Sunday, August 22, 2010

A DINNER I WON'T FORGET

Before I start, let me apologize for taking the Pizza Boy story down. It's only temporary. I'll put up an improved version soon, and I think you'll like it a lot better. I had trouble with Beta Blogger, which isn't set up for the kind of photo stories I like to do, but it gets better every day and, well...you can't argue with the price. Thanks to Roberto, Jorge, Rooni, Fritz and Ben for the kind comments on that post.

Fortunately, I have another pizza story ready to go, this one taken from real life...


A few days ago I had dinner in a pizzeria and I noticed what appeared to be a dad and his four kids wolfing down pizza in the booth next to me.  They seemed like a nice family and I gave in to the temptation to eavesdrop.  I'm glad I did, because what they said was fascinating!



I only heard bits of it. If I got it right, the dad had a small contracting business, which fit the way he looked: like the actor, Ned Beatty.  He seemed like an average Joe, a nice guy who was probably skilled and did good work.  He wasn't very eloquent or talkative but you could tell that he was enjoying his kids immensely.  
  


















Three of kids talked mostly to each other about video games, friends,  rock music; the usual things ten year- olds talk about. The fourth kid, the one closest to the dad, was animatedly telling him about his internet business, which was buying and selling sci-fi figurines on ebay.  The kid was bragging about the deals he made.  He relished the details and the dad obviously relished hearing about them. 



So what, you ask, made this dinner so special? 




















It was special because the kid seemed to genuinely enjoy talking to his dad.  Let that sink in for a minute. He actually thought talking to the old man was fun.  When's the last time you saw that? I guess he thought of himself as a businessman, just like his dad, and it was fun for him to compare notes with a sympathetic peer.  


The dad, who had the kind of stiff, cigar store indian face that most men have, was nevertheless beaming.  He was in Seventh Heaven because his son was talking to him just for the sheer pleasure of it, and maybe because he knew he could be useful to a son like that, and would never have to worry that the kid would grow up rudderless or penniless.  I got the feeling that the dad would remember that night as one of the best in his entire life.



















When the family got up to go,  I felt like shaking the kids hand and giving him my wallet. What a gift he gave to his father! What a son! What a night!  




14 comments:

RooniMan said...

Well, thats something. Nothing like a good, heart-warming bond between a boy and his dad.

Anonymous said...

Ha, right on. nice to see someone has raised them right, and genuinely cares.

mike f. said...

I always spoke to my Dad like that; we were very close.

Give me your wallet.

Stephen Worth said...

That wasn't his son. He kidnapped the kid from a line at Disneyland and dyed his hair in the men's room to sneak him out the gate.

Jenny Lerew said...

Just curious-how old was the kid?

If they had that rapport, I'd bet the dad and the son will never remember that evening, much less than recall it as the best night of their lives. And that's as it should be, because obviously if they really have that kind of rapport, they have formed it over the long term and it is, happily, business as usual for them.

It's you, the outsider, a doting father whose children have long since grown up, that looks on and sees the significance--the poignance and the sweetness of it all-like Emily revisiting her family on "any ordinary day" in "Our Town".

Jenny Lerew said...

And give Mike your wallet.

Alberto said...

That's nice to hear. My dad doesn't really care for what my siblings and I want to pursue. He keeps telling my sister to be a dental hygienist (as opposed to a baker) and told me once to think about being an anesthesiologist or a pharmacist, not the professional arts.

Severin said...

I think one of the only regrets I have about going into art, aside from the fact that I haven't really made it yet and don't know if I ever will, is that I can tell my parents want to help me but there's nothing much they can do to advance my career. I've tried talking to my dad about my exploits the same way you've described, but there's just so little overlap. He's a doctor. He has no contacts he can give me, no business advice to share, there's very little he can do for me, except financially support me from time to time.

But then... his dad was a postman, so I'm hardly the first to branch off in a new direction.

Anonymous said...

Now there's a dad who's raising his kids right! I have a feeling that he's going to grow up loving Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Popeye, Looney Tunes, and other great classics rather than the soulless wallpaper stuff that gets passed off a 'real' cartoon. Hopefully, he doesn't grow up believing it's "cool" to swear at your old man, act like a ten year old, and take crap from Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga seriously. I know so many people, even adults, who act like and have the minds of young juveniles, which keeps astounded me every time I see it, especially within my own generation. I hope you have been spared from seeing something so heartbreaking as that, but it's real.

Jorge said...

Hey, dad, can I borrow 20 bucks?

Zoran Taylor said...

That's sweet. On an extremely different note....

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Zoran: I just watched the video you linked to...HILARIOUS!!!!!! Thanks much. Do you mind if I post it?

Aaron said...

Eddie, I been followin your blog for about two years now, n I just wanna let you know that you have helped me to appreciate good things for what they are and people for who they are n stuff. You have nourished my spirit, sir.

Zoran Taylor said...

Go right ahead! Get that girl some publicity! By which I mean even more.....