New York Italian dads are really weird. Or, at least mine was.
My father was proud of me for things that ordinary parents wouldn’t be proud of their daughters for. Like, how sometimes I just know things. I don’t know how I know them, only that I do.
The ability likely came from my will to live, as I had to hone my instincts to make it out of my family alive.
“Knowing things” probably doesn’t seem like such a strange thing for a dad to be proud of, but maybe it will once you hear the two things my dad was most proud of me for.
When I was ten, my parents were hosting a summer BBQ and ran out of beer halfway through. Trying to be helpful, I told my dad that I’d walk to the store and get more for him. He said the delicatessen would never sell beer to a child. But when I said that I knew that they would and to please let me try, he shelled out the cash. You should have seen the look of pride in his eyes when I came home carrying the beer and heard how I’d talked the shopkeeper into selling it to me.
When I was twelve, our family took a road trip from New York to California, stopping in the Biggest Little City in the World: Reno, Nevada. My brother San will attest to how horridly boring the trip was, but not this night. We were in a casino when I asked my dad for a nickel to put in a slot machine. He said no, the casino would never allow a child play. But when I told him that I knew the machine would pay out if I put the money in myself, he gave me the coin, and yup, seconds later the machine was spraying nickels all over the floor. The love in my dad’s eyes at that moment remains unmatched to any other moment in my life.
I carried this ability to “know things” into adulthood, but my dad wasn’t around for the next two examples.
The first, how I knew Funk would win his election for mayor.
And just last month, how I knew if I submitted my non-fiction book cover to the literary journal called, Top Shelf, my cover artist, Ian Koviak, would win.
And we just received word that Ian won the award.
I’m certain my dad is beaming rays of sunshine down upon my head, that is, unless he’s gotten God up there in Heaven and all.