It’s Father’s Day, when we give our dads cards we picked up at a discount price in the “Grads and Dads” section of the store.
Father’s Day – the Scottie Pippen of holidays when compared to the Michael Jordan of such holidays, Mother’s Day.
This year, rather than pay tribute to my dad or wax poetic about my sons, I will provide a valuable service: Advice.
This column is focused on the type of guidance that can come only from a father, done in the style of the daily Annie’s Mailbox column that appears in the Daily Republic and in hundreds of other newspapers.
Away we go . . .
Dear Dad: My younger brother has always gotten what he wanted. The most recent example was Christmas, when he got a new iPod and a skateboard. I wanted a car and all I got was some clothes and money. The worst part of it is that he knows it and makes fun of me. Should I say something to my parents or just punch my brother? — Frustrated
Dear Frustrated: Did I ever tell you about my friend Kenny, who had a treehouse when we were in high school? It was awesome. It wasn’t an ordinary tree house – it had two levels, a higher one with a bed and his stereo, a lower one where he was going to put in a sink, shower and maybe even a toilet. I don’t remember whether there was a toilet involved, because that would require a lot of plumbing. But anyway, it was fantastic – even though he had to go into his parents’ house to use the bathroom. It’s weird that they don’t make better tree houses now – if you’d asked me when I was 17, I would have predicted people would be living in tree houses, like “Swiss Family Robinson.” Of course, I expected flying cars, too. Where are you going?
Dear Dad: Can I borrow $40 for gas? — Needy.
Dear Needy: Borrow? You’ll never pay it back! Ask your mom.
Dear Dad: About a year ago, I loaned my best friend “Steve” a little over $1,000 to pay off some debts that were getting him in trouble. We agreed that he would pay me back when he got some money, but he hasn’t paid back a penny, he bought a new car, moved into a new apartment and got a new TV. And now he’s avoiding me. What should I do? — Cash-strapped.
Dear Cash-strapped: What kind of TV did he get? I remember the TVs when I was a kid – they weighed a ton and were so awkward to move. The first TV I bought was a 13-inch black-and-white set that cost $300 – and that was in 1983 dollars! I can’t remember what kind it was . . . I think . . . oh well, it doesn’t matter. That you can now get a 55-inch flatscreen for about that much amazes me. And think about how many channels you can watch. When I was a kid, we had three – and one of them was PBS. The other one shared ABC and NBC programming. Seriously! I’m not talking about the 1940s, either. It was the 1970s and 1980s!
Dear Dad: I am engaged to a wonderful girl and can’t wait to be her husband, but my parents insist that we have a prenuptial agreement, since I have a lot more money and assets than her. I’m afraid of what will happen if I tell her that, because it sounds like I don’t trust her, but I also respect my parents’ opinion. How should I handle this situation? — Caught in the Middle
Dear Middle: It was an RCA! The 13-inch TV was an RCA! Weird how I could forget that.
Do you have questions to ask a dad? Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.