When I’m preparing to introduce someone to my dad, I often have to give them a heads up about a few things. First of all, if we’re going out to eat there are two jokes he’s going to make. 1) When my friend’s food arrives, he will say, “HEY WAIT A SECOND,” and then that her meal looks better than his. 2) When the check comes, he’ll pretend to hand the bill to me. LOL. Not.
I also give my friend a heads up that my dad will interview her as if she were his guest on prime time talk show. Sometimes he throws a curve ball and requests a full-fledged thesis on some pop culture phenomenon that is outside of his wheelhouse. He once spent a whole week fixated on Bruno Mars, so they need to be prepared.
Parental disclaimers are extremely important. One time, for example, my dad was visiting me in San Francisco during his vacation. He told me he wanted to stop by my high school so he could meet my favorite teacher. I wasn’t actually listening when he told me this, so I forgot to give her a warning about the fact that a middle aged man (with no indoor voice, who hadn’t shaved in a few days and prefers sweatpants to real pants when he doesn’t have work) was planning on showing up at some point to say hi.
My dad went to my school as planned, walked into the main office, and happened to come face to face with my teacher. He didn’t know it was her, she didn’t know it was him, so when he said (probably way too enthusiastically in his velcro sneakers), “Hello! I’m looking for an English teacher named Ms. B,” Ms. B herself thought he was a crazy person who wandered in off the streets. “Ms. B actually isn’t here today,” she lied.
The reality is that everyone likes my dad a lot more than they like me, so any of my audible sighs and eye rolls are met with my friends’ squinty-eyed glares and the sentence, “Amelia don’t be so RUDE.” This prompts my father to mess up my hair “affectionately” (although nothing makes me more furious than a dad-noogie) and to ask his most famous question, “Do your parents annoy you as much as I annoy my kid?”
Most say yes. Then he asks, because remember, my dad thinks he is a walking talk show host, “I know Amelia gave you the disclaimer on me. Do you ever do that with your parents?”
And so, because I’m going to turn into him and you’ll probably turn into your moms and dads too, I ask you the same question: What disclaimer do you give about your parents?
It’s with nothing but love, of course.