My Dad, My Hero, My Best Friend
With Father’s Day approaching and with some of our Geeks being daddies to little girls, I felt the need to share a little bit about my number one best friend and the reason why I am the nerd I am today; my dad. I can’t promise you this isn’t going to be sappy. If you would prefer not to catch a case of “the feels”, this probably isn’t the article for you. Also, be prepared to be spammed with adorable pictures of me as a child. Seriously, I was super cute and have sort of a fascination about it.
My dad was certain from day one that my mom was going to give birth to a little girl, even though she had given birth to 3 boys before me, and kept telling him I was going to be his son. Heck, the doctor even said I was a boy after my umbilical chord was between my legs for every ultrasound they did. No matter what, my dad stayed strong with his theory and when I was born, everyone was shocked but him. From that moment forward, he was wrapped around my finger and I had a person that would always be there for me even if it put him in an early grave/jail.
My bedtime stories weren’t those of The Three Little Pigs or Hansel and Gretel. Of course I knew those stories from when I spent the night over at my aunt and uncle’s house, but when dad read me to sleep it was either comic books or Harry Potter. I never liked Barbie dolls and no matter how many times my dad told me not to play Unreal on the computer, I would still sneak into his room while he went into the kitchen, and somehow he would come back and everything would be dead. I know deep down my mom was looking forward to the prospect of having a little girl to dress up in pink and play dolls with, but I just wasn’t into it.
When I was in middle school in California I got picked on a lot and was afraid to show anyone that I woke up early to watch Zoids or knew anything about the comic world. Video games weren’t even that cool and if you didn’t like Eminem, then no one wanted to be your friend. I pretended I was someone I wasn’t and kept my nerd self-hidden in my bedroom. My dad watched me do this and it broke his heart when he saw me start to push away everything we used to bond over. It was at that point he opened up my eyes to the world of poetry and writing. He showed me that I could do anything I wanted with just a pencil and a piece of paper. That I could create my own worlds or express how I was feeling in graphite rather than keeping it all pent up inside. Finally, we ended up moving to Oregon. It was at that point my dad pulled me aside and told me that I could be whoever I wanted to be. No one knew me and if I was happy how I was, then to keep pursuing that path. Otherwise, it was up to me to make me happy.
Once I came to Oregon, I changed how I was. I let my personality shine. I became a leader and didn’t care if others didn’t like what I liked. I enjoyed being a nerd and I enjoyed expressing myself. To my surprise, my peers ended up accepting who I was and I found it extremely easy to make friends. Eventually, I was introduced into the world of cosplay. By some sneaky planning on my part, I was able to get my dad into BioShock and BioShock 2. From there, I somehow got him and two of my friends to agree to help me put together a Big Sister outfit from the second game. While I paid for most of it out of pocket, my dad put in his fair share of hours trying to figure out what materials we could use and to come up with ideas on how to bring the costume to life. I’d even go as far as saying he probably did more research than I did and was willing to help me work on it up until 5:00AM the day of the convention she debuted at while I fell asleep on the couch. If it wasn’t for my dad, there’s a good chance I would never have been able to pull off the costume.
From then on, my dad helped me with every costume that I had the crazy notion to do. We were a team. Any prop I needed, he was there with a million solutions on how to make it. He and I can’t even walk into a thrift store or Home Depot without pointing out products that could be used to make certain outfits or weapons. Any time we could play with theater make up or when it was Halloween and we could just walk through a costume store just to shake our heads at the prices people paid for horrible quality, we did. Slowly, and before I even realized it, my dad was going from my male paternal unit to my best friend. This really didn’t hit me until I moved out of my parent’s house back to Oregon a year and a half after we had moved once again to California. It then became my choice when I wanted to talk to my parents instead of just talking to them every day because they were there. I found that I wanted to hear from them not because of guilt or some weird feeling that I had to. It was because I wanted to and I missed them.
Now I look forward to getting my random Dad texts, showing me some new comic cover or an article about an upcoming movie/game. While I may not be completely reliant on him any more, he will always be my daddy and I will always love him. Whenever I make a stupid choice or whenever a boy breaks my heart, he will be one of the first people I call. Whenever I see a trailer for the next Marvel movie or watch an episode of Hannibal, he will be the first person I call. Regardless of how old I am or what role he now fills in my life, my dad was the first guy I trusted. He was the first person to be willing to give up everything in order for me to have anything. He was the first person to make me feel like I could do anything. My dad is the reason I am the nerd and woman I am today. He is the reason that I am proud to be apart of this vastly changing geeky culture and a huge reason I am the person I am today.
So, thank you Daddy. Know that even though we are a state apart and that I don’t talk to you every day, I’m always thinking about you. Thank you for everything you ever did for me, for every sleepless night you got because of me, for every prayer you ever said for me, for every tear you shed for me, and for telling me to be the person that was going to make me happy. Without you, I know I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. Even though we didn’t always get along and I wouldn’t always understand why you were as strict as you were, I want to thank you for dealing with the mean things I may have said to you. I know now that you’ve always had and always will have my best intention at heart. Above all, thank you for being my best friend.
I love you.
Happy Father’s Day!