Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life Lessons from my Dad

I'm kind of a basketcase.

I get freaked out easily when it comes to really minor things.

If you know me in real life, it's not hard to figure out why I'm crazy. One of the reasons is because of my dad's stories.

My dad believes kids should learn life lessons through other people's mistakes.

So, growing up, I was subjected to hearing stories about why I shouldn't do certain things, based on the lives of his former friends and coworkers.

For example, I recently told my dad that I want a cat. (I'm allergic, this will never happen, but I still want one).

Here is my dad's reason for why I should never get a cat:



"You remember my friend Heidi from Detroit?" he asked. "Well, in 2001 she got a cat. A few years ago, she called me at 6:30 in the morning from a mental institution. She had gotten so depressed that she checked herself into an asylum."

...and that's it. That's the story for why I should never get a cat. He never elaborates on these stories. He just tells them and lets them hover in the air, for me to absorb.

Here are a few more stories from my childhood:

When I was in high school this is why I wasn't allowed to get a dog:



"In 1978 I was living in Chicago and I had a friend named Nick who really wanted a dog," he said. "Well, Nick got a dog and kept it in his apartment. One day, Nick came home from work and found out that his dog had destroyed the entire apartment. He chewed the sofa, he shredded his boots, and ate all his food. To this day, Nick never did get married."


Why girls shouldn't be allowed to date in high school:



"In 1995 I worked with a doctor in Tampa who let his teenage daughter date," he said. "She started dating this boy and became obsessed with him. She called him all the time, even when their family was on vacation. She would talk to him for hours a day. Two years later she got arrested for shoplifting and put in jail."


Why I shouldn't get lasik eye surgery:



"I had a friend in Springfield who got lasik eye surgery done," he said. "Ten years later, her car skidded off the road during a blizzard and she died."


Why I shouldn't travel outside the United States:



"You remember my friend Reema?" he asked. "In 1985, Reema went to Canada for vacation. When she got to Toronto, everyone threw tomatoes at her because Canadians don't like Indian women."


Why I shouldn't become Hindu:



"You remember my friend Harmony from Portland State?" he asked. "Well in 1972, she was into Indian stuff, you know Hinduism. Her husband let her go on a spiritual retreat to India. At the ashram, she met a German man and she had an affair with him. It destroyed her entire family and she got divorced."


Growing up, not only did I "learn my lesson" about these things, but I was also extremely concerned that the lives of so many of my dad's friends resulted in such a tragic demise.

So, I never got a dog. I never got a cat. I never travelled out of the country. I still wear contact lenses.

And even though I'm an adult now and know these "lessons" are absurd, I still can't help but think, in the back of my mind, that maybe this stuff will happen to me if I'm not careful.

What if I do decide to get a cat and then a few years later find myself being committed to a mental institution? What if?! And then I spend the rest of my life in a tiny padded cell thinking, "man, I should have listened to my father."

Shit. I can't handle this right now.

I need a drink.

44 comments:

Ekey said...

"This is why you leave a note!" - Arrested Development

Gayatri said...

OH MY GOD! I think this is an Indian dad thing. I once wanted to get a tattoo and my dad said, "Remember my friend Shikha? She got a tattoo & then regretted it."

Thanks Jenny. You brought back some childhood memories with this post :)

Gayatri

Mannequins Dream said...

HAHA...oh gosh...you should ask him if you could meet these people, only then you'll believe him! :P Xx

www.mannequinsdream.blogspot.com

Movies on my Mind said...

That is such a South Asian dad thing. In fact, South Asian mums and their South Asian girlfriends are even worse. They try and scare you by hatching illogically silly reasons as to why you shouldn't do things, like playing music too loud prevents you from getting good grades in exams, or watching horror films makes your sisters worry about your future ability to get a job. One has nothing to do with the other, no?

You can take the parent out of Asia but don't expect anything more.

Bonnie said...

Your dad sounds like an interesting person. I never got the crazy stories; I got the, "I'm your father, and I said so." Or I get told that I, apparently, don't like living here anymore. Which is weird. This happened last night. Mr. A and I watched Monday Night Football. This morning, my dad was all, "You watch football, and that means you don't want to live here too badly."
...
Um. What?

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Jo said...

Your dad has this truly hilarious anecdotes of his friends' lives. You know what? This whole post reminds me a little of Russell Peters' dad. Hey why don't you consider being a stand up comedienne?

I enjoyed reading all the comments here too.

Josie said...

Oh, dear. We all worry that our parents will eventually be right about everything.
xo Josie
www.winksmilestyle.com

Savvy Gal said...

LOL.... parents tell us the strangest stories grow up. I am with you. : )

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

LOL. Now I know why a Drink is required;-)

Reading (and chickens) said...

I do not even have to GUESS that your dad is the Indian parent. I know it.

lapetiteblonde said...

great photos!!
kisses and have a nice day=)

The Blonde Duck said...

Your dad is awesome. That cracks me up.

I've been telling my dad for years he's going to be the old dude wondering the streets in a chicken costume in desperate need of a psychologist.

wardrobemag.com said...

Sounds like my mum! She's always going on about other people in some kind of warning to me. Although I never actually listened to her!

Bhav x

The Woven Moments said...

