Ten-hour toad trip with TOM to spend Thanksgiving with family in Tupelo, MS. We spot a lady hitchhiking.
Me: Should we help her?
Dad: No, she’ll probably fall in love with me, and I don’t wanna deal with that.
So my dad and I flew into Memphis, picked up my cousin Cara in Tupelo, MS, and headed on down Highway 61, aka the Blues Highway. We made plans to stay at the Ground Zero Blues Club — an old, rundown juke joint co-owned by Morgan Freeman, and little less than a mile from the exact spot where famed blues musician Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a gift of guitar. Prior to flying out of Kansas City, a small convo between TOM and I:
Dad: Tina, if I don’t come home one night, do you want me to call you?
Me: I mean, I guess. Just so I don’t worry.
Dad: OK, because that very well may happen. I brought two Viagra.
Dad: I’m serious. I’m 62 years old.
Me: OK. I don’t care. I just don’t want to hear about it.
Dad: You don’t want to hear about your ol’ man and his Viagra prescription?
TOM felt so proud of his little blue pills that he felt the need to declare it in capital letters on the plastic tablecloth of the Blues Club (above).
My dad has a hard time making his own decisions. This issue has gotten worse ever since I moved home.
Dad: I need to get new socks and underwear. I haven’t bought any undies in five years. Is that stupid if I throw them all away and replace them?
Me: No. You should go to Target.
Dad: What kind should I get?
Me: That’s not my decision. I don’t care.
Dad: Well, what do girls like?
Me: Dad, get whatever is comfortable for you. I don’t know!
I wrote a funnyish photo gallery for truTV.com called “12 Dumbest Things About Moving Back In With Your Parents.” You can read it here. It features real-life experiences about my dad. He even comments via Facebook on some of the slides. Sometimes I wish I’d never taught The Ol’ Man how to use Facebook. That is all.
I am at work. It occurs to me that I haven’t spoken to my dad in 2.5 days. So I call him during my lunch hour. We discuss menial things like the weather, our weekends, work… I mention a friend’s wedding that I am attending this weekend in Seattle. Our conversation unexpectedly takes a queer turn (literally):
Me: Yeah, so I’m going to a wedding in Seattle this weekend.
Dad: You are?! As in Washington? How much was that plane ticket?!
I love how at 29 years old, my dad still asks me about my finances. In my usual fashion, I knock off about 30% of the actual cost.
Me: About $400. It’ll be a bit expensive, but I’m excited. I’ve never been to Seattle.
Dad: That’s great, I want you to experience new things.
Me: Yeah, I’m sharing a room with two of my guy friends.
Dad: Tina, are you gay?
Dad: Oh, f*ck, I’m sorry. But you have all these guy friends. And you go camping. But you don’t have a boyfriend.
Me: …um… (wondering how I can address this in close quarters with coworkers nearby)
Dad: Tina, if you are gay, it’s really OK. I don’t mind!
Me: Dad, I’m not. (whispering) I like boys. I’m not attracted to girls!
Dad: I don’t mean to be offensive!
Me: I know you don’t, and I love you. But, um… I’m honestly a little hurt that you asked me that… are you being serious?
Dad: Well! It’s crossed my mind… but I guess you are more hetero than homo.
Dad: I’m sorry, really, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.
Me: It’s OK, it’s kind of funny… I mean, I do want to have a husband, and a child…
Dad: So you’re not gay?
Me: No, I’m not.