Thursday, June 25, 2009

Meet My Dad

(Hi everyone! I'm over here in America the Beautiful having a great time!)
I grew up at BYU, which isn't to say I was actually raised there , but I did spend a good deal of time there as a child. Mom worked at the library and dad at the photo lab.

I remember the smell of the library, which I didn't appreciate as a child, and climbing stairs there. I remember the smell of the photo lab, which I still don't appreciate, and dad letting us into the little circular chamber leading from the lab to the dark room. I remember being scared of being in that small space, in pitch blackness and always being afraid of what might be there when I came into the light, or the darkness of the dark room (I never knew which to expect while turning that curved, sliding door). Maybe that was because of all the weird odors.

We ran around on the grounds of campus. We played hide and seek at the Tree of Life. We hopped from stone to stone of those paving blocks outside the bookstore. I always felt a little irreverent doing that, as I knew they were actually tombstones. We spent good, long minutes drooling over the display of fudge and all the piles and piles of candy in the bookstore. Over and over and over again.

Then we moved away.

On one of our early trips back to visit family in Utah we all knew we'd be going to BYU. In the weeks before the trip we talked about all the things we'd see and do. Once when we were talking about the candy counter my dad heard the anticipation in our voice and felt he should warn us, "Oh, you guys, they don't have any more candy at BYU."

We stared. "They what?" "They don't have any more candy." "You mean like that candy counter? It's gone? Even in the Twilight Zone? Why? Are they trying to keep people from being unhealthy? Is it a new policy, like the no caffeinated drinks thing?"

We were very confused and very disappointed. He kept replying that he didn't know why, he just knew they didn't have any more candy.

I almost didn't even want to visit campus anymore.

But we did. And we went to the bookstore. And. . . THERE WAS THE CANDY, just as it had always been, colorful and tempting as ever. How could this be? Then we ran over thinking maybe it was actually just the Twilight Zone. Candy galore.

When my dad came back from visiting friends in the photo lab we accosted him. "What happened? You said. . .?" etc.

"What?", he wondered with an innocent (read mischievous) expression on his face. "I said they don't have any more candy, right?" We agreed and pointed all around at the mountains of sweet stuff, question marks all over our faces.

"Well, do they have any more? I don't think they do have any more. Probably there isn't any less, either, but I don't think there's any more."

Yeah. That's my dad. Taking advantage of the fact that we couldn't see the space between the any and the more every time he said it. It means a totally different thing when there's a space in there.

I know I'm a few days late, and I won't go on about how much I love my dad (though I do!) but this story is a great example of the many, many things my dad said to us growing up that reeeeeally shaped the way I am today.

Other examples include his response to our (probably constant) complaints that our something or other hurt (if it was our right elbow he'd ask us to give him our left so he could even it out, or so the other wouldn't seem to hurt so much) or that it hurt when we did this (like raised our arm or whatever, to which he replied, "Then don't do that!"). Plus all the times he "ate" an ant that was on my raspberry or a gnat that was in my soup. (I was a little disappointed a few years ago when I mentioned this to him and he told me that he must have been teasing because he would never eat those things on purpose. I WATCHED HIM DO IT! With my very own seven year old eyes which don't miss anything!)

I love my dad.


Annette Lyon said...

What great stories about your dad. Makes me miss mine. :)

Anonymous said...

I love that candy counter like it should be in my own kitchen. And from the sound of things, I probably would love your dad just as much. He's a character, that's for sure!

And welcome home to the land of family, friends, country, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, cooking spray, drinking fountains and real hamburgers. (Have you stopped by Foster's yet? Don't tell me it's not in Provo anymore! Best burgers on the planet!)

Erin said...

Very cute stories. I never went to BYU, so unfortunately I can't see in my mind what you are talking about when you describe the Tree of Life or the candy counter at the bookstore.

But your dad sounds like a great guy!

Melanie J said...

Yeah, my dad was a bit of a joker too. Only if we said something hurt, he said, "If it still hurts in three days, we'll take you to the doctor." Now I do that to my kids.

earlfam said...

This reminded me of my FIL who took his kids bowling at BYU every time they were in Utah. They loved it, and seeing an opportunity to indoctrinate, he assured them that "BYU is the only college in the world with a bowling alley."

It worked. All five kids are BYU grads. When we tease him his fib he always says "well, I've never been bowling at any other school, have you? Maybe it's true."

Melissa said...

Wait. There are tombstones on BYU campus? Are you being serious? Or are you being like your dad? :)

Kimberly said...

Hee hee. My dad is so much the same. his favourite is to say after a good meal, "Of all the meals I've ever eaten, that was one of them." Love the cornballness.

Kazzy said...

Hey, I've missed ya! My dad always did the falling on the birthday cake box trick. Every year, every birthday he would "trip" and fall on the cake as he was bringing it in to the table for mass consumption. Even though I knew it was empty, I still remember how uptight I would get when he fell! Dads are awesome!

You aren't around BYU on your visit this time are you?

L.T. Elliot said...

Your dad sounds like a great man. Glad to "see" you and have a great time on your vacation!

Erin said...

We are leaving for Utah this week. The kids will spend the day at BYU with their while I am at a conference. Thanks for the fun ideas! Your dad definitely reminds me of my own.

charrette said...

I can tell you love your dad. I adore mine too!
Oh, how I wish your visit was bringing you back to BYU this time around...
If you change your plans, let me know.
We're about 5 minutes away.

Alison Wonderland said...

Seriously, just swing by Utah while you're in the country. I'd even brave Utah county for a chance to meet you.

Lara said...

I had to read about the tombstones a couple times to realize they really aren't tombstones and I never knew it! (They aren't, are they?)

Great story about your dad...he sounds like a fun one! :)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I love your dad, too. And I've never met him, but still. You convinced me.

Barbaloot said...

That Twilight Zone was a nightmare for me! I had to walk past so quickly, with my head down and breathing just through my mouth to avoid spending all my money there!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Your Dad sounds like a fun dad! Hey, are you in southern California? We were just there so I'm just wondering if I almost sort of ran into you somehow :-) Well, maybe you are in Utah at the candy place at BYU. I hope you are having fun wherever in America you are.

Heather of the EO said...

He sounds like my dad, so I love him :)

dori_m said...

hello!, I'd like to tell you that you have a great blog!;) well, i m not sure if you can remember me, i was on mini mission in Krakow, and i had opportunity to met you!, and met your cute family!, It's okey if you're not able to remember me, im from warsaw!;). Well, you have a cute children so grow up!:)
im sorry for mistakes, english is mistery for me.
have a nice week!;)

Mrs4444 said...

I love your dad, too :) For what it's worth, I can't see all of your post; the right 1/2 inch or so disappears behind the green. It's probably because of a problem with my monitor (in Firefox), but I thought I'd mention it, because it doesn't happen at the other blogs I've visited today.

Enjoy your vacation! I hope it's as long as you need it to be :)

-oLiViA said...

Are you going to visit us?!

JustRandi said...

I love your dad, too! What a character!!
I hope you're having a great time and eating all the Cheez-its you can get your hands on!!