I know you probably won’t like that this post is part of your Father’s Day gift, since you demanded that I “shut down this stupid website” six months ago. However, I think this is the perfect platform to thank you for all the great fathering you’ve done over the last 20 some odd years. In addition to this heartwarming post, I managed to keep my bar tab, that you pay for, under $500 this weekend and I’m also buying you an iPad 2, with your own credit card. I know you really didn’t like the first iPad I gave you, since you said it was “just a pointless toy that keeps you involved in that dumbass website you do”. But if you download the Flipboard app, and follow @WNFIV, you’ll be able to see all of my posts in magazine format, which makes ITBInsider look like a professional site, as opposed to something a “3rd grade moron designed” as you so eloquently put it. Hopefully, that will make you understand why it’s so important to me. So here’s the last part of your Father’s Day present.
Thank you for coaching my sports teams and letting me play any position that I wanted to, even though all of the other parents yelled at you constantly while I was in the game. I know you told Mom that, “Winning is more important than building his self-confidence. He needs to grow up and be a man instead of crying when he doesn’t get his way.” I’m glad she made you understand how to coach me when she reminded you that, “If you don’t let him play what he wants to he’s just going to throw his brand-new sporting equipment on the ground, begin to cry, then leave the field or court to go sit in the air condition SUV until the game is over.” I’m glad you two finally compromised, so I could brag when we won, but blame my teammates when we lost.
Thank you for letting me use your number at the Club. Lord knows I couldn’t afford my own membership on the measly $100 a week allowance you gave me at the age of 13. Plus, having a number in the 1400s really showed people how ITB we are.
Thanks for being my Boy Scout troop leader so I wouldn’t get molested. I remember you being reluctant to volunteer, until Mom expressed her concerns, “He already has enough problems, we don’t need to give him another reason to keep going to therapy. Hell, he’s probably going to be seeing that specialist until he’s 30.” Making me an honorary Eagle Scout at the age of 11, so you wouldn’t have to be a troop leader anymore, was a great idea. Can you imagine how long it would have taken to get all those stupid badges? We would have had to spend so much time together!
Thanks for favoring me over my whore of a sister, Mary Ivy Laura, even though you don’t outwardly show it. I’ll admit, there were times when I questioned my status as the favorite child. For example, when you paid for Mary Ivy Laura to live in New York during her two year “internship”, but refused to give me a dime after I spent 6 weeks living at Wrightsville beach the summer after my freshman year of college. This has been an impressive “long con” you’ve been pulling for the past 20 some years, but I know I’m the favorite child. I’m confident that when the time comes (when we divide up your will) I’ll be first in line.
Thanks for ensuring that I had a less than 5 year old SUV ready for me to drive the second I turned 16. Buying it when I was 15 and keeping it in the driveway as a reward for good grades was a good strategy, but we both knew how that was going to play out. Even though I got straight C’s, you caved in when Mom argued, “If we don’t give him a car we’re just going to have to deal with his bullshit even more. It’s the only way to get him out of the damn house,” as she poured another glass of wine. I thought it was odd that you placed stickers from colleges that were very far away on the rear window, as if you were attempting to influence my college decision or something.
Thank you for giving me a job even though I didn’t graduate from college and have no actual skills. Thanks for giving me my own office after I annoyed everyone in the cubicles around me by laughing hysterically at the e-mail chains that Forrest and our friends kept running all day long. Thank you for letting me tell everyone that all I do is close seven figure deals and follow Phish shows, when in reality I don’t even have the signature authority to buy so much as a piece of paper for the office.
Thanks for not letting Mom enroll me in art classes, tap dancing lessons, and that musical that was put on by Theater In The Park. I totally agree that, “No son of mine is going to dress up and prance around on stage like a fairy.”
Thank you for allowing me to take drugs (Ritalin, then Adderall) at an early age. Even though you and Mom said it was the only way to get me to “act like a normal child, sit still, and shut the hell up”, I know you were just preparing me for the harder stuff.
Thanks for giving me the option of choosing which instrument would be used to “knock some sense in to me” after I had behaved inappropriately. Being able to choose one of your nice leather belts, instead of your 9 iron, made the punishment feel a lot more special. Belts are much more loving than 9 irons. The fact that you never let my sister receive that kind of hands on parenting really lets me know that I am the most important member of our family.
Thank you for bailing me out of jail and having a lawyer on retainer since I turned 15.
Thank you for not trying to have any children after you had me. I know that you told Mom, “We can’t do this again, this was a mistake,” meaning you didn’t want to have anymore children to take the attention away from me. I know that my younger sister was an accident, but it was still upsetting that I became a middle child. I forgive you.
Thanks for pulling strings to get me in to college. Dragging me along to dinner with the Dean of Admissions and instructing me not to say a word while you reminded him about all the favors he owed you, really showed me how pointless the SATs were. Offering him a donation for a new sports facility was a nice touch.
Thanks for being my alibi during the mansion fire. I know it was important that I had one, otherwise you would’ve had to pay $500,000 in hush money like our neighbors had to do.
Thanks for sending me to Camp Seagull all summer so you wouldn’t have to deal with me.
Thanks for putting down the down payment on my new house. I have no idea how people get $40,000 to put down without cashing in on their trust funds.
Thanks for the trust fund.
Thanks for the second trust fund for when I blow through the first one.
Thanks for not firing the housekeeper that time that I blamed her for hiding her drugs in my bottom left dresser drawer.
Thanks for paying all of my bills well in to my late 20s.
Thanks for not getting mad when I memorized your credit card number and went wild, spending $10,000 when online shopping was first invented in the mid-90s.
Thanks for never moving our family OTB.
Thanks for knowing all the other dads that own important places like Char-Grill, Cameron Village, Angus Barn, etc.
Thanks for understanding that Mom and I had a stronger bond during the first few years of my life. I know she felt partly responsible for some of my learning disabilities, attributing them to her increased alcohol consumption while carrying me, which was a result of having to deal with Mary Ivy Laura slutting it up when she was only 8 years old. Your strategy of totally ignoring me for those first few years gave Mom and I a lot of time to work through those issues.
I know you’re probably bawling your eyes out at how sentimental and heartwarming this gift is. I’m sure my whore of a sister’s gift won’t come close to eliciting that type of reaction. Especially after last year, when she got you that stupid book that was autographed by your favorite author, a 50 year old bottle of your favorite scotch, and the exact type of Rolex you wanted. You did a great job of pretending to love her more that year. It’s good that we don’t even have to say anything for us to both know that you really appreciated the map of my ideal beltline that I drew for you and had framed. The fact that it still sits in the back of the attic just shows how much you care about it, and about me. Happy Father’s Day.