Seconds after birth, I was introduced to an older man with dark hair, blue eyes, lamb chop sideburns, and he talked with his hands. He would become the only person on earth who could get away with calling me Laurie instead of Lauren.
When I was a pre-teen, he and my mom would play tennis every Sunday afternoon and I would tag along. They had compatible games so it was fun to watch them interact on the court. For the last part of their session, he would always let me rally with them. In the summers, he had me ride 12 miles, round trip, to and from tennis camp so I could play tennis for three hours. All of this was critical in my development as a tennis player and ensured that I made the competitive tennis team in high school. My brother never had that bonding opportunity and I always appreciated that.
He would play handball in front of the house with me and my older brother and never tire. He would challenge our minds with all sorts of trivia questions that make us popular at parties because who knows this stuff?
He has won many professor-of- the-year awards, written many books, and I often see him quoted on TV or in the newspapers. He loves movies and sports. Every once in awhile, you can hear him singing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.
We usually have Sunday dinner together. He orders a half turkey sandwich off the bone – dry, a baked potato, and apple sauce. We banter about current events and our mutual social circle. If a friend of mine needs advice on something, he’ll jump at the chance to help out. He is always very impressed with my long bike rides and is awestruck that I have stuck with the Insanity workout program for so long and is very supportive of whatever I take on.
In junior high, my English teacher informed me that it was her opinion that I was an inept writer. At that point, my dad pretty much said, “Screw it” and suggested that I become a writer. I did. Every now and then, I will forward a blog post to him and he’ll say, “That’s really good!” I tried to trick him into subscribing the other day, but he didn’t click on the confirmation link. DRATS!
He’s quick-witted and sarcastic which I find very attractive in the company I keep. He is of that ilk where if you don’t know him, you could be intimidated by him. Then when you do know him, you could still be intimidated! He is great with kids. I have talked to many former students who have said that this man has molded them into who they are today. He is their favorite professor.
Years ago, a pipe burst in the apartment I was living in and I had to drive home so I could sleep. I walked up the stairs at one in the morning and I could hear my dad say from his bedroom, “Who’s there? I hope I know you.”
I’ve been told he and I have similar expressions and that I look like him. For years, I tried to understand how a girl could look like a guy. To this day, if I my mom is irked, she will say, “You are your father’s daughter.”