You may have read a bit about my dad in the anniversary post, or in the about page. If you have, you know that due to the fact that he kicked the bucket several years ago I won’t be celebrating father’s day with him.
Which honestly, isn’t that big of a change. We didn’t really celebrate father’s day even before he croaked. He usually told us that any gifts we could manage to buy were either things he could also buy on account of having enormously more money than a couple of children, or things he didn’t really want which was why he had not bought them.
I think the only gifts he ever legitimately loved were the times when my sister and I scribbled on a t-shirt in fabric markers.
My sister and I spent a lot of time hanging out with my dad.
We used to go to the basement, which had a bit of a shorter ceiling, and stack up a big bunch of wooden blocks until we had a nice open tower with some wedges to keep it up. Then we’d huck a rubber ball at it, knocking off bricks we’d balanced on it, and trying to knock out the tougher support blocks and bring the tower crashing down, so we could have fun building a new one. It’s still one of my favorite games, I wish it was something amenable to apartment play.
He’d talk for hours about whatever thing it was we thought was important. I have fond memories of back-and-forth about whatever the Daily Show was about that night, or walking through the suburbs talking about what sort of Terran build beats a Zergling rush most effectively (I taught him to wall off the entrances with supply depots) or whether he thought we were ready to take on Diablo with the Sorceress.
It was never a mystery what my dad thought of us or what his priorities were. He loved us unconditionally, and was never happier than when we confirmed that we thought he was pretty great as well.
He never took credit for us. He always said that he was just lucky his kids were so wonderful, and not assholes like him. He’d say he stepped in mostly to prod us to keep doing more interesting things, and to remind us to respect the effort and the expertise of other people no matter how smart we thought we were.
My dad was a nerdy kid when being a nerd meant nothing particularly good. But dealing with ostracism didn’t make him bitter. He was never afraid of new people getting into his hobby or jealous that they didn’t have to deal with what he had to. He was excited to see the things he loved resonating with more people. Seeing Blade and Spider-Man and Iron Man and the Lord of the Rings and everything he’d ever thought was cool when he was 11 delighting millions of new people was an unqualified good in his mind.
I still get a bit teary-eyed whenever a new superhero flick comes out, knowing that as neat as I find them I’m never going to be as ecstatic about their mere existence as he was. I try to channel that excitement into this site, and I hope it comes through.
Every header image you see on this site is a photo of comic that my dad collected.
I’ve spent my time in the Valley meeting a lot of wonderful people. If I have met you since moving here, there are very good odds my dad would have thought you were excellent and that you would have tolerated him. I’m sad you won’t get to meet him.
I hope you have a good father’s day, whatever your situation.