OK here's what you do... you write all these stories down. Then you sell them for a million dollars like the guy from "Shit My Dad Says" did.

Booyah.

Natassja said...

oh my goodness, these are too much! My dad (who is not Indian, but from a superstitious and somewhat dramatic Eastern European family) used to tell me that if I went outside without a coat on, I would "get pneumonia, and DIE." (added emphasis on the DIE part). Needless to say I'm pretty much afraid of everything now, too. I'm right there with ya on that drink!

Sincerely Sara Cate said...

I just found your blog - and these stories are epic! Hopefully, you find yourself creating your own story lessons and not always living everyone else's.

FashionJazz said...

Ur dad sounds super interesting babe : ) Hope u having a good week! Xx

Sarah said...

So funny, I love all of the little stories!
x

Marie McGrath (The Joy of Fashion) said...

Oh wao, no pressure huh? (sarcastic). He seems to have a story for absolutely everything! Do you think all these stories are true?!


www.thejoyoffasshion.blogspot.com

Audrey Allure said...

Haha, my parents (mainly my mom) does this sometimes.

SassyUptownChic said...

LMFAOOOO Jennifer! Get me a drink while you're at it! HAHAHAHA Your dad is a trip girl! Frickin hilarious! I think he just has a dry sense of humor. Thanks for sharing. I can't make sense of it all though. :D
http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Oh my, the stories lack logic. But they're funny (except for the death one) nonetheless. I get why you may be a bit paranoid.
xoRobyn

JUST ME said...

This is wayyyy better than Shit My Dad Says.

Your dad should have his own Twitter handle because this stuff is priceless.

Meri said...

hahahaha- have you ever asked your dad to elaborate to make the connections? I'm reminded of the "lessons" George Sr. teaches the kids on Arrested Development with his friend :) Thanks for the laughs!

Angela of "Grahangela" said...

LOL! I like your dad's formula - take two unrelated events but always end the story with a bad outcome and the lesson is vague but poignant enough to leave an impact.

Also, totally loving Ekey's comment because throughout the entire post I was thinking of the lessons George Sr. would teach on Arrested Development. Best is when Michael and Gob tried to teach him a lesson, and then Buster trumped them all with his fake hand. Aw, memories!

~ Angela
grahamandangela.blogspot.com

Sherin said...

Haha. Your dad sounds amazing!! I wish mine gave interesting reasons...all I got was a 'No'.

Stephanie said...

This cracked me up. I'm seriously thinking that Lessons From My Dad is worthy of its own blog. And also, I lived in Toronto. I never once threw a tomato at an Indian girl. I did throw an acorn at a creepy squirrel once, but that's it, I promise.

Tanvi said...

LOL ... YOU MAKE ME LAUGH Jenny!!! Well, that's why never listen to everything parents say. They don't know everything (as they think!)

♡ from © tanvii.com

Silver Strands said...

Favorite post of the day. NO - favorite post of the WEEK! Now I love your family.

Vix said...

I love your Dad, he sounds brilliant. Would he like to adopt me? x

Rachel {Da Paura ♥} said...

Too funny! My dad did give me some stories once in a while too now that I think of it. You should share with him some stories of the 90% of OTHER people who had perfectly wonderful experiences with these things! :)

xo
Rachel

Esmeralda said...

Hahahaha, so hilarious! Are those stories for real?
I enjoyed a lot!!

Rachel {Da Paura ♥} said...

PS. I forgot to mention that your comment on my Rooftop Holiday Editorial shoot was one of the sweetest I have ever received! Thank you for your kind words!

StyleIDnet said...

Hahaha, my mom is here and I made her read this. I thought it was only me.
Fortunately (or not) I did 'my own' thing and learned my lessons the [very] hard way but I am sure there is a way in between.

http://styleidnet.blogspot.com/
http://styleidcloset.blogspot.com/

Barry said...

Stop for a minute and take a breath. Now think about the advice you're listening to. And you think you're crazy?

-E- said...

wow, and i thought my mother was bad for remembering horror stories and living by them!

Kavery said...

On the subject of pets I can safely say there's nothing better than having a dog or a cat. Being greeted by a fur baby after a hard day's work is heaven.
But hat's off to your dad for these stories- he is creative atleast isn't he?

Fabrizia said...

I think it's what every dad in the world think! I like this post! Take a look at my blog, and if you like it follow me, I’ll be waiting for you!

Cosa mi metto???

David L Macaulay said...

bloody heck - almost missed this post but I'm glad I didn't - this is too funny - your dad sounds like a total trip...

Damsels said...

but it s always good to look at the bad side and the consequences of things! your dad is a wise man!

Punctuation Mark said...

these are some weir stories... all i can say is that you have to live your life and make your own stories... life's too short!

StarletStarlet said...

I had to skip the cat part, because I have two beautiful ones and I was too chicken to find out anything bad about cat!

But this: "everyone threw tomatoes at her because Canadians don't like Indian women" - this is not real, is it???

Ocean Dreams said...

Lol your dad sure knows how to bring up the worst situation that can occur, huh?! I think I would be a little freaked out too. Sometimes BK tells me stories like this to scare me away and they work, so I get this. A drink sounds good to me!

Arielle-HumblePieVintage said...

hahaha I love your dad's reasoning for things. Any way he can link the people to the story. Nice.