We have all received sage advice from our fathers, referred to sometimes as dadisms, whether it was welcome or not. As teenagers we probably rolled our eyes and placed our hands over our ears when he started a sentence with, “when I was your age…” But as we grew older we appreciated the advice and the earnest efforts of our fathers to share lessons learned. We reflect on this advice years later, most often today, and realize maybe dad had a point. Here are some things my father has shared with me over the years and memorable quotes unique only to him.
"Going to college teaches you how to think.”
I heard this often in conversations about the importance of college and when I was deciding my major.
“As long as you tried your hardest nothing else matters.”
When I failed miserably, despite my best effort, this always made me feel better because I did try my hardest always.
“Being too trusting can sometimes be a bad thing.”
It’s a harsh reality of the world that being too nice or trusting can come back to bite you. A healthy amount of skepticism can go a long way.
“If the government wants me to be a pornographer then that’s what I will be. And be damn good at it, too.”
After my father’s arrest for distributing Deep Throat, he resolved to move forward in any way he could to support our family. This was my version of the saying, “when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.”
“The difference between selling stock and selling smut, is the hours. Also I don’t have to wear a tie anymore.”
I love this quote and it was featured in the Today Magazine article, “Stockbroker to Pornbroker” in May of 1977. It’s quintessential Dad in which he states the obvious and in practical terms anyone can understand.
“He/she is an empty suit.”
Dad’s description of a dumb politician or corporate executive. He says this often about Republicans, but also some Democrats who deserve that moniker.
“That is why there’s chocolate, vanilla and heavenly hash (ice cream).”
Dad’s way of acknowledging of our very diverse world.
“I have more years behind me than in front of me.”
Lesson learned: it goes by fast kid enjoy your time now.
So remember fondly today the advice imparted by our fathers. And for those of us whose fathers have passed, they are never forgotten and loved always. We’ll always remember their dadisms.
I’m also linking to a cooking lesson from my dad on how to make spaghetti and clams. If you make this recipe, I hope you like it!
Happy Father’s Day to fathers everywhere.
Pre-order The Pornographer's Daughter today. In bookstores September 1.