Thanks, Dad



Since this Sunday is Easter, my initial plan was to write something about how The Rock Church negatively affects my Trader Joe’s shopping trips…and beyond. Though I am not a religious person, I am a family person. And in the spirit of the holiday weekend, I decided to write about a major member of my family: dear old dad.

I’ve compiled a list of all the humorous tips my father has shared with me in my 23 years as his only daughter.

1. “Balance your checkbook”- my dad doesn’t really know how to use a computer. He doesn’t seem to grasp that my entire bank statement and account activity are all present online, and that they have been since I opened my account in 2006. I literally have no idea what balancing your checkbook means, but I always give him a positive response.

2. “Just look away”- Peter Madruga believes that any problem, be it an annoying sibling or an extremely high student loan, can be solved by looking the other direction.  If anything in your life is causing you irritation or discomfort – just don’t look at it. Per example:

Me: Dad, Ryder (my brother) is picking his nose and wiping the boogers on my arm.

Dad: Just look away.

Me: Dad…that guy has the most massive moobs I have ever seen. He should not be allowed in public.

Dad: Don’t look.

Me: Dad! I think the neighbor just murdered his wife!

Dad: Kaley, just look away.

3. “Have You Checked The Oil In Your Car?”- Just say yes. Just nod your head.

4. “Suck It In”- Running errands with my father used to be a favorite past time of mine. One fun thing about my dad is that his regular speaking voice is super loud. Instead of simply pulling his young child out of the way of shopping carts, staff, or other dangerous obstacles, my dad would just yell “SUCK IT IN!” It took me about 10 years to figure out he was just telling me to move.

5. “I’m Not Yelling”- My dad ‘speaks’ so loudly sometimes that the veins in his head and neck pop out. You will literally experience a ringing in your ears after listening to him explain why it is unacceptable that you left your cereal bowl next to the sink. God forbid you ask him to tone it down because all you (and the neighbors) will hear for the next hour is how he is not yelling.

6. “No More Secs”- This one barely counts because my brother and I used to manipulate our father into saying it, but it’s still classic. Ryder and I spent a lot of time avoiding chores as young kids. Every time dad would catch us playing PS2, watching TV, or eating Poptarts when we were supposed to be cleaning, he’d start ‘not yelling’ at us. We would always answer the same way: “just one more sec”. Of course we would never get up and actually do our chores, so poor old Pete would have to come back multiple times to get us up and out. After the third “just one more sec” my dad would finally scream: “NO MORE SECS!!!” causing us to shriek with laughter. Of course he never got why were laughing.

7. “Just Go Like This”- My childhood was filled with a lot of falling and flying objects pelting my face (I’m uncoordinated). To this day, no matter what kind of injury I’ve encountered, my dad always just tells me to put my hand in front of my face. I think that’s why he always wears visors.

8. “Queen Is An Acquired Taste”- Pete is a huge Queen fan, and he likes to share this passion with his social circles. This sentence is usually followed by, ‘their music just isn’t for everyone’. I’m almost one thousand percent certain my dad doesn’t know what acquired means.

9. “We Have Eggs”- Like any typical father born in the 60’s, my dad isn’t much of a cook. When my mom went back to work after my brother and I were born, my dad was stuck with us in the evenings. His menu selections were a rotating special of ‘buttery noodles with parmesan cheese’ and scrambled eggs. After years of those hits, you can’t pay my brother or I to eat an egg these days. Whenever I stop by my  father’s house I typically end up complaining about the lack of food in the fridge…and cupboards. His response: What do you mean?! We have eggs!

10: “Patti Is Such A Skank”- My dad secretly watches a solid amount of Millionaire Matchmaker and he likes to shout out his random thoughts on the Bravo show’s prime subject every 15 minutes or so. ‘Patti is such a skank’ is the most typical.

If you ever find yourself looking for tips to get you through you the struggles of adolescence, I highly recommend these 10. I’m sure Peter would be happy to share more fun facts with today’s youth- you can find him playing drums for the East County based band “Ramshackle” at Second Wind, or at the YMCA with a Brett Michaels-esque bandana wrapped around his head.




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