Growing up, I spent most of my formative years in a single-parent setting. Being raised by my father, I learned to be tough and strong (mostly because he didn't believe in going to the doctor). He followed the old school methods of parenting, such as the "Walk It Off" Method or the "You Want Something To Cry About? I'll Give You Something To Cry About" Method. Most injuries I sustained as a kid were preceded by the following conversations:
Me: Dad, I think my leg is broken.
Dad: Eh, you're fine.
Me: But it's bent at an awkward angle and there's bone protruding through the skin.
Dad: Walk it off, you'll live.
Me: (crying) Dad, I stepped on a rusty nail.
Me: (crying harder) It really hurts dad, I think I might have tetanus!
Me: (still crying)
Dad: When I was growing up, I stepped on nails all the time and I'm still alive. Now, you want something to cry about, I'll give you something to cry about.
It's not the speed at which ANY liquid travels, it's the beer that makes you impressive.And he was right, I did live. Sure, now I walk with a permanent limp and my mouth sometimes tastes like pennies, but the point is: I'm alive.
My father was a Southerner, born and raised in the (questionably) great state of Kentucky, where, contrary to what you might think, we are all related (I'm related to every Garmany in the state of Kentucky) and we do marry our cousins (my first husband was also my second cousin). He also had a bit of an accent and frequently used Southern slang. He once told me to "go yonder." Yonder, as it turns out, is not an actual place like I thought it was for most of my childhood. He also would add unnecessary R's into words, such as "worsh" (wash) and "florer" (flower). Up until the age of sixteen, I thought it was pronounced "torlet" (toilet).
"Don't use drugs. But when you do use drugs, try to make sure it's not something someone cooked in the back of their trailer."Since I never plan on having children of my own, I've recently begun wondering who I'm going to pass on the pearls of wisdom that my father passed onto me. And then I thought of you, my dear readers, all of you. Well, the 27 total female readers that Points in Case gets every month and the random male reader who happens upon my column on the off chance that there might be naked pictures in here.
So I want all of you ladies to read these gems that my father spoke to me over the years of childhood and adolescence, and I hope you take away from them the same thing I did: an inflated sense of self-worth, an unabashed delight in exhibiting bodily function noises, and a love of food that goes beyond what is typically considered healthy behavior.
Paul Garmany, on men:
"All men are idiots. Never forget that. You will never meet a guy that is good enough for you."
On the benefits of being a woman:
"There's nothing in this world you can't do. Not because you're smart or driven, but because you have boobs. And with those, you can pretty much get anything you want."
"Get out of the way, you're blocking the TV."
On reading books:
"Why read the book when you could just listen to a recording of someone else reading the book for you?"
On going after my dreams:
"Listen, I don't really care what you do: doctor, lawyer, janitor, writer. As long as you realize you're going to have to make enough money to take care of me when I'm old."
"Pull my finger."
"Don't worry Ashley. A lot of people go to school for six years. They're called doctors."
On the "glass ceiling":
"Men will always try to keep you down because they want to have power over you and keep you in a subservient role. Never forget how capable you are and what you can accomplish. Women, although men will always deny this, will always be the superior and smarter gender. Now go make me a sandwich."
"Hey, I'm at the store picking up some milk and beer. You need any tampons?"
"There are three things in this world you can always count on: death, taxes, and mayonnaise."
On drinking and driving:
"Don't drink and drive. But when you do drink and drive, carry around an empty pizza box in your backseat. That way, if a cop gets behind you, you just pull off into the first driveway you come to and pretend you're delivering pizza."
"Don't be afraid to burp in public. It's beautiful and it's natural."
On underage sex:
"I don't care if you're gay, straight, bi or tri—if you come home pregnant, I'm gonna kick your ass."
"Don't use drugs. But when you do use drugs, try to make sure it's not something someone cooked in their basement or in the back of their trailer, because trust me, that shit will fuck you up."
As you read these, I want you to remember: you are a strong, beautiful, capable, independent woman who can achieve anything she sets her mind to. Now, go make me a sandwich.