For Paps Or, Fathers, Be Good To Your Daughters

The following is a pretty solid example of a typical conversation between Paps and myself.

We start off with a random topic which invariably deteriorates into both of us indignantly yelling at one another over the most inconsequential minutiae:

Paps: You were a cranky child as a toddler. Once, I forgot to tape Sesame Street for you and you kicked up a fuss like it was the end of the civilized world.
Me: Maybe because you were impeding my education? I learned how to count and read because of that show!
Paps: You were a drama queen.
Me: WHAT?! I am NOT a drama queen.
Paps: Mom says you were a good child; I know different.
Me: That’s because Mom is honest and reasonable.
Paps: Don’t talk to me!
Me: Hey, if you weren’t making up stuff left and right…
Paps: Mud Blood.
Me: HEY! We do not use that word!

Left of field text message at 8:00am which resulted in Paps insulting me using lexicon from Harry Potter.

This sheer idiocy reminds me of my new favorite thing — the Google commercial featuring Jess and Elliot.

I’ve watched this about 15 times this week and every single time, I get all sniffly because it makes me feel ALL the feelings. Go ahead and watch it. I’ll wait.


Go on — get a Kleenex and a glass of water.

This video also makes me miss Paps.

We video-chat just like we text and talk – with desultory arguing and idiocy.

With me yelling, “Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD. I want to talk to Mom! MO-OOM! He’s talking and doing things and being the way he’s being again,” and with Paps yelling, “That’s it! Talk to your mom! Here! Prafulla! Talk to your daughter!”

But every single one of these stupid conversations – all sound and fury signifying nothing – just helps reiterate that I am my father’s daughter.

And my father? He’s the most incredible man I know.
And I’d probably believe that even if I wasn’t his kid.
And admitting that on my blog is probably a dummy move because dude’s got a head the size of a zeppelin to begin with, but hey — I’m a thousand miles away and good men deserve a little credit every now and then.

Love you, Paps.

Your mouthy smart-ass kid. The one who does not understand how you went from not being allowed to eat spicy food to eating Thai bird peppers with your dinner. That makes no sense! None! How does that not give you heartburn? It’s bereft of logic and I swear you just make up your own dietary restrictions to be difficult.




Texting With Paps Or, I Would Rather Arm A Bear.

Paps has been sending me really weird text messages lately.

Well, weirder than usual.

He sent me the local weather report a couple of times and when I asked why he thought I would care that it was 80 degrees and rainy in West Palm, he responded with, “Just trying to make conversation…”

You know, like I’m some stranger on the bus.

I shouldn’t complain, though because compared to the utterly insane messages he sent to me today, I kinda miss the weather updates.

Paps: I’m going to get me a concealed weapons permit.
Me: Oh dear God. That is a terrible idea. A truly wretched notion. Why? Why?
Paps: Well, only if your mom lets me.
Me: Oh. I have a greater chance of being prima ballerina for the Moscow Ballet than you do of getting a gun.
Paps: Who said anything about owning a gun?
Me: Why the hell would you get a concealed weapons permit if you’re not planning on getting a gun?!
Paps: Just for target practice.
Me: That is a terrible idea. What would you even use for targets?
Paps: Idiot. You go to a police gun range. I know quite a few cops who would teach me.
Me: No. No. No. Veto. You are not allowed to carry a loaded firearm.

Look – the Second Amendment is an important part of the fabric of this country and I’m not trying to get lured into a debate about gun rights.

But, I don’t allow Paps to use the remote control when I’m at home. Oh, what? It’s a complicated device and he watches just really terrible things sometimes and OH MY GOD, what is the point of having HD if you don’t use it!?

So listen up gun aficionados of South Florida:

If a smaller version of Erik Estrada tries to purchase, borrow or use a loaded firearm in your presence — wrestle him down to the ground, grab his phone and use it to call his child.

I’ll be listed under: “Mouthy Jerk Kid Who Yells At Me All The Time.”

Texting With Paps Or, Mom Loves Tim Tebow More Than Us

A conversation about Tim Tebow being drafted to the New York Jets

Me: So, is Mom a Jets fan now…?
Paps: Have the Jets snapped up Tebow? Oh, Prafulla is going to be so pissed!
Me: Pissed schmissed. She’s gonna start cheering for those jerkfaces because her boyfriend plays for them!
Paps: You’re right. She cheered for the Broncos when they played the Dolphins last year – “Go on Tebow! Go on Timmy! You can destroy them!” And the bastard did!
Me: Damn. Now that he’s got both Jesus AND Mom on his side, how can he lose?

