Lately I’ve heard my dad’s words coming out of my mouth more and more.
In my eyes, my dad was a great man. He was my hero. My protector. And as a “daddy’s girl” I’ve always had him on a pedestal other men had to measure up to. Except when it came to those annoying words of his.
Not the words I thought were dirty or funny like “bullshit little Eva.” Dad’s standard response when you said something he disagreed with. What did that mean anyway? And who the heck was Eva?
Nor the deep baritone response of “the Ice Man” when you knocked on the bathroom door and demanded to know who was taking so long in the only bathroom nine people had to share. You didn’t rush dad. Nor did you want to be the first person in the bathroom after him.
There was the “No I don’t know. You’re telling me,” when you stupidly said “you know” while explaining something. And the really annoying “behind the at” if you mistakenly asked; “where’s it at?”
Or my personal favorite, his standard answer to the what's for dinner question. “Cat fur for making kitten britches.” Why couldn’t he just say hotdogs? Meatloaf. Anything. In all honesty, I now answer the same way when asked.
Lately however I hear myself saying those annoying words that made my eyes roll when my dad said them. You know, the lecture quotes. Those words I SWORE I’d never, ever say.
Yet, I hear myself saying things like:
“When I was a kid I had to work for whatever I wanted”
“When I got out of school there was no question I was going to get a job. I just had to choose what job I wanted”
“I’m sorry, I have to work for a living”
And the dreaded;
“You’ll appreciate it more because you had to pay for it yourself”
I’ve said them all, and more.
And each time I hear myself say one of these phrases I feel like I need to drop a quarter in the swear jar.