It's official: I'm becoming my father.

My parents are lively and active people. The word 'retirement' is akin to the most offensive of curse words in their eyes, I think. Over drinks when my dad was in town, he said: "I hate that word." And I swear he was this close to spitting on the ground to show his disdain. All I know is that my parents never stop working, never stop moving, and never stop partying. My dad is in his seventies and he still travels for work all the time - not because he has to, but because he wants to.

And my mom is basically Wonder Woman. She's a very successful real estate agent, she teaches six jazzercise classes a week (the majority of them at 5:45 in the GD morning!), she has two horses that she trains and takes care of almost every day, and she cooks dinner every freaking night.

 

via GIPHY

And yet, I manage to be surprised if they don't answer the phone when I call.

Me: I think my parents find me dull.

The Mr: Why?

Me: Neither one of them is answering their phone! Do I call too often? Are they sick of me? You know, most parents would love it if their kid just called to say hi as often as I do, but they're totally ghosting me! Do they think I'm boring?

The Mr: Maybe they do.

Me: ...thanks, babe.

And then later that night, my dad called me. HE CALLED ME.

Me, too excitedly: Hi, Dad!

Dad: Hey, how are you?

Me: Great! How are you?

Dad: Well, I'm okay. Your mom is in Chicago visiting your sister and the new baby, so I'm just sitting in the parking lot of <LOCAL RESTAURANT>, trying to decide whether or not to go in and get dinner... there are a lot of cars here, so I don't know... or maybe I should call Nick and see if he wants to meet.... I don't know, we've been hanging out a lot this week since both of our wives are out of town... maybe he's sick of me.

The Mr: Did you see that apple just fall from that tree?

But maybe this is a good thing... because maybe it means that I'm also going to be a superhero who travels the world!

Or maybe this means my future just involves a closet full of leotards.

 

via GIPHY


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Everything could be terrible. I wouldn't know.

My family has a weird way of dealing with crises on various levels. Correction: My parents have a weird way of dealing with crises on various levels. My siblings seem to do just fine with this sort of stuff. Allow me to explain. Example #1: 

A text I received from my father at 4:30AM on Thanksgiving morning: IMG_2635

This was something that could not wait until the normal hours of the morning. No. I needed to be woken up from my deep pre-thanksgiving slumber for CHAIRS. This type of emergency is not something you fuck around with and wait to alert someone about. Chairs are very important. Middle-of-the-night important.

This brings me to Example #2:

A phone call I received from my father about a week after Thanksgiving around 8:30 in the evening:

A quick note, my father has a very thick and sort of angry sounding Swedish accent, so when you read his part, try and imagine that in your head. 

Me: Hello?

strange pause followed by loud crowd noises in the background

Me: Hello?

Dad: Hello?

Me: Dad?

Dad: Are you there? I can barely hear you!

Me: I think that might be because of wherever you are. Where are you?

Dad: I'm out!

Me: Oh, sure.

Dad: How are you?

Me: Fine... you?

Dad: I'm good. So listen, I'm calling because I need to talk to you about something, but before I tell you, you need to know that everything is fine and that you don't need to worry, so don't freak out, okay?

Me: That's a terrible way to keep someone calm.

Dad: Your mom is in the emergency room and she's been there for about four days, okay?

Me: WHAT?

Dad: EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Me: What happened?

Dad: Well, last week when we were still in New York, we were walking around and having a nice time and then Mom got really dizzy all of sudden and almost passed out... So then we came back to Ohio -

Me: -You traveled? 

Dad: Let me finish! We came back to Ohio and she still didn't feel good, so I took her to the hospital and it turns out she had some scar tissue in a vein and it was causing a blockage, blah blah blah, but everything is fine and she's okay, okay?

Me: Um... okay?

Dad: And we didn't tell you guys because we didn't want you to worry because everything is okay.

Me: Yes, but everything was not okay four days ago...

Dad: I know! That's why we didn't tell you until just now.

Me: But what if everything wasn't going to be okay? How long would you have waited to tell me? What if things were really bad and then you just kept waiting to tell me if or when everything was okay? This seems like a terrible system.

Dad: Emelie, EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Me: I know, but -

Dad: - Don't worry about it. There's something else I need to talk to you about.

Me: Oh God, what now? Is the dog okay? Are you okay?!?

Dad: There's a book that I want you to look into getting for me.

Me: ...oh, sure.

 

So everything really is okay. I talked to my mom, who found this entire story to be incredibly amusing, and apparently she just needs to take aspirin every day or something and that solves all her problems? I don't really know, but I've been assured that everything is okay and I am not to freak out, although now I know I can't trust my parents, which I told them over and over again after this whole debacle concluded. They think that's just adorable.

 

In other news, my giveaway ends in just four days, so you should get on that, because you deserve a free shirt.

 

Also, new Page Break episodes. Go check those out.

Because Dad Is Here.

My dad surprised me and came to visit last night, so today I am hanging out with him and making sure he doesn't scamper off and assassinate someone, as I'm sure that that's the real reason he's come to town... Anyway, because he's here, I don't exactly have time to sit down and write a real blog post, so I'm going to re-post the one where I introduced him in the first place, seeing as how many of you are new and this post is over a year old. I felt it was time for you all to reacquaint yourselves with the glory that is my father. The frightening, frightening glory... Anyway, without further ado, I bring you....

