Thursday night I found out that my dad was on his way to my house. He lives about eight hours away so I don’t see him much. He called me around 11PM to let me know that he was already two hours closer to my house. This was the first I had heard of a visit. While my actual verbal response to the news was, “That’s nice” I was totally saying “fuck!” on the inside. My dad is fairly high maintenance, to put it mildly.
He drove most of the night but pulled over to sleep for a couple of hours in the car. He never commits to a specific arrival time so it’s always a surprise but not always a good one. He arrived early in the morning, which is my least favorite time of day. My dad thinks that if he’s awake then everyone should be awake. So when he discovered that the baby and I were still asleep, he took it upon himself to march upstairs and wake us up. Of course I wasn’t terribly happy that he woke the baby since I would have liked to have slept for another thirty minutes given the option.
One of the things that makes my dad a challenging guest is that he is an incredibly picky eater. It’s difficult to think of things to cook that he won’t complain about. I bought a Chef Boyardee pizza mix and hamburger to cook for dinner. He likes that but he has to make it himself. He hates it if anyone else makes it because he barely uses any sauce and says that the sauce “ruins it”. The rest of us all refer to it as Grandpa’s Cheesy Hamburger Bread. It could use some sauce to actually qualify as being pizza.
Just like the last visit, my dad was driving a little convertible. The last time I rode with him I was subjected to “The Yellow Rose of Texas” blaring full blast on the radio, with the top down during the day so hiding was difficult. This time Andrea was along for the ride to share the thrills. We changed the station on the satellite radio to current hits and this is what came on.
Normally my dad would complain and say “that’s just noise”, etc. This time however, when Andrea commented on how she loved the song, he turned it up really loud. I was sitting by a speaker and could feel the vibration. Andrea did what any white attorney pushing forty would do. She started singing and dancing in the car with her arms sticking straight up where the roof would be in a normal car. As you might imagine, people stared.