grown man working your freaking toosh off all day every day so your kids can have everything they’ve ever wanted…well…you can’t always answer the phone. My dad texted me and said “In a meeting, will call you as soon as I am out” and all I said was “write me a letter.’
My dad texted back the equivalent of “WTF.” He was certain I had gone off the deep end. I simply told him I wanted a letter. Something in writing that I could read any time that I couldn’t get a hold of him. Something I could physically hold when he wasn’t there. Weeks passed, I found beauty in life again, and frankly forgot all about this request. Then I came home for spring break and this was waiting for me:
This book is proudly on display on my bookshelf in my apartment and not a day goes by that I don’t read it. I read it every, single day.
My dad is awesome. And I love him.
If the above weren’t enough to demonstrate my Dad’s awesomeness, then let’s talk about his constant advice to me my freshmen year of college. My dorm roommate Holly and I love to reminisce about my dad’s constant urging to solve all of life’s problems with pizza.
“Well Melissa, just find some of your friends, invite them all over, order a pizza, and figure it out. Everyone likes pizza.”
“Dad, there is this boy in my class I really like. We sit next to each other in class. But I don’t know if he likes me.”
“Well Melissa, you know what boys are thinking? Absolutely nothing. Just invite him over for pizza. Order him a pizza. He will like you. Boys like pizza.”
I am still a firm believer that most, if not all, of life’s problems can be solved by sitting down and just ordering a pizza.
My dad is awesome cuz of his odd and bizarre sense of humor. One time he took me grocery shopping (yes one time, living a plane ride away sucks…) and as I was unpacking my groceries later that day I discovered a can of “Early Peas.” My dad still likes to ask me if I have had any “early pees” lately…
I am grateful that his humor has not only been appreciated by my immediate family, but my friends as well. My dad has struggled for a long time to say Janelle Cacopardo’s last name. I know he is not alone in this struggle. He mispronounced it as “Cocoa Puffo” one day and that is how Janelle’s stripper name was born. Janelle Cocoa Puffo. Gets me every time.
Hey Dad, remember the time you drove all the way to Crater Lake with the parking break on? I was too young to even know what a parking break was. But I am glad the story still lives on so I can ridicule you with the same loving sense of humor that you have passed down to me. You have no one to blame but yourself.
The point of this blog post: my dad is awesome. I miss him every day. I love him a ton. And its his birthday. And with gratitude in the air this fall, I can’t help but be so grateful that there is at least one person on this planet that completely understands me. My dad has always told me he is my number one fan, but why can’t the roles be reversed? No Dad, I am your number one fan. Why? Because you love me. And I am one tough cookie sometimes. Without you, I wouldn’t be me. Genetically speaking obviously…but in every other sense as well.
Happy Birthday Dad.