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Just Like Dad

Dad beside his bike.
Dad beside his bike.

It’s a common question: “What’s your dad do?” It’s natural for people to inquire after another’s parents, to gather information to assist in making those assessments of others that are in our nature to make. It’s a simple question, often with a similarly easy response. In my case, however, the answer is anything but simple.

My dad is a wargamer, I might say, but this will only instigate more questions, and next thing you know we’re having a whole different kind of discussion. I could say he has a certificate in massage, but he doesn’t actually “do” that, not for a living. I might go the retired Naval officer route, and list some of the volunteer work he does with several local organizations. That usually makes them nod, smile, make a polite comment and move on to other information-gathering questions. Such as, “What’s he like?” That one’s the real doozy.

To give you an example of how impossible it is to describe my father, I will share with you one recent snapshot of his life, taken yesterday morning.

David and I had just had breakfast at Bread & Cie. I was turning left onto University from 4th in the middle of Hillcrest when we heard a honk. “It’s your dad,” David said. I slowed my Mini so that Dad could pull his Harley up next to me. I’d seen him late the night before, when he’d come to collect David and me from the airport.

“It’s great having you back in town, baby!”

“Great to be back!” I raised my voice to make sure he could hear me through his helmet. “What are you up to?”

“I’m going to catch Louisa’s zumba class! I’ll give you a call later!” The light changed, and he sped away.

“That’s just like my dad,” I said to David. “Riding his manly motorcycle to zumba.”

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Dad beside his bike.
Dad beside his bike.

It’s a common question: “What’s your dad do?” It’s natural for people to inquire after another’s parents, to gather information to assist in making those assessments of others that are in our nature to make. It’s a simple question, often with a similarly easy response. In my case, however, the answer is anything but simple.

My dad is a wargamer, I might say, but this will only instigate more questions, and next thing you know we’re having a whole different kind of discussion. I could say he has a certificate in massage, but he doesn’t actually “do” that, not for a living. I might go the retired Naval officer route, and list some of the volunteer work he does with several local organizations. That usually makes them nod, smile, make a polite comment and move on to other information-gathering questions. Such as, “What’s he like?” That one’s the real doozy.

To give you an example of how impossible it is to describe my father, I will share with you one recent snapshot of his life, taken yesterday morning.

David and I had just had breakfast at Bread & Cie. I was turning left onto University from 4th in the middle of Hillcrest when we heard a honk. “It’s your dad,” David said. I slowed my Mini so that Dad could pull his Harley up next to me. I’d seen him late the night before, when he’d come to collect David and me from the airport.

“It’s great having you back in town, baby!”

“Great to be back!” I raised my voice to make sure he could hear me through his helmet. “What are you up to?”

“I’m going to catch Louisa’s zumba class! I’ll give you a call later!” The light changed, and he sped away.

“That’s just like my dad,” I said to David. “Riding his manly motorcycle to zumba.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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