On Father’s Day, I was reflecting on the many ways that I’m grateful for my dad. I was able to think about Papa Hu’s philosophy on life, and how incredibly intelligent, thrifty, sacrificial, and loving he is. But what I also realized, now being older, was that perhaps those traits of his are not always aligned with my own values. Mixed with his traditional southern Chinese background and attempts at adjusting to American culture, some of the things he believes has made me chuckle, and at times ask “WTF?” So I invite you to learn about these “Dad-isms,” specific to my own father, and laugh with me.
10 Dadisms from Jim Wang Hu:
#1 “Money can’t buy everything. But no money, can’t buy anything.”
So obvious, yet actually profound.
He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat choy! Now put this money into your future kids’ college funds.”
#2 “Everyone knows Chinese people are the smartest.”
Perhaps his wisdom is limiting…
“This is why I won’t get skin cancer.”
#3 “Don’t sleep with your head by the window or your hair will fall out.”
I doubt he’s conducted a study on balding men/women and the correlation to where their beds are positioned, but it’s science, right?
I don’t know how that or the white skunk stripe on his head is scientifically possible either (maybe there was a breeze one night). Also, he and my grandma have the same haircut. Great way to honor your mother.
#4 “My daughters will learn how to drink at a young age so they will not be fools at parties.”
Started with a can of Budweiser at the age of twelve. Everyone knows that alcohol is the solution to foolishness.
Besides reading the newspaper, this is one of his favorite things in the world. He does not go a dinner without this kind of “dietary supplement.”
#5 “Why go out to eat when I can just make it at home?”
And he totally does. As awesome has his cooking abilities are, it’s kind of annoying when we don’t get to go out. Dad, sometimes I just want to pay for someone else to cook my food.
The master at work. When I lived on my own after college, his present to me was one of his best cleavers. If I didn’t get it before, I definitely understood how much he loved me in that moment.
#6 “I buy snacks at Costco if it says ‘new’ on it.”
His English is limited, and the “new” strategy is a hit or miss with us. Sometimes it was awesome fruit snacks, and other times it was bran cereal.
About five times a day, you’ll find him falling asleep somewhere. Staying on top of the news and the latest snacks is hard work.
#7 “I’m obviously the funny one in this family.”
No one can keep up with the corniest man on Earth.
1) My mom can tolerate it most of the time. 2) Yeah, he only has three daughters, but he likes to make my mom feel young. 3) Some of his silly notes that I keep in my room. 4) He is the king of messing around during photos.
#8 “I can tell when anyone is lying.“
When I was a kid, I used to save up money to buy sweets and definitely had too much. My Dad noticed it, and would actually do regular “candy raids” in my room to see if I was lying about not having any. I really didn’t think he’d go into my underwear drawer. I guess the shame-based culture didn’t apply to finding your daughter’s bag of Buncha Crunch in her Target-brand undergarments.
This toy rifle doesn’t make him look that threatening, but I do my best not to piss this guy off. Angry Dad was never fun…
#9 “Always find the best deal, and if it’s not there, you make it happen. There’s no shame in wanting to save money.”
I question this when I find myself at a car dealership and my dad, already getting a great discount on a vehicle, is pissing off the salesman by demanding two more free key chains. Why Father, why?
My dad basically made me to go the gym with him because he got a free guest pass and it was going to expire. I laugh at this photo because of how alike we look.
#10 “Never miss out on anything.”
I have a tendency for living life to the fullest and experiencing everything I can. But my dad takes it to a whole new level. One time, we were vacationing in Canada’s Banff National Park and stopped at a place to ride the Gondola up the mountain. That should have taken 20 minutes or so round trip. My Uncle Don ended up waiting 4 hours for us in a van because my dad had to take us on that hike, pay for the cheesy photos, and see the museum.
“I have to know what it’s like inside a huge tire! I may never get another chance!”
In conclusion, though I may not follow all of his Dadisms, I love the man behind them all and am beyond grateful for the gift that he is to me.
Love you always, Dad. Also, everyone’s attention in this photo is towards the stage. What are you looking at?
This is Amy Hu signing off for June 20th, 2013.