Friday, December 10, 2010

Father's Day

I went into Safeway the other day. It was crowded. There was a man in front of me in the express lane. He was buying a dozen cupcakes and a 5-hour Energy drink. He was about 50 and was wearing jean shorts. It was cold and it was December.

He had his teenage daughter wait in the express lane next to us with their second dozen cupcakes. At one point she asked if she could come over, but after looking at both lines he decided to play it safe and told her to stay there. As the lines moved forward some more he told her, "come over... come over." I found myself feeling sorry for this girl. That this guy was her father. That this is how you spend time with your daughter, this is what you teach her. (And on a cold, rainy December day you can't even pretend to have an excuse to wear jean shorts. No one should ever wear jean shorts, but come on.)

It reminded me of a few weeks ago when I passed a man, maybe around 40, going into the pharmacy with his son, who was about 8. The son kept trying to converse with his dad but the man had that headpiece connected to his ear and was loudly talking business deals and just waved his son off. How much actual time does this guy even spend with his son, I wondered? And when he does, is it like this, in a completely unconnected, absent way?

But who am I to judge? I don't even have kids. I have a dog. And sometimes I probably ignore him too much too.



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