54 Things My Father Taught Me

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Not everyone is #blessed with having a great father. These days, it seems as if daddy issues–or rather daddy-less issues–are more common than ever. I would just like to say to my dad and all the other faithful, strong, and loving fathers out there, it was not all in vain. Yes, I may be kind of a princess, but you also instilled in me values, character, and demeanor that cannot go unrecognized. You were there for me when I wanted to catch tadpoles for a school project. You were there for me when I wanted nothing more than to jump into your arms after you came home from a long day at work. You were there for me when the older girls made fun of me in high school. You were there for me when my first boyfriend treated me like shit, when my second boyfriend treated me like shit…and pretty much until I found one who treated me right. You were waving goodbye when I went to explore new places, and you were there at the airport waiting for my return home. You were my first patient when I removed a splinter from your hand, and you were my biggest supporter when I decided to go premed. Along the way, you’ve taught me so many things–most you probably didn’t even realize.

Dad, these are just a few of the best things I’ve learned from you.

  1. When the going gets tough, make sure you’re still having fun.
  2. My hair was never really just like Pocahontas’s, but I liked that you told me it was.
  3. Your life amounts to the quality of your relationships, not the quantity in your bank account.
  4. “We’ll see” always means “no.”
  5. Family is always there for family.
  6. Except, sometimes, wicked step-grandmothers.
  7. Love is the one thing in this world worth giving a damn about.
  8. Always grab a fish by stroking from front to back…
  9. …and give it to you when I can’t bear to stroke a slimy fish.
  10. When there’s nothing you can do, you just have to buckle down and brave the storm until it passes.
  11. Because all storms eventually pass.
  12. Don’t succumb to “The Man.”
  13. Make your own rules for life.
  14. If all else fails, YouTube it!
  15. Also, older people and technology are the funniest pairing.
  16. Don’t let others see your weaknesses, and always show confidence in yourself.
  17. Cutting my sister’s hair down to the roots was a bad idea.
  18. Letting me cut your hair (and accidentally your ear) was also a bad idea.
  19. I just wasn’t meant for beauty school.
  20. There’s nothing more relaxing than a campfire and a guitar.
  21. Life is much more than the world we see, and that is something we often forget.
  22. If a guy won’t play beauty parlor with his daughters, then he’s not worth marrying.
  23. Also, you made a really good Sarah Palin that one time.
  24. Always be nice, but don’t let anyone take advantage of you.
  25. The best stories are always the ones that hurt the most, get you into the most trouble, or are with the people you love the most.
  26. Don’t build a tree swing over a pile of burning tires.
  27. It will break, and you will fall into the fire.
  28. Parents obviously did not pay attention to their children in the ’70s.
  29. Age is not something material or physical. Age is a choice, and you should always choose to live with a youthful spirit.
  30. Always make sure your daughters haven’t painted your toenails while you were napping on the couch before you go out in public.
  31. You are not always handed everything you want in life, but hard work will pay off in ways you have yet to imagine.
  32. Never ask a girl if she’s okay, especially if she doesn’t look okay.
  33. Mom is always right–even when she is undeniably wrong.
  34. But most of the time, she’s right anyway.
  35. No boy will ever love me more than you.
  36. It’s okay for girls to shoot.
  37. Just never shoot your BB gun close range at plastic bottles. Sorry, Uncle Mike.
  38. It’s okay to be a “tough girl,” but always be mild-mannered.
  39. Regina George’s dad had no balls, and you would have never let me leave the house like that.
  40. Respect your family, fear your God, and finish your supper.
  41. Every man aspires (at least a little bit) to be Clint Eastwood.
  42. Loss is a part of life that is hard to deal with. There’s no way around it, but that’s no reason to stop living for the moment.
  43. You only get one liver…
  44. …so you might as well get good use out of it while you can.
  45. An education is worth the cost, no matter how great.
  46. I’m not good at lawn care.
  47. And that’s okay, because you’ll do it for me.
  48. Gender roles are stupid.
  49. Ice cream works wonders, especially chocolate chip cookie dough.
  50. I can stick a maximum of 28 colored pencils in your beard without any falling out.
  51. Because I know that, I know I need a husband who will be able to handle the same torture I put you through and still be sane afterward.
  52. You’ll always be my #1 fan.
  53. It’s okay to be goofy. You don’t have to take everything so seriously.
  54. Lastly, there is something special between a father and his little girl that can never be replaced, replicated, or removed. I love you, Pops, and I always will.

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premed donna

Who said you can't be smart and funny? When I'm not writing for TSM, you can find me studying into oblivion, downing a bottle of chardonnay, and/or sobbing for reasons I have yet to understand. All hate fan mail can be sent to

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