Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dad Takes the Cake

It's Father's Day, and I owe my dad so much.

Thanks to my father, I will always drive with my seat upright, keep a cautious eye out for deer crossing the road and never turn my music up too loud. Sure, these things might sound elementary, but if Dad didn't constantly advise me, who's to say what could happen? I might be prone to not flipping on my windshield wipers when it rains or turning my lights on when I drive after dark.

In all seriousness, Dad's constant advice matters to me. Those words of wisdom let me know how very much he cares. Well, that, or he thinks I'm a couple of beers short of a six-pack and a horrible driver, but I prefer to think it's because he loves me and wants to protect me, no matter how old I am. For some reason, in my father's eyes, I'm still an eight-year-old in pigtails.

To thank Dad for all he's done for me and my children, I naturally wanted to do something special for him on Father's Day. Unfortunately, Dad is one of those men who is incredibly uncomfortable receiving presents, and honestly, at 71, he has most everything he wants, anyway. Plus, he already has so many gift cards that his wallet rivals George Costanza's fat billfold (I love random Seinfeld references).

After some debate, I decided to bake Dad his favorite dessert: a layered homemade banana cake with thick caramel praline frosting. At least Dad tells me my banana cake his favorite dessert, but I also happen to  know my sister-in-law baked him a chocolate pie today because he told her that was his favorite dessert. I think he's running quite the racket here, but I digress...

Once the cake was baked, frosted and packaged, I called Dad to see if he was home (he lives in nearby town) so the kids and I could deliver his gift. The conversation went as follows:

Me: Happy Father's Day!
Dad: Happy Father's Day to you!
Me: Well, okay, thanks, but I'm not a father.
Dad: Whew. I'm tired, Jenny. I've been out in the sun too long this weekend. Your sister called to invite me to breakfast this morning, and I was so sleepy I thought it was your brother, so I called him and woke him up and told him I'd go. He had never called. But we figured it out.
Me: Um, yeah. That's good. So are you going to be home for a little while?
Dad: I don't know. Why?
Me: The kids and I wanted to see you and bring you your Father's Day gift.
Dad: Oh. Okay. I might not be here, though.
Me: {sigh} So when would be a good time to bring your gift by? Should we come now or later this evening?
Dad: Not this evening! I don't want you driving at dark.
Me: Dad. I'm 40. I can drive after dark, you know.
Dad: I'd rather you not
Me: Okay. That's fine. We'll just come over now, then.
Dad: You don't need to drive over now, either. It's too hot. What if your van broke down on the parkway? And you with those kids?
Me: We'll be just fine, Dad. How about I just grab the kids and we'll run over and drop off your gift now? That way, if you want to do something later, you'll be free.
Dad: Ummmm. I guess that'll be okay.
Me: Okay. See you in a few.

I grabbed his cake, the kids and my car keys and was headed out the door when the phone rang.

Me: Hello?
Mom: Jenny, I was just calling to tell  you that we'll come over to your house instead. Your Dad doesn't want you on the road today.
Me: Mom, this is ridiculous. Dad told me how tired he is. Anyway, I was on my way out the door. Do you not want me to come over for some reason? Are you making those movies again?
Mom: Don't be silly! Your Dad and I are on our way out the door. So we'll just come over there.
Me: I'm getting a complex, you know.
Mom: See you in a little while, sweetheart!

Did I mention my Dad is the biggest control freak I know?! Anyway, they supposedly needed to run some errands in my town, so it made more sense for them to come here. Once again, I am beginning to think they suspect I'm the type who is too dumb to pull my head in before I shut the car window. For the record, I only did that once. Well, okay. Twice.

At any rate, about 30 minutes later, Mom and Dad arrived, and I presented Dad with his cake. This is the conversation that followed:

Dad: Thanks, this looks really good, but it's hot out there, and I'll have to leave it in the truck.Will the frosting melt?
Me: I guess it could melt. It's butter-based.
Mom: I think it will be fine. We'll put it in shade.
Dad: I don't know. You see, I have to feed your mother. She hasn't eaten anything since breakfast {he rolls his eyes}. Then we have to go to Sam's Club. That's a long time.
Me: Go run your errands and come back for the cake. It's fine. Really.
Dad [to Mom]: Do you think I can trust them with my cake? What if they eat it?
Mom [to Dad]: Well, you're the one who wanted to come by here first! I told you we should come on the way back!
Dad [to Mom]: I didn't want to interfere with their plans. What if they have plans?
Me: We're flexible. Someone will be here. It's no big deal. But if we weren't, you have keys to the house anyway, don't you?
Dad [to Mom]: Do we have keys?
Mom: We have keys, yes, but not with us.
Dad: Dammit!
Mom: Well, how was I supposed to know we'd need the keys?
Me: You don't need keys. Someone will be here. The cake will be here. See you soon.

Fast-forward another hour and Dad at long last returns for his cake.

Me: I'm glad you're finally getting your cake. Happy Father's Day. I didn't mean for it to be such a hassle.
Dad: What can I say, honey? If I can give you a little fatherly advice: Life is awfully sweet, but it's not always a cake walk.

True story.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.

You absolutely take the cake!

1 comment:

  1. I always love reading your stories. They crack me up! I hope you had a great Father's Day :-)