Texting With Paps: The Father’s Day Edition
Some background really quick: I sent him a card in which I wrote this incredibly thoughtful, honest and touching statement about how he is my hero and that everything I do is in the hopes of being like him. He’s smart, so I want to be smart. He’s funny, so I want to be funny. He’s well-read, so I want to be well-read. Your basic King Louie — “Whoo whoo whoo. I wanna be just like you. I wanna walk like you, talk like you do.”
To cut the saccharine a little, I add some gentle-natured ribbing. Because if I didn’t, he’d immediately get suspicious and also because you can’t let Paps’ head get too big. He’s practically a Macy’s Parade balloon to begin with (what, dude? It’s true. Mom’s nodding, isn’t she? Yeah).
So, I added something along the lines of, “You’re as dark as a starless sky, as freshly-laid tar and over roasted espresso, so I spend a lot of time out in the sun.”
(Before you get your Hanes all wadded up, let me explain that Paps and I are the darkest members of our family and rib each other about it often. Why? Because you’ve gotta laugh to keep from crying. See, Indians come from a rich tradition of skin-color bias where bleaching creams are a million-dollar industry – outstripping sales of Coca-Cola and tea! Tea! What the fuck? – and girls are told not to spend time outdoors because no man will want to marry them if they get too dark. I can’t even begin to explain just how much is wrong with this, so I’m stepping off my soapbox and getting back to the original point)
Sow what you reap, I guess because that lead to a battery of texts:
Paps: Thanks for the father’s day card, I am as dark as freshly laid tar? Like starless dark sky? Like a badly burned Oreo cookie? Like freshly mined coal? Dark is good. It often refers to being mysterious.
Jaime: Mysterious? In your case, I think you mean ‘criminal.’
Paps: OK. Don’t even talk to me.
Several minutes later
Paps: Why is it that your mom is finest, purest cream and I am full-bodied robust roasted Columbian?
Jaime: Because Mom is a wonderful celestial being filled with light…and you are a mud person. Like me.
Paps: Again, don’t even talk to me.
Half an hour later:
Paps: Why don’t you just say Swamp Thing? It would make me feel a lot better.
Jaime: Don’t be ridiculous. Swamp Thing was green, not peat-colored.
Paps: DON’T BOTHER HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH ME!
So, to Paps on this wholly-artificial holiday created to prop up sales of barbecue grills, golf balls and ugly-ass ties you wouldn’t even use to make a noose — Happy Father’s Day!
I’ve wanted to be just like you ever since I was a little kid. Hopefully, I’m making you proud. And if I’m not doing that – at least I’m making you laugh.
Your daughter (the mouthy dark one) loves you.