“Be You, Joe.” Love, Dad
“Be careful, but if you’re not name it after me.”
“If it ain’t one damned thing it’s another.”
“Life’s too short to be angry all of the time.”
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These are just a few of the colloquialisms I learned from my dad growing up. I heard these one-liners many times. I often met these phrases with an eye roll; my dad would greet back with a smile and a slap on the back.
My dad and I couldn’t be more different. He loves hunting, guns, the Lord—a good ole boy from the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. I’m almost as northern as they come—craft beer, running, art—a mid-30-something borderline yuppie-hipster from East Central Indiana (and let’s be honest, I’m totally a DINK).
Our differences likely emerged during my childhood, somewhere between my spikey blonde updo at age seven and my maroon-streaked locks at age 16. I look back on those years and remember him in blue jeans, a flannel, work boots, and a well-manicured salt-and-pepper beard. On a good hair day I looked like the non-existent lovechild of Gavin Rossdale and Boy George.
As opposite as we may have seemed, my dad and I always got along.
He taught me to open doors for whomever I’m with, say please/thank you, and to understand when to grin and bear it but know when to kick ass and take names later. He gave me the best adventures and showed me how to enjoy life (check out this time we went to go see “Boyz N the Hood” when I was just 12!).
I definitely inherited my sense of humor and suaveness from my dad.
I could go on for hours about how amazing my dad is, tell a hundred more funny stories about growing up with Dave Jamison as my father, and do the whole, “Yeah, well my dad’s more awesome than your dad because. . .”
But I won’t. I will, though, leave you with this – a story about my dad’s character.
When I first came out of the closet, I was worried about how my dad would react. But he was quick to remind me he loved me and was proud of me. With a smile and a pat on the back, he told me:
“Son, life’s too short to be worried about all of the assholes in the world and how they’re going to treat you. You need to be you, and remember what happens to assholes—they eventually get wiped out.”
Yes, dad, they do.
Dad: Thank you for developing me into the man I am today. If I have your outlook on life at the age of 70, my life will be one well-lived.