So Father's Day was this past weekend, and I'd like to share a little story.
I was in the car with my father a few weeks back, we were in the lot of a gas station waiting for a space to free up at one of the self-serve pumps.
“You know how every so often you do something that you really regret, that sticks with you for longer than you would expect? The kind of thing that just comes back occasionally and you think ‘why did I ever do that?’”
I turn to my father, give a mumble of agreement.
What is my father’s deep dark secret? I was very curious. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I know that when he was about a year younger than I am now he had a motorcycle and long hair (before he met my mother). I think he also used to smoke. What sordid act could he have committed in his clearly wild and hedonistic youth that would come back to haunt him as we were sitting around a gas station?
“Well, self-serve gas pumps are really quite a recent development, you know.”
“What, really? They’ve been around as long as I can remember.”
A funny look silences me.
“There was one day when I was living in Vancouver, and a only few pumps had yet to have been set up and most people weren’t really used to them yet. It had been a really crazy day, I was running late, I just wanted to get home. As I was just finishing up at one of them when a lady pulled in to the pump behind me and called at me: ‘Excuse me, could you give me a hand with this quickly?’ As I said, I was tired and kind of impatient, and I said ‘No, sorry, I’m just on my way.’“
I turn to him.
“Really? You? No.”
I don’t feel bad about the sarcastic tone.
“It’s something that always comes back and haunts me. I really should have given her a hand, I had no real reason not to. Sometimes it’s the little things that get you.”
Now I feel bad about the sarcastic tone.
It’s moments like this that remind me that my father really is a Good Person. I don’t think I’m particularly horrid, myself. I certainly try to be polite and proper and helpful at the worst of times. But compared to that, I feel pretty low. A good family friend recently moved away to Ireland for an incredible job opportunity and my father called him ‘A real prince of a man’, a statement with which I happen to agree quite strongly, he is a truly remarkable individual, and I miss seeing him around. But above that, such a degree of compliment coming from my father means all the more in my eyes.
The Bear Hat is so close to being done that I won't bother posting any in progress photos, but rather wait until completion.