Not surprising, really, My sister graduated from UF the same day as Tebow and Mom actually cheered louder for “her Timmy” than for her own child.


Texting With Paps Or, Cake, Booze and Blasphemy

No, I have never not been awkward. Thanks for asking.

Paps: I bought your sister a German marzipan cake.
Me: And what kind of delicious Teutonic treat did you get for me? Yeah…That’s what I thought.
Paps: Your marzipan cake will be here when you come home next month.

Me: You provide the cake, I’ll get the coffee.
Paps: Amaretto from Starbucks.
Me: Amaretto is a liqueur. You know that right?
Paps: Yes, but what’s to stop us from pouring a drop or two into our coffee?

Me: And this is why you’re my favorite. God, I really do take after you, don’t I?
Paps: You’ve been misled. I’ll pray for you, my child.
Me: Ahhh, been reading the Gospel According to St. Jackass again, have we?
Paps: Even 12 dozen Hail Marys isn’t going to do anything for you. Repent! Repent now, you heathen child.
Me: Sorry dude, but the only holy water in my life is the tonic in my gin.

Stuff like this is why Mom says, “I have two kids — a son and a daughter, both in Orlando,” when people ask her about her kids.

Texting With Paps Or, The Sooner Kids Talk, The Sooner They Talk Back

Any time Paps interacts with modern technology, bad things happen.

You give the man a remote and all of a sudden, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is on and as a result, you’re late for school (this actually happened to my sister all throughout middle school. Thanks a lot, Teri Hatcher!)

You give the man an internet connection and you start hearing stories about Facebook.

And if you give the man a cell phone, you get out of a meeting and come back to your desk to find text messages like this waiting for you:

Paps: When you were a baby, I had to change your diaper. After a few failed attempts and losing all the glue on the sticky tapes, I put it on the wrong way round with almost half a roll of sticky tape around your waist. Mom wasn’t amused. She told me to stay away from you.

I stare at my phone for a second, convinced that I’ve finally gone insane because who the hell sends messages like this?

That’s who.
Paps sends messages like this.

So, I respond:

Jaime: What? Why….What? Why are you telling me this?

Paps: It’s your legacy. You need to know that I tried and that I’m not a bad parent….regardless of what Mom thinks.

Jaime: Dude, I’m not letting you near my kids. “Yeah! Sure! Touch the stove. Go ahead – pet the nice rabid raccoon.”

Yes. On occasion, I call my father ‘dude.’

Paps: Hey, kids didn’t come with an instructional manual then, so go easy on me. Mom had to use scissors to cut off the tape and I couldn’t figure out why you leaked so much.

Two things:

A) You don’t need an instruction manual to know that you shouldn’t tape a diaper to your firstborn. The fact that I made it out of my formative years alive? All Mom. Thanks, Mom!

B) To my future babies — your papa is a good man who loves you very much but dear God, do not listen to him. I can tell you right now – the stove will burn your hand, the chili pepper will singe your tonsils (but dudes, you’re half Indian — suck it up) and when Paps says ‘five more minutes’ while watching a mediocre television show, you should probably make yourself comfortable and get a snack because he’s not leaving until he’s damn good and ready.

Texting With Paps Or, Happy Father’s Day 2011!

Mom is pretty, I am…lumpy, for lack of a better term and Paps is duly unimpressed. Yay family!

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.

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.

Father Knows Best Or, Texting With Paps

Paps just got a texting plan for his phone which means three things:

1. He’s finally taken that first bold step into the 21st century.
2. My random text message intake is going to increase by like, 471%
3. The blog has a new recurring topic.

I got one today which read: “As a kid, you loved Jefferson Starship. Why?”

I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Zuh?”

Why would Paps want to know this?
Why would anyone want to know this?
Does anyone really care about the musical taste of a six-year-old?

However, in the interest of clarification – let me state that I did not love Jefferson Starship.

I loved the movie Mannequin and the hit song from the soundtrack, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Jefferson Starship.

If I remember correctly, Six-Year-Old Jaime had this rather fanciful notion of getting married to Andrew McCarthy in a department store display window and spending the rest of her days riding around with Hollywood in his sweet pink Caddy.

Man, Six-Year-Old Jaime was way ahead of her time. That sounds awesome.