Remember those “Have you been a Dad today?” commercials? These commercials always struck me as interesting when I was little because I did not really understand them. In my own mind, I concluded that my Dad was my Dad all the time and could not pick and choose when he would be one. As I got older, I understood the commercial better and soon began to realize that not everyone had a Dad in their everyday lives and it made me sad. I could not imagine how people my age at the time dealt with that. It made me appreciate him even more than I already did.
One of the earliest memories I have of my Dad is watching Saturday morning cartoons with him and our dog. Recess and Teacher’s Pet were our favorites and I can’t forget the legend Fillmore! (If you’re not familiar, get familiar). I can’t remember if we watched these before or after we had breakfast (he notoriously started cooking breakfast later than he would plan to), but unlike most people, it definitely was not during. As the various lineups changed across channels, the shows we had mutual interest in began to decrease. Perhaps this was because the quality of shows began to decline? Who knows. Anyway, the most recent mutual favorite we had was The Emperor’s New School, which was a spin off show for one of the most slept on Disney movies ever. Spending those mornings together is one of my favorite memories I have with my Dad and it makes me happy that he took an interest in my interests.
Cartoons were not the only shows we watched together, though. I remember him putting me on to That 70’s Show, which I had no business watching at that age (Mind you, I’m still under 12 – maybe even 10-years-old). Most of the jokes went over my head and I was very confused by the part where “everything was smoky and they were acting weirder than usual.” I now completely understand what was happening during these scenes. I don’t ever remember my Dad formally explaining these scenes either – guess he figured I’d understand some day.
I’d like to formally thank him for introducing me to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) at this time, also. While the memory of my very first time watching it is super blurry, I remember all it took was one time and I was hooked. He brought me a championship belt and figures and if my memory serves me correctly, a total of three toy rings throughout the years of me watching it. We built the last one he got me together because it was much more complex than the others. We also went to see it live three times and I still have my tickets to this day. I lost my gloves in the arena the very first time we went due to all the excitement and after it ended, we went back to look for them. While we never found them, we did get to see them taking the ring and entrance area down so we got a “behind the scenes” experience most fans never get.
When it came to movies, he put me on to gems as well. One of the earliest I remember was Enter The Dragon which stars the best martial artist/film star ever – Bruce Lee. I was totally blown away by what I saw and stand by it still being the coolest martial arts movie ever. I remember him telling me how his movies were the best thing ever when he was younger and how no other martial arts movies could compare to his. Perhaps the most special part about this is the fact we always watched this movie on VHS. We never would skip past the documentary at the beginning due to our own inside joke of how they say the name of the movie and it flashes on the screen multiple times during it. The tape was the exact one he bought when the movie was released on VHS back then and we had never seen the DVD anywhere. But on Father’s Day last year, I gave it to him.
Watching TV together may seem trivial to some people but it’s a memory of my Dad I’ll hold on to forever. We still do it now, but not nearly as much and that’s okay. I’ll tell him about something cool I watched on my own and vice versa. Any time spent with your father doing something you both enjoy is a good time.