One of the downsides to working in retail is that they are always over promoting the latest “holiday” for weeks and weeks ahead of the actual day. I.e. Christmas starts in September in the shops, then once that goes down in January Valentines Day starts. As soon as that is packed up Easter eggs hit the selves (in February – yes February). You think it would build up the anticipation for the event (or day) much more being able to look at all the signage, cards, merchandise promoting it for so long; eagerly awaiting its approach a little more each day as time goes on. This might be the experience the shoppers get as they are only in and out of the shops for short periods of time; unfortunately it has the opposite effect for those of us who work there. It makes us anticipate the day more, but purely because we are sick of looking at the same signs for so long. It takes away the excitement you felt as a child and makes it mundane. Maybe I am being a little overly dramatic or it could just be the fact that I’ve been working in the same industry for 11 years that has slightly killed my joy a bit.
Well, for the past month we have had all of the Fathers Day collateral up everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Signs hanging from the ceiling, stock smack bang in the middle of the aisle ways so you literally have to walk around it and catalogues with endless gift ideas for dad. Fathers Day is my least favourite “holiday” of the year, because it forces me to come face to face with reality.
This year they’ve gone for the slogan “We know your dad” (meaning we have the perfect gift for your dad regardless of his personality). Unfortunately they don’t know my dad; no matter how many gift ideas they have in the store they won’t have the right one for him. Nobody knows my dad because he isn’t here anymore. To the outside world he is just missing in action, or to those closer to the family he is a man who gave up on life in what would have been his prime. To be honest I don’t really know what other people think of him, because I don’t want to know. To me he was just my dad. So let me tell you about my dad – what I can remember.
Like all little girls, my dad was my hero.
My parents owned a pizza shop and dad got to go to work all day to make pizzas and in my eyes anyone who got to have pizza everyday was immensely cool. The fact that he actually made the pizza’s made him even cooler. Unfortunately it also meant we didn’t get to see him that much, so my memories are only minimal. I remember he had a really hairy chest and back, which apparently my mum thought was really sexy (um vomit much). He was always tanned because he spent all his spare time in the backyard growing palm trees. Our backyard was full of palms, literally with three greenhouses and more out the front. He always had a moustache and beard (he would’ve smashed Movember for sure). He had really big, unfashionable glasses. Maybe they were fashionable back then? And he always wore stubbies and Dunlop volleys (again fashionable back then I’m sure).
I remember riding to the quarry, going fishing at deep water bend and making the long drive to Birkdale to see Uncle Allan and Aunty Robyn (where I was allowed to drink rum and eat oysters, good times!). Most of all I remember I loved him and still do even though he’s gone.
It’s not easy growing up without a dad and it’s not easy to see everyone celebrating their dads with gifts and get togethers when I can’t. I celebrate him by keeping his memory alive, looking at photos and remembering the good times. Unfortunately we don't have many photos and they are of questionable quality because they are from the 80's & 90's, but I cherish each and every one of them.
|Dad & me - one of my favourite photos|
To those of you who are still lucky enough to have your father around or who have children yourself please always appreciate the gift of having a parent (or being a parent). Once it is gone you can never get it back. Please cherish every single day you spend together for it is precious. Remember presents don’t have to be extravagant; sometimes the best present of all is your presence (and a hug, what I wouldn’t give for a hug).
So, Happy Fathers Day to you dad! Wish you were here x