Over the weekend, my wife and I ventured back to my homeland. And by that, I’m not trying to imply that I’m from some other country, although it certainly feels like it a lot of times! No, we merely made the voyage to southern Indiana to spend some time visiting with my folks.
Each time I make the trek, there are certain requirements of places I absolutely must frequent before I flee the area once more, and this trip was no different. Before I ever left my house, the weekend was pretty much laid out. We would sleep in Saturday morning, then make our way to Angelo’s Pizza for lunch. I stepped up to the counter and ordered about one of everything…quite literally. Between the salad, large pizza, and large stromboli, I had to top it all off with 2 orders of THE best bread sticks in the world. Hands down. Bar none. And it was worth every calorie-filled bite.
Then it was time for dessert. My mom suggested that we wash all of that down with a frozen hot chocolate from Santa’s Candy Castle. It’s much like a milk shake, but tastes just like hot chocolate.
We capped off our tasty tour of the tri-state area by saddling up to a buffet dinner at Moonlite BBQ. We all filled our plates with heaping helpings of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, green beans, broccoli casserole, ham, bbq pork, mutton and chicken, and fried shrimps. Yes, “shrimps.” I chugged as much iced tea (southern-style sweet tea, mind you) as I could handle, then went back for the dessert buffet and grabbed some chocolate pecan pie, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate eclair, and ice cream. Then I requested a wheelchair to get back to the car!
But all of that is completely beside the point…I just wanted to rub it in a little bit. It was the unannounced stop afterwards that caught my wife and I completely off guard. As we sat in our food-filled stupor, we overheard a quiet comment from my mom to my dad. I thought I HAD to have mis-heard her at first, but when my wife looked at me quizzically, I knew that I hadn’t misunderstood after all. Almost under her breath, my mom asked if dad would like to stop at “that tattoo parlor.” What?? Being the only one in my family with any tattoos, I assumed it had to pertain to me, and jokingly asked if they were going to pay for my next one, knowing full well just how much my mom hates the idea of them.
I got the answer I fully expected when she simply said no, but was caught completely off-guard and returned to my state of confusion when she stated that it was for dad. Sure enough, a few short turns later, the van slowed to a stop in front of a tattoo parlor. My dad hopped out of the van while asking if anyone wanted to go with him or stay in the van. Still in a stunned state, I numbly wandered in behind him with my wife and mother in tow. Dad walked right in like he belonged in the joint, grabbed a book from the counter and popped a squat while he perused previously done pieces.
I just looked around the place, wide-eyed, still in shock from the turn of events that had taken place within the last ten minutes. That’s when I regained my wits and started my detective work. I began by asking some simple questions regarding my dad’s new-found interest in tattoos. I asked what had spurned his interest, how long ago had he started entertaining the thought, what kind of design was he considering, and where he wanted it. My mom placed the full blame on me, claiming that dad had never wanted any until I started to get mine. I called BS on that though, since I got my first one a few years ago, and dad clearly stated that he has been thinking about it for several weeks. The timeline doesn’t add up, mom. From there, I tried to get an idea of what types of designs he was considering. That’s when things started to get a little fuzzy again. He said he wanted something bright, with a lot of color, and then inquired with an artist about the Sublime logo for a shoulder cap. (Note: my dad has NO IDEA who Sublime is.)
Once I realized how far in over his head he was, I stepped in and almost pleaded him not to get any work done without consulting me. I offered up some really good advice that was given to me before I got my first one, and encouraged him to take his time in picking out what he wanted. I tried to encourage him to incorporate something that has meaning to him instead of just getting something permanent just because, “It’s pretty.” I have complete faith in my dad when it comes to decision-making. He is always three steps ahead in his thought process, but seeing him completely out of his element like that was kind of scary and a little bit sad. I saw the well-reasoned, level-headed guy that raised me get googly-eyed for something he had no clue about.
I’m kind of torn about this whole idea. I think it’s very strange and über out of character for my dad to get a tattoo, but if that’s what he wants then I also think it’s kind of cool. Things change, and that’s not always bad. Usually when you least expect it…like when your father is almost sixty!
My dad, the badass.
Thank you, that is all.