Monday, April 21, 2008

Actually, my father was a metrosexual.

There's a giant new ad on a bus shelter downtown that reads:
The photo is of a white Lutheran-y kind of dad guy with some guy-pals in a boat, being manly killers of fish.
(The bus went by too quickly for me to see what the ad was for.)
[pingback: view ad here.]

I'm sure this funny juxtaposition works for many Midwestern Americans, but it doesn't apply to me. My father wasn't exactly a metrosexual--which for his generation would've been someone like Cary Grant--but he sure wasn't Mr. Cleaver or Opie's dad. He was sorta more like Jack Kerouac meets the Godfather, grows a beard, and works for civil rights. Something like that.

He even wrote a poem (!) about how the one time he brought a fish home when he was a boy, his mother didn't believe he had caught it. Did this emasculating experience push him into being an... intellectual?

The photo of my father, here, is from the late 1960s, I think. He's standing in his office (I recognize the poster of caricatures of American presidents behind him--he taught poli-sci), with a drawing someone made of him. I'll have to ask him what the scoop is.

[He writes: "The photo of me looking at me was done when I ran the Upward Bound program (for poor urban black teens) in 1966. There was a student program and one of the kids made that drawing of me!! Pretty good likeness."]


bink said...

MY father was a metro-sexual wannabe when he was younger. I still remember the horror I felt when he flagged me down on the street in broad daylight wearing a sort of Saturday Night Fever light colored leisure suit, with the shirt open mid-chest. He might have even had a gold chain on. It was all the height of fashion then and he thought he was stylin'. Nowdays, he puts on his tux with the red cummerbund when he wants to impress...
I'm glad I've only seen photos.

fresca said...

Eek! Yeah, your dad was no Andy Griffith, but in a different way than mine wasn't. No wonder we're artist types--our dads didn't take us fishing or other wholeseome animal-killing activites.

bink said...

Actually, when we lived on Medicine Lake and even a few years later, my dad did take me fishing...very occassionally mind you...but I had a series of bamboo fishing poles and at least one casting rod in my young life. Never liked to thread the worms on the hook though...and none of my brothers took to I suppose dad gave up on us.

And of course I had given up on him when he couldn't manage to even finish the greaves in the cardboard suit of armor he promised to make me when I was about 5 or 6 (and I wasn't even asking for a full suit, just something like a Roman or Spartan might wear).

What a mis-matched family I come from!

fresca said...

Gee, I didn't know your dad took you fishing! But the real Andy Griffith would have finished making you a suit of armor for sure. One you could have gone fishing in too.

Anonymous said...

i read your metrosexual blog. all i can say is that it was not one fish but a bunch of them. and ama said. and i quote all these years later: "you didn't catch those!" and that was at 6:30 in the morning. she was getting up and i was going to bed.
what can i say. i have been warped ever since!!!
--your father