The wonders of Bactine or What I learned from Dad

It is extremely difficult to purchase gifts for my dad.

He is a low-maintenance kind of guy. If there’s something he really needs, he goes out and gets it himself instead of putting it on some electronic wish list hoping that his loved ones will purchase it for him at the next major holiday. (And upon reflection, this isn’t such a bad thing since that cappuccino maker has been sitting on my wish list for some time now.)

When it comes to Father’s Day the typical “dad” gifts don’t quite fit him. He doesn’t golf that much and doesn’t fish. He doesn’t have need for any fancy office-type goods or metrosexual scents or technological gadgets (as the microwave and his 1990s-era Walkman are technologically advanced enough). In fact, I remember my go-to gift for him when I was growing up — soap on a rope from the Avon catalogue. Now that screams,”Thanks for helping to keep me alive!”

Because Lord knows I needed the help to continue this journey of living, from both a physical and emotional standpoint. And my dad, thankfully, gave me wit, wisdom and first aid to get me this far.

And so, in ode to my dad on this the day to honor all dads, I offer the most important things I learned from the man (listed in no particular order):

1. There is no particular order. Everything will get done. Save the lists for really big and important things. And then realize you won’t be able to read your own handwriting anyway.

2. Carrying a tune while you do your chores is enjoyable because (a) it helps you pass the time and (b) keeps you oblivious to other things whirling around you. And there is nothing a chorus of “Daydream Believer” can’t make better.

3. Washing floors is best done with a bucket, a rag and on your hands and knees.

4. There is value in spending time alone.

5. Your job is what you do, but you decide who you are.

6. Bactine heals everything. And I mean everything. And without a sting!

7. Some things are better left to the professionals — like putting a new roof on the house. Other things are better when made with love and imperfection. (I type these words while my laptop is perched on the desk dad made for me when I was in junior high. It continues to serve me well.)

8. When in doubt, ask. Or fake it. Both work equally as well.

9. Just pretend like you know what you’re doing. No one will bother you and you’ll get to do some pretty cool stuff.

10. If you have a problem that can be fixed with money, it isn’t really a problem.

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