My Dad the Mafia Man

It's finally time... Meet my dad:

dadgrad

For multiple reasons, my friends and I are convinced that he is the head of the Swedish Mafia (yes, it totally could exist...). I know that when you think of mafia, you usually think of Russians, Italians, or Irishmen, but we live in Ohio's Suburbia... Swedish only makes sense. Of course, one would think that it would make more sense if we lived in Minnesota if we were leading the Swedish Mafia, but I was two when we moved to Ohio and had absolutely no say in that decision, so STOP ARGUING WITH ME.

Anyway, here is the list of reasons why we're convinced that my dad works for the totally real Swedish Mafia:

  • Whenever we ask my dad what he does for a living, this is his response:

 

  • For a really long time, he drove a black Chrysler 300...chrysler300

 

  • ...Until recently, when he decided that this would transport bodies more efficiently:lincolntruck

 

  • He goes to the "grocery store" like... 17 times a day. There's no reason to do that other than as a cover-up, people.
  • He travels A LOT and often without warning. Seriously, conversations with my mother will sometimes go like this:  Me: Where's Dad? Mom: Um... I don't know.... I think he's in Jersey... Or maybe Atlanta. Me: What? Didn't he just get home from Denmark? Mom: Yeah...
  • Whenever things seem like they'll never come together, my dad always says "Hey, don't worry. I'll take care of it." And when we ask "BUT HOW??" he just holds up his hand to silence us. Then he disappears for a few hours, and comes back with the solution. We seriously don't know what happens. Obviously, he's making some sort of a deal with some other guy to get things straightened out. I don't know who's fingers these outings cost him, but I have to find that guy and hug him... or at least give him a really nice hook.
  • He's taken to wearing a matching track suit around the house.
  • All deals with my dad are made over a drink. If it's a serious deal, he'll walk you through the proper procedures of how to seal the deal by taking a shot of Swedish alcohol with one hand while your other hand rests behind your back to keep you from reaching your weapon.
  • Oh, and let's not forget the booming Swedish accent...
  • ...or the 6'6" height and build.

When asking my dad if I could write about him in this way, this was the conversation we had via text:

Me: May I please write a blog post about you being in the mafia? ;) I'll be clear about the fact that it's "not true" so that you don't get targeted. :)

Dad: What mafia?

Me: Exactly ;)

Dad: :)

My Dad the Mafia Man

Duckies, it's finally time... Meet my dad: dadgrad

For multiple reasons, my friends and I are convinced that he is the head of the Swedish Mafia (yes, it totally could exist...). I know that when you think of mafia, you usually think of Russians, Italians, or Irishmen, but we live in Ohio's Suburbia... Swedish only makes sense. Of course, one would think that it would make more sense if we lived in Minnesota if we were leading the Swedish Mafia, but everyone in Minnesota is friendly, so STOP ARGUING WITH ME.

Anyway, here is the list of reasons why we're convinced that my dad works for the totally real Swedish Mafia:

  • Whenever we ask my dad what he does for a living, this is his response:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hKspgG8sxE]

  • For a really long time, he drove a black Chrysler 300...chrysler300
  • ...Until recently, when he decided that this would transport bodies more efficiently:lincolntruck
  • He goes to the "grocery store" like... 17 times a day. There's no reason to do that other than as a cover-up, people.
  • He travels A LOT and often without warning. Seriously, conversations with my mother will sometimes go like this:  Me: Where's Dad? Mom: Um... I don't know.... I think he's in Jersey... Or maybe Atlanta. Me: What? Didn't he just get home from Denmark? Mom: Yeah...
  • Whenever things seem like they'll never come together, my dad always says "Hey, don't worry. I'll take care of it." And when we ask "BUT HOW??" he just holds up his hand to silence us. Then he disappears for a few hours, and comes back with the solution. We seriously don't know what happens. Obviously, he's making some sort of a deal with some other guy to get things straightened out. I don't know who's fingers these outings cost him, but I have to find that guy and hug him... or at least give him a really nice hook.
  • He's taken to wearing a matching track suit around the house.
  • All deals with my dad are made over a drink. If it's a serious deal, he'll walk you through the proper procedures of how to seal the deal by taking a shot of Swedish alcohol with one hand while your other hand rests behind your back to keep you from reaching your weapon.
  • Oh, and let's not forget the booming Swedish accent...
  • ...or the 6'6" height and build.

When asking my dad if I could write about him in this way, this was the conversation we had via text:

Me: May I please write a blog post about you being in the mafia? ;) I'll be clear about the fact that it's "not true" so that you don't get targeted. :)

Dad: What mafia?

Me: Exactly ;)

Dad: :)

A Guest Post from John Hamm or The Story of How John Hamm and My Dad Became True Bros.

