Why even have a blog if you can’t use it to reveal your family secrets, right? Today I’m going to tell you about the day Daddy cussed.
If you haven’t met my dad you probably need a little background information. For all of my life, and even before my life began, my dad has been a Southern Baptist minister. He is probably the most laid back individual you will ever met in your life. In fact, I never heard my dad raise his voice….until my brother became a teenager, and even then an “outburst” for him would not even measure on most people’s emotional Richter scale. He’s so even keel you could easily use him as a level.
Now I know he’s not perfect, and I’m sure he has areas in his life that need improvement, but having a potty mouth is not one of his vices. I’ve seen my dad miss the nail with a hammer and hit his thumb…..nary a cuss word. I’ve watched him stub his toe….not even a dirty syllable. I’ve known him to have conflicts with others (although not very many that I can recall)…..no blue streaks. Even when my brother was a teenager…..no potty words were uttered. I was surprised a couple of years back when I heard him say “crap.” He picked it up from his assistant. I have to admit I feel like giggling whenever he says it because it almost sounds like a foreign language coming from his mouth.
Now to the story. One summer our family took a vacation circa late 70s to one of our regular holiday spots back in the day, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At the time, all the cool kids packed one little area of that little beach town that was affectionately known as “The Strip.” It was near The Pavilion which was like a mini-carnival with rides and fair food and carnies. Apparently the week we had chosen for vacation was the week that every other teenager in the southeastern corner of the United States had decided to come as well. The Strip was overflowing. Cars were bumper to bumper and the sidewalks were stacked with teenagers.
We were trying to get to our beach house at what must have been the busiest hour of the day. We were inching along to our destination and Dad was not enjoying the ride. He hates to drive in traffic, whether it’s in a big city like Dallas or a little beach town like Myrtle Beach. If my memory serves correctly, we were in our late 70s model Caprice Classic station wagon. I loathed that car with all the loathing my little heart could produce. That station wagon is a blog in and of itself. For seem reason, we had the windows down. I don’t know if the A/C was out of order or if we were just trying to get the full flavor of the excitement of The Strip. Knowing my dad and his aforementioned dislike of traffic, it was probably due to malfunctioning A/C.
Anyway, I remember it was hot and I remember my legs were sticking to those lovely vinyl seats and even though all I could see was the back of his head, I knew that my dad had just about had his fill of being in that car on that road at that time. I also could see two hippies standing on opposite sides of the road from each other. Throwing a frisbee. Across the congested road. In the middle of the chaos that was The Strip. All of a sudden one of the hippies, and I can see his face as if this happened yesterday, threw the frisbee and it glanced right off the windshield of our beautiful, wood-paneled Caprice Classic station wagon. And something inside my dad broke right then and there.
The hippie was apologizing all over himself. Either he was a very nice hippie or he could see that he had just lit the fuse that was connected to the powder keg. It looked like he was trying to get close enough to say he was sorry without getting close enough to get hit and he was saying, “Dude, Man, I’m so sorry, Man.” I wish I knew the words to describe to you the look of horror on that poor hippie’s face.
My calm, mild-mannered, man-of-God father stuck his head out his window and after a pause that was probably only five seconds but felt like a day, he let it loose. And this is what he said: “YOU……STUPID………OAF!” And then he stuck his head back in the window and inched the car forward the couple of feet that had opened up during the frisbee incident.
For a couple of minutes, none of us dared to breathe much less speak. Dad was still fuming but was also totally silent. But then my brother quietly asked, “Dad? What’s an oaf?” It was like a dam broke. The three of us–Mom, Chris, and myself—laughed until we hurt ourselves. I don’t think Dad laughed. But that day a family tradition was started. Whenever anyone does something that makes us want to hit them in the throat, we mumble to ourselves (or say it aloud if we’re amongst only family and friends), “You….Stupid….OAF!”
I can’t remember when or where I was, I only remember that I had just moved and I was feeling homesick. I really missed my family. About that time, a car drove by with the license plate OAF 318. And I laughed and laughed until I hurt myself.
Oh! I won an award today! My friend Sus gave it to me. It’s a bloggy award! I’m not exactly sure what it is or what I’m supposed to do with it, but I gladly accept it. Mostly because it’s from her and she’s the best. Want to see it?
Nice, huh? I think I’m supposed to pass it on to three other bloggers. I’d like to give one to my college friend Renae. She’s one of the most precious people you’d ever want to meet. She’s one of those people that when I’m around her I think, “Wow. I wish I were that sweet.” But I’m not. She’s started a new business. She personalizes items and makes beautiful wall quotes. You can order from her blog or from her etsy site. I’d also like to give one to my friend Lori. She’s also a college friend. She has a fairly new photography business in Arkadelphia, AR. She actually has a few different blogs. One is her family blog, one is her photography business blog, one is a photoblog, one is her Creative Memories blog. Phew! She may be too busy to accept my award! And the third one goes to my friend Candace. She’s a new friend with whom I’ve never had the opportunity to just hang and have fun. She was one of my dad’s physical therapists when he was in rehab immediately after he had surgery. We all fell in love with her. She’s a great blogger whose spiritual depth makes me want to dig deeper myself. Of course her latest blog is about snot and poop, so she’s not always waxing philosophically about higher pursuits! This is a Sisterhood award. I never had sisters, but I would have been happy to have any of the three of these girls in my family. I love you, Girls! And I love you, Sister Sus! 😉