I have a good dad. We aren't super tight. We didn't go fishing together when I was a kid. He wasn't the coach of my T-ball team and we sure as hell didn't have the maxi pad talk during the teen years, but we didn't need to either. I can't say for certain, because we've never discussed it, but my guess is that my dad had two main goals for life when I was growing up:
1. Support my family. Be a good provider and keep them comfortable.
2. Love my wife and stay married to her.
These goals sound pretty basic, but adult life will tell you that they are not easy goals at all. My dad has succeeded at both. He gets an A+ for sure. Not that he cares about grades. I don't think he does at all. My dad graduated high school and attended maybe one semester of college. It wasn't for him and trust me when I say he didn't need it. He needed to earn some dough quick, so he could marry my mother, buy a trailer and have the first of his three kids. I think he got the ball rolling on all this at 19. By the time he was 24 he had three kids and small house. He was working hard and it was paying off. Around this time, he and my grandpa started a business that would, in time, grow into something great. The way I see it, my dad couldn't fail. He is a hard worker and he has some solid OCD in his genes. I worked at his company for a few years and I learned exactly why he is so sucessful. He has no hobbies and he doesn't mess around! If something is due in two weeks it sure as hell better get done YESTERDAY. He doesn't rack up any kind of debt. If he can't afford it, he doesn't buy it. If someone sends him a bill, he pays it YESTERDAY. He has no tolerance for bullshit. This is also what made him a good dad in my book. He let you know exactly where the bullshit limit was and you didn't want to cross it. He kept us accountable, that's not to say I didn't do any wild, crazy things, but I knew better than to ever get caught and bring it to his attention. I didn't bring much trouble to his doorstep. I knew at a young age that if I ever got arrested, my dad would not be accepting a phone call from the jail, and the consequences at home would be worse than those in the slammer. A couple of weeks after I graduated from high school, I wandered upstairs in the middle of the day in my pajamas. My dad had come home, mid-day, to let me know that I needed to get a grown up job ASAP. He wasn't going to have me loafing around his house all day while he was at work. He has no tolerance for that bullshit and that was that, I found a new job the next day. I like having this sort of dad. He isn't needy at all and I so appreciate that. He's no cheap skate, but I still sort of feel like I get my money smarts from him. I hate any sort of debt and I don't feel entitled to things I can't afford. My dad gave me some of the best life advice ever and I'll share it with the world. This works for so many aspects of life and it can be applied to almost anything. He says, "Little piggies get fed. Hogs get slaughtered." I love that one. So eloquent. Thanks dad, even though I know you'd never read this nonsense in a million years. I love you anyway and I get you.