Dean and Ang

Hello Mr. Magazine - - BELONG TO SOMETHING -

My dad is my mate. One of my best. I never thought I’d say this, and fif­teen years ago I wouldn’t have, but my dad is ac­tu­ally su­per cool.

When my par­ents mar­ried around forty years ago, they started with noth­ing but $50 to their names. They stud­ied and worked in­cred­i­bly hard. I call them nerds and they were; they openly ad­mit it. Dad wore black thick-rimmed glasses, pat­terned shirts, and glad­i­a­tor san­dals. Now he looks at all the hip­sters and never fails to men­tion how “ahead of his time” he ac­tu­ally was.

My dad’s an ac­coun­tant and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor (see above – nerd), but he’s also been a univer­sity lec­turer, se­na­tor in Cam­bo­dia, a Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent and a killer ta­ble ten­nis player (and by “killer,” I ac­tu­ally mean he was quite ag­gres­sively bad). He’s got the dad-jokes, freely shar­ing them with any­one who’ll lis­ten, and he wears baker boy caps all the time.

My dad and I try to see each other once a fort­night. We’ll grab a cof­fee and chat about life and what’s go­ing on in the world. He lets me vent my angst and prob­lems, breaks them down and shows me sim­ple ways to tackle ev­ery­thing. He has a bril­liant knack for dol­ing out wis­dom like spare change.

When I was young, our re­la­tion­ship was very dif­fer­ent. I don’t re­mem­ber many con­ver­sa­tions with dad just a lot of pas­sive ag­gres­sive si­lence. He was a worka­holic, and I was an an­gry teen with­out the wis­dom to see the big­ger pic­ture. I thought he worked so much to get away from us, but look­ing back, I see how hard he worked for us, so that my sis­ter and I had the best op­por­tu­ni­ties pos­si­ble. Though now, per­haps to make up for lost time, he’s avail­able for us any­time and for any­thing we need.

Our re­la­tion­ship has grown im­mensely over the years. As we both ma­ture, it’s clearer to see him not as my fa­ther, but as my mate. He lets me make my own choices, my own suc­cesses, and my own fail­ures, but through it all he ac­cepts me com­pletely for who I am, and is al­ways there to sup­port me.

I re­spect and love my dad. Through it all, that will al­ways re­main.

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