To The Men in My Life
Let me start with my grandfather, who used to wash my car by hand any time I left it in his driveway. He made me lunch during the mean girl years, when I would walk to his house midday to get a break from Middle School politics. Heating up pork and dumplings over the stove, he’d spoon them carefully onto my plate and pour me a generous glass of milk. A kiss on the forehead came with every meal.
To my dad, who married my mom when I was four and treated me and my brother as his own. He showed us the world on his dime and spent his money on our educations instead of getting a new Lincoln. There wasn’t a night I can remember when he didn’t get a call from one of his patients or a time when he ever complained about it. I realize now that he taught me, by example, to see the value of getting up night after night with my children – the bond that creates even when you’re so tired you want to cry.
To my boyfriends – even the worst of them were pretty darned good. And let’s face it, I wasn’t always an easy girl to please. I demanded a steady diet of adventure and engagement, when most guys would rather just save their pennies for that heart-shaped pendant they’d heard other girls wanted.
To a gang of the best guy friends a woman could have – men who can talk about anything from space travel to mommy porn and have been there for me through heartbreak and hurrah. If I may quote my friend Karl – who I’ve known since High School and who said this to me sometime during college, “Look, I know a lot of guys are a**holes, but I just want you to know that if any one of them ever really crosses the line and hurts you – I’ll break all of his fingers.” He meant it.
To my husband.
Now there is a man who I probably don’t deserve but am so lucky to have run into at an Irish bar in Prague some twenty years ago now. Feminists, cover your ears. The truth is, without my husband I would be half the person I am today. Maybe less.
But of all great guys, on this Father’s Day I want to honor my dad, who passed away this Spring. He had a long, complicated, successful life full of as much magic as misery. He was a great doctor, and a loyal and faithful husband to my mom. If I could have half his courage, I would consider myself something along the lines of Batgirl.