I left off as we started dinner.
My dad has an odd sense of humour and has strong opinions. For example, he doesn't understand why I did an arts term in England right after undergrad, nor why I did a master's degree in occupational health. He see things in black-and-white. And if he drinks, the stories, opinions and jokes are all the more interesting. So I had no idea what to expect!
(Source: Unveiled Photography)
My dad started talking about the day I was born. How my mom woke him at 5 in the morning. How they had to drop the dog (Chu Chu, a lhasa apso) at my paternal grandparents' house. How I was born at 4:45 that evening with a loud cry. He talked about how I was a special child - the first grandchild for my maternal grandparents, the fourth grandchild but first granddaughter for my paternal grandparents.
He told a story about New Year's Eve 1982. I was just over a year old and it was then that they realized I had the ability to talk and entertain: my parents and grandparents were having a new year's eve dinner in a restaurant where the average age was well over elderly. I apparently spent the night going from table to table in this small restaurant telling stories and delighting patrons.
He continued to tell a story that my mom remembers differently. When I was not quite 3, I really wanted a cat. My dad hates cats. He thinks I convinced my mom to get a cat. (That's highly unlikely.) My mom thinks I convinced my dad to get a cat. (That's highly likely - he couldn't say no.) So I got a cat for my third birthday. My dad figured, well, I guess cats don't live that long. Ten years, maybe a little longer.
He continued on with a couple anecdotes. Overall, I was impressed and pleased. And most of all, surprised at some of the things he remembered. Of course he remembered I figure skated: I did that for 15 years. And I played softball for about as long. But I can't believe he remembered that I did gymnastics when I was about 5, 6 years old. He just filled in with a few examples of how I like to plan things and how I was always responsible. (Except for the time I knocked a wheel off the car. But that wasn't my fault: I hit black ice!)
He ended with a touching toast. I meant for the speeches to be videotaped, but they weren't. Fortunately, I am rounding up people's notes to save their words.
Oh yeah, and the cat? Pepper lived to be 23. In the end my dad liked Pepper. But they haven't got another cat!
3 hours ago