Hoi Polloi

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I just got off the phone with my dad. Apparently, he hasn't been getting a high enough billing on this space, so I just wanted to share with you all a few things I've learned from my dad over the years:

  • There are only two rules for life: 1. Make traffic go smoothly. 2. Have fun, but see rule number one. All other rules are subsets of these two rules.
  • You can find truth in anything. I remember having many family discussions about the principles of Life, the Universe, and Everything after watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. And Looney Tunes. And any movie that we ever watched together. And I think my dad has still to read anything by Douglas Adams. Just goes to show ya' how cool he is, despite that fact.
  • You never "get there" until you are six feet under. Until then, you need to be very careful about using phrases like, "One thing I've learned..." Chances are, you'll find out something next week that upsets the perfect little box you had set up in your mind regarding that one thing. So keep seeking truth.
  • "Never give up. Never give up. Never give up."
  • Think.
  • Pay attention.
  • You can't make someone's decision for them. You can only give them all the information possible so that they can make the decision.
  • If a decision is hard to make, you just need more information. Sometimes more information is not available, so you just have to work with what you've got.
  • Family is the most important relationship next to God (with your spouse being the first and primary member of your family.) Family will always be there.
  • Classical music is really cool. And so is Willie Nelson and Gordon Lightfoot.
  • Reading is fun.
  • Hard work is important.
  • Working smart is even more important.
  • Hold on to your honour. If you lose that, you've lost everything. A good reputation is more important than a comfortable life.
  • How to be a good wife, and treat my husband like a man worthy of respect and honour instead of like a child or a pawn worthy of manipulation. (My husband has actually thanked my dad for how he raised me!)
  • How to cook. Okay, my dad didn't actually teach me how to cook, he just endured many, many lousy meals while I was learning on my own. At fifteen, he made me this deal: "You cook it, we [he and my brother] will eat it." And they did. Even the one meal that was so charred as to be unrecognizable that I said they didn't have to eat. The crux: by the time I was finally starting to get the hang of it, I moved out. (I do try to cook for them whenever possible now, though.)
  • If you don't know what a word means, look it up. The World Book Dictionary is right beside the phone, for Pete's sake! Tonight I learned the meaning of "hoi polloi": the common people, the masses. (Thanks for making me look up my word of the day, Dad. I didn't bother asking what it meant, 'cause I knew you would just tell me to find my dictionary, anyway.)
So now the next time I talk to him on the phone, he's going to say I made him look all put out by that "high billing" comment, so I'll just put the disclaimer right here: he didn't say anything of the sort. (Okay, there were a few comments about ranking "number 10" on my Weekend Top 10, but I won't mention those. It was the first thing that happened that weekend! None of the rest would have made sense without mentioning that first!! From now on, no more rankings. Really, he would probably be just as happy if I didn't mention him at all. But I bet he secretly thinks it's pretty cool that I do.)

Hopefully, you can all glean a little from the wisdom my dad passed on to me.

Dad--And you thought I wasn't listening. ;-D

You Might Also Like


  1. mThat was such a sweet post!
    And now I am off to call my Dad..

  2. Sometimes I think all dads sound alike. Many of these were things my dad taught me. Although I've never heard my dad use hoi polloi before. He's used some other interesting words.

  3. yes thats something i pray about everyday too.. to learn to respect and honor my husband....its so hard sometimes but im learning patience and God is teaching me slowly every day!

    He truly is the best Dad in the Universe!

  4. Perspective - Thanks for visiting my blog! Hope you and your dad had a good chat. Come back and comment anytime!

    Mom - Thnx!

    Jenn - Sadly, I wish more dads were like ours. There are a frightening number of people that go through this life never learning basic things like "make traffic flow smoothly" (help other people whenever possible to make everyone's lives better) and "think." And this was a first on the hoi polloi for me, too. Guess we both learned something new today!

    Visitor - Thanks for coming by and getting your vocabularic expansion for the day. Since I see you are a "roamer," feel free to roam by here anytime you like!

    grafx - Yuppers, I agree with you there! And, as with any relationship, it is a continual growth process, isn't it? (With our husbands, I mean.) I don't always succeed--but then, Jay's pretty good at calling me on it when I start to get all mixed up and wrapped up in myself, too.

  5. Awesome list! Made me think of things my dad says that are similar...especially the honor one. :)

  6. That first rule must be a Hilman thing. Let me tell you, I promptly thought of my own M.H. with a smile. I think my dad and yours are about as night and day as two guys could possibly get as far as personality and style go but tis what makes the world go round. However, I still related to much of what you said. The dictionary thing? Yes, completely relate. Words and wordplay was always a big deal at our house and it all ended with me asking for a dictionary for Christmas. Yes. One of those honkin' books you need to arms to lift. I'm blabbing again, aren't I? I liked reading this. And I like you.


  7. (did I really just write "to arms to lift? eep. does someone have a dictionary i could borrow? a dictionary perhaps that only takes won arm to lift.)

  8. Beth - It's so cool to know that one of the great things about one's family is the legacy passed on from one' father, isn't it?

    Colleen - Yeah, I could see Mark getting on board with a few of those.

    I like you, too. *titter shyly behind hand*


Thank you for commenting today! I want to make sure you get my reply. Make sure you sign up for follow-up e-mails on this post, as I will be replying to you in the comments section here!

Popular Posts

Blog Archive