Celebrate Fatherhood: 14 Life Lessons from Dad
In honor of Father's Day, we've collected some of the finest wit and wisdom from one of the greatest minds of the 21st century: Dad. Without a doubt, your father has had a hand in shaping who you are and pointing you on the right path -- not to mention telling you just where to veer off that path with some nifty little shortcuts. Here's to Dad on his special day.
1. Nothing in life is free.
Nope. Nothing. You'll learn that nothing in life is free when you open that bag of potato chips and realize you just paid for air. Life is full of surprises. Some are good and some are bad. Sometimes, you have to anticipate that everything has a price and budget your cash -- and expectations -- accordingly.
2. When you pick a sports team, root for them for life.
Whether you root for the home team or the ball club that's been a family favorite for generations, it's nice to have one lifelong constant to tie it all back to. There's something to be said for seeing your team through several dismal seasons to rise to the top of their division. Loyalty comes with its own set of rewards. It's not necessarily those championship seasons that matter most, but rather the shared experience of cheering for the same team together year after year.
3. If you're going to make a "fashion statement," at least make sure it's original.
It may be tempting to go along with the crowd -- even when that crowd is rocking polyester leisure suits or neon fanny packs. We all make some serious fashion faux pas, but those pictures are a little easier to look at years later when you remember that your fashion statement set you apart from the pack. Before you run out and snap up the latest fashion trends or enough body art to become a walking gallery exhibit, think about how you can put your own spin on what everyone else is doing.
4. Always carry a hankie.
Who knew that a little square of fabric could do so much? (Okay. Besides Dad.) You might not know what life will throw your way, but having a hankie on-hand couldn't hurt. Whether you've got a runny nose or need to wrap-and-stash your sandwich when you're on the move, a hankie is one utility item you should never be without. Added bonus: Unlike tissues, you can leave a hankie in your pants pocket without making a mess in the washing machine!
5. Always look for the toilet paper before you close the door in a public restroom.
A quick look before you leap (onto the toilet) can help you avoid getting caught with your pants down and stuck in a messy situation. Want to avoid having to ask for help in bailing out of a truly awkward situation? Make sure you investigate what you're getting into before you shut that bathroom door. (This advice can be taken both literally and metaphorically.)
6. How to de-shell a hard-boiled egg (with minimal mess.)
Leave it to Dad to combine a practical how-to with a crowd-pleasing party trick! Simply take your hard-boiled egg and remove a small circle of shell at each end. Take a deep breath and blow into the smaller opening at one end of the egg. Voila! The shell stays intact and your hard-boiled egg is ready to eat!
7. You can never have enough baggies.
Stroll into the kitchen and chances are, Dad's got a drawer full of plastic bags. The chances are even greater that those plastic bags are rolled up inside of more plastic bags. As always, there's a method to the Dad-ness. Don't have a lunch box to cart your snacks to school or to work? Take a plastic baggie. Taking Fido for a walk in the park? Grab a plastic baggie! All out of trash can liners? Go on, use a baggie! (And thank your father.)
8. Hold hands while you hash it out.
Arguments are inevitable. When the day comes that you and your beloved are at odds, holding hands while you hash it out can go a long way toward reminding each other of the loving and tender moments of your relationship. Particularly for people who talk with their hands when upset, holding hands also ensures that your argument stays measured and doesn't escalate into a living room version of Shakespeare in the park. The less dramatic the argument, the quicker it can be resolved!
9. Don't underestimate the importance of being able to amuse yourself.
No one understands the value of getting in touch with your inner Risky Business-era Tom Cruise better than Dad. You never know when you'll be home alone or smack dab in the middle of in a situation that requires you to find joy in the moment. So, crank some music and sing into a hairbrush, put some bubbles in the lawnmower, mismatch your socks on purpose, or talk in a robot voice. Make Dad proud!
10. A vacuum cleaner can be a great hairstyling tool.
Dad is a master at finding new uses for household items. In anyone else's hands, a vacuum is merely a device for removing crumbs from between couch cushions. In Dad's hands, it can be used to put together a stylish 'do! Simply wrap a hair tie or rubber band around the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner's hose attachment. Then, gather long hair at the nape of the neck and use the attachment to suck the hair into the hose. Once the hair is inside, slip the rubber band off the nozzle to secure the ponytail. Shut the vacuum off and you've got a snazzy hairstyle!
11. Always pay attention to the guy wearing the tool belt.
Pro or no, anyone who has made a substantial investment in power tools - let alone a belt to contain said tools - has likely put in a lot of time to understand when and how to use them. You can pick up a few pointers (and save a few bucks) by asking questions of plumbers or electricians and paying by attention to what they're doing when you have a household problem. It's invaluable to know a few DIY tips to maintaining your home - and when it's time to call in a pro!
12. Life's too short to order salad. Eat the fries.
Unless you've made it your life's mission to sample every variety of lettuce from arugula to romaine, salad isn't always the most satisfying thing on the menu. While a burst of fresh greens can sometimes fit the bill, let's face it, there's nothing like a salty, crispy French fry dipped in a pool of tangy ketchup. Life's too short to settle for what you don't want. When you have a choice, go for the golden fries.
13. When in doubt...improvise!
MacGuyver ain't got nothin' on Dad! Whether he's slicing the lid off of a plastic quart of oil to craft a disposable funnel for those all-important oil changes or turning an old newspaper into a makeshift splint, Pops is a whiz at making the most of what he's got right in front of him.
14. Know your (speed) limits.
In a fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the moment, speeding down the highway and going full throttle. It's times like these when you've got to slow your roll, Junior! Moving too fast can sometimes get you in trouble. Hearken back to those golden days of yore when Dad let you take the family car for a spin...and you were terrified to dent it. Set clear boundaries -- in your life or on your car's speedometer. Recognize when you're fast approaching your limit and when it's time to ease up on the pedal and gently tap the brakes.
Send Dad a Father's Day ecard!