October 15th was the seven year anniversary of my father's death. Losing my Dad was definitely one of the big "before" and "after" markers of my life. My father was a very complicated person who had a wise and twisted view of the world. He was never one to shy away from giving advice and throughout my life offered far more than I wanted. So in memory of my father I thought I would pass a few of these little gems on to you dear reader:
Always eat breakfast -- it's the hardest meal to fuck up. When in doubt eat lots of bread.
If you think you want to marry someone take a really long trip with them, if you are still getting along after that, you might have a chance at marriage. (Note to reader: my father was a terrible travel companion -- I think if my mother had followed this advice I would not have been born!)
On driving on the turnpike:
Find your channel and stay in it (still not sure what this meant but I always think of it when I'm driving.)
On teachers and other authority figures:
Don't ever let anyone put any bullshit into your head -- including me -- think for yourself for God's sake!
General advice for anyone giving you a hard time:
Split a brick over his/her head (while the visual on this is quite startling, there is no recorded incident where my father ever actually did this but he advised us to on a regular basis.)
On managing money:
Always have a relationship with a bartender who will cash a check for you on the weekends. (When Dad told me this before I left for NYU I asked him why I couldn't use an ATM. He said it was always good to have a relationship with a bartender anyhow. )
See above on having a relationship with a bartender.
On surviving a nuclear holocaust:
Sardines will be the only food available, learn to like them now. (He stockpiled cans of sardines and said he would be happy to sell them to me in the event of a nuclear war for $300 a can - that would be the family price - he assured me others would pay more.)
On doing the right thing:
At the end of the day all you have is the courage of your convictions, stand up for what you believe in and be prepared to fight for it.
On being on your own:
There is a difference between being alone and lonely. You can be lonely in a room full of people -- don't ever confuse the two.
Best advice he gave me at five and continuing throughout my life:
You can do anything you want to do in life.
I hope you find these tips useful if not please don't split a brick over my head and if you know of a good bartender please let me know, I'm still looking for one.