For My DadWritten by Shantel Parks
I was what you might call a difficult teenager. My father and I would go the rounds over big stuff and little stuff. Usually it was the result of me being obstinate and him being right, which didn’t do a whole lot to soothe my sense of justice. There was one time in particular that sticks out in my head as possibly my most embarrassing moment.
Dad had asked me to clean up my room, and to have it clean by the time he got home. This had been something he had been saying to me a lot, and I just didn’t understand what the problem was. It was my room, after all. What difference did it make if it looked messy? I knew where all my stuff was, and if it bothered him, he could always just shut the door. In my 16 years of experience, it made perfect sense.
To fully appreciate the enormity of what he was requesting you simply have to know that I was a 16 year old girl, I liked clothes, and shoes even more. I was working and I used the majority of my income to acquire more of said items. And I had an itty, bitty closet. I had a dresser that had seen better days, and two of the drawers didn’t work properly so I couldn’t use them for anything besides storage. So lots of clothes/shoes and not enough space.
But Dad had threatened to throw all my stuff on the lawn if I didn’t get it done, so I did a quick clean up, stuffing things in drawers and shoving items in my closet without really paying attention to what went where. I honestly can’t remember the details of why I decided that my little bit of effort was satisfactory, but I did, and then I took off with friends to head to the beach.
I had a great time there. Got some sun, met some cute boys, and all around really enjoyed my day off from work. My friends drove me home and as we pulled up to my house, I could see weird colors on the grass and bushes. As we pulled closer, I realized it was my stuff! ALL of my stuff! And Dad had spared nothing! Stuffed animals, shoes, school papers, music, my t.v. and stereo, bras and panties, purses, collectibles, pillows, blankets, all of it strewn about the lawn and on full display for the whole neighborhood to see.
I was mortified. My friends were horrified. Dad was satisfied.
I spent the rest of that afternoon and evening cleaning up the front yard and organizing my bedroom, all the while muttering and stewing and generally sending ornery vibes in my dad’s direction. My friends checked in with me the next day and commiserated with me on how unfair and ridiculous that had been, and they all told me how sorry they felt that I had such a mean dad. I just wanted to pretend it had never happened.
Looking back at it now, it still makes my cheeks red, but for an entirely different reason. My dad was not the big, bad, mean guy I had made him out to be in my head. He was just following through on what he had told me he would do if I failed in my responsibility. His technique was incredibly effective; my room wasn’t spotless, but I made sure to keep it clean enough to keep my stuff in my room and off the front lawn. He taught me several things by that one action, and those lessons have stuck with me.
Describe a time when your mom or dad embarrassed you. How did that affect you? (Taken from the Tribute to Mom or Dad story starter)
Shantel's love of story began in her childhood with fairy tales. As a wife of 13 years and a mother of 4, she gets a daily sampling of the many genre's of story, including (but not at all limited to) - humor, alternate history, dramatic interpretations, tall tales, tragedy, and a smattering of anecdotes based on true stories. A sometimes blogger, a frequent do-it-yourselfer, and always fond of Cadbury Mini Eggs, Shantel can be found, most days, going 5 different directions, but usually ending up in her favorite place - at home.
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