Sunday, October 16, 2011

Here's to You, Pops.

I'm currently reading a book.  Well, I guess you would call it a book.  If not called a book, you could call it a stack of collected columns.  They aren't random by any means, they are columns written during the career of newsman and a personal unofficial mentor of mine, Nick Clooney.  Yes, I know, I'm a news geek.  It fits, trust me.

Anyhow, I was inspired by some of Nick's columns about family and it started an itch.  An itch that I scratched all Summer long while writing for a local newspaper in Northern Kentucky.  I'd like to have a column some day. That way I didn't have to get every fact verified and I could write from the heart and not from the mouth of a stuffy politician or the rhetoric of a county official hiding behind the comfort of a mahogany desk.

So here's a pseudo-column devoted to Dad...

In my opinion, few things in life are more coincided than the devastation and revelation that can be offered from a certain event.  That event?

The Dad v. Son Argument.

At first it may be hard to picture such a happening as devastating and/or revealing.  So allow me to illustrate.

One Summer, Dad's birthday had come around for its yearly visit and as in most cases, Mom and I struggled to find that perfect gift to suit him.

The suitor came in the form of a new stainless steel grill.  So while bringing the grill head into our home, ready to start construction on the mammoth project...I did the unthinkable. 

The following adjectives in Dad's mind would accurately describe my next action:
feel free to add any more on your own...

So what did I do that was so terrible?

In all of my inherited, glorified, clumsiness, I bumped the refridgerator with the grill head and put a small mark in it.

(Enter gasp here)

And the Kraken surfaced.  Dad was in an outrage over this blemish to the fridge.  And I wanted to be sure he knew how I felt about the situation as well.

So what followed turned out to be one of the most intense, vile disputes I've ever had with Dad.  And over what?  A tainted fridge.

So what made this argument into the devastating revelation that it was?

It was the effect that it had on Mom.  Because while all this was going down, she was stuck in the middle, trying to make cooler heads prevail.  And when they didn't, she sided with me, because I'm her baby and the only child of the family. 

So by taking my side, she was pitted against Dad, whom already held a vendetta with the presupposition that Mom and I tend to gang up on him.

The fight went from fridge to parental rivalry which turned into a long time of silence between my parents.  Something I would never want to happen.

That argument devastated our small family unit for a bit by putting distance between my parents.  Let me tell you how it was revealing.

I've never thought of myself as being a lot like my father.  His addictive personality is the complete opposite of mine not to mention we look nothing alike.  So it takes special moments like an argument to bring out the Eugene in me.

And I realized in that moment that I am in fact, my father's son.  Hardheadedness, a temper only he can bring out, and the uncanny need for a good victory all led me to this epiphone. 

A lesson learned and a note taken here?  Not particularly.  Anymore its almost charming to let those instances where the Eugene in me comes out. 

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