Hello, undoubtedly attractive blog readers! My name is John Hamm, and you might remember me from previous posts where I said and did things! This is my second guest-posting appearance, the first of which offers invaluable information on how blogs get written and how I can’t magic them into existence. It’s enthralling! Go read it and all the other posts before this one if you haven’t already! Ok, shameless plugging done. What I’m here to tell you about is about a shocking secret, the kind that prompts one of those quick close-ups in a soap opera of some character with a shocked expression, accompanied by the sound of a martini glass shattering on the marble floor. Oh yes, take a seat and prepare yourself, because Emelie and I… are ACTUALLY SISTERS!!!

Kind of. Clean that glass up off the floor before you hurt yourself, because we’re gonna take a little trip in the way-back machine.

Miss Blogger here and I have been best friends since early in high school, when I came to a get-together at her house and ended up giving her the clumsiest lap dance ever (more on that later). Along with the package of being her bestbian came a couple of overly affectionate Golden Retrievers, a kitty minion, and a totally amazing second family. In case you’re wondering, I do have a first family that I love and adore as well, but this isn’t their blog, so pipe down.

Anyway, of all her family members, Emelie’s dad probably takes the “John Hamm is an adopted daughter” thing the most seriously. Which I love him for, but it can get a little painful. For example, there was a period of a few months where I didn’t come around (because Emelie was out of the country and I was busy with school), and the next time he saw me, he legit punched me in the arm about six times in between hugging me and asking where I’d been. And he’s a big guy, not to be taken lightly when he’s slugging you on the shoulder. He’s also not a man you can't refuse a drink from, and if you’re not having a good time around him, you’re probably not doing it right.

Fast forward to this past Saturday night where Emelie and I are working at the restaurant. Her parents come to sit at the bar, and she is standing talking to them when this conversation occurs:

Emelie: Hey, JH, what are you doing tomorrow?

Me: Uhhh nothing, I have the day off. Why?

Emelie (turning to her father): See? There you go.

Me: What’s going on?

Her Dad: I might have an extra ticket for the Browns game tomorrow, do you want to go?

Me (not really thinking about it too hard because I was working): Yeah, sure, let me know.

Now, I’m pretty sure Emelie has let slip that we’re in Northeast Ohio, and if you follow NFL at all, you know that being a Browns fan is pretty much a recipe for sadness. I figured he would find someone else to take the ticket (we were playing the Steelers, so it was going to be a popular game), and I didn’t think much more of it until the next morning. Here’s a rough timeline of that day and all the reasons why I’m glad my second dad is so awesome:

9:15 AM: Woke up. Picked up my phone to see I’d gotten a text from Emelie’s dad to see if I still wanted to go to the game about ten minutes before. Was still trying to wrap my brain around this about thirty seconds later when Emelie called at her father’s behest and told me to be out there by 10:30 at the latest. Groggily agreed, hung up, and tried to remember what pants were. I’m not a morning person.

10:15 AM: Arrived at Emelie’s parents’ house. Was handed a cup of coffee and then got straight into the car with my second dad. On the way, he explained that we were going to a tailgate party with people he had known ever since he moved to Suburbia and going to the game from there. I nodded, picturing a pick up truck with a grill in the back and a case of beer. In retrospect, I probably should have known better.

11:00 AM: For those who don’t know, tailgating is serious business in Cleveland. Serious, serious business. It’s all part of the event. The one I attended had two grills, two large banquet tables full of food, and a camper with what I can only assume was a full bar inside. And shot girls. Did you know you can hire shot girls for tailgate parties? I didn’t.

11:30 AM: I have been introduced to everyone at this party as “my daughter, the one I don’t bring out that often.” I don’t know how many people are buying it, but Emelie’s dad is just sipping on his drink and chuckling.

12:30 PM: Full of good food and somewhat less than sober, we head to the stadium. I get the brief tour of Brownstown (the inside heated bar with a large projector where you can go and drink in comfort if the game isn’t going your way, which it usually isn’t) and we head outside to our seats. The view from which looked like this:

Awesome. There were touchdowns happening in my face. Also, it was about 34 degrees out. I was barely aware of this.

1:30 PM: Yaaaaay beeeeeeeeeer!!! Everyone is yelling!!!

2:15ish PM: Halftime and we’ve gone inside to warm up. Remember what I said about Emelie’s dad not being someone you can turn a drink down from? That applies to overpriced stadium drinks too. Also, we stood around and talked to a couple people for about ten minutes, and when they walked away he turned to me and said, “I have no clue who those people were.”

2:45ish PM: Back out to the game, and the Steelers are up by one. Started to prepare myself for the inevitable feeling of defeat that permeates Cleveland sports.

4:15ish PM: We… We won? WE WON!!! HOT DOGS AND MORE BEER!!! I’M HUGGING AND HIGH FIVING STRANGERS!!! I’M A GOOD LUCK CHARM, BITCHES!!!

6:30 PM: Sober, but falling asleep in the passenger seat. All tuckered out from a big day!

By the time I made it home that night (Emelie and I made dinner after I got back), I fell into bed and passed out. When I woke up, I was hoarse from screaming and I felt like my legs had been run over by a bus. I also might be running a mild fever. But it was awesome and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. So thanks again to the best second dad ever from his favorite adopted daughter: if you ever need someone to remember where we parked again, you know where to find me.