June 17, 2011

No one gets under my Skin…like my Father. ~ Jolee McBreen

To all the embarrassing, well-meaning, and loved dads: Happy Father’s Day!

My dad and I

Growing up, and still today, there is no other person who gets under my skin the way my dad does. We have never completely seen eye to eye and I’m pretty sure we never will.

As a teenager I was stuck in my ‘no one understands me’ phase, while my dad was hopeful that I’d understand it someday – whatever the it may be.

Strangely enough, it’s the little things, or habits he has, that make me want to pull my hair out and I will never be able to give a logical explanation as to why.

It ranges from his incessant need to have a toothpick at every moment of the day (and then proceed to make clicking and other strange noises with it that have no business coming from a toothpick) to bringing me 10 wooden, decorative fish he bought for a dollar from a garage sale when I asked him to see if there was any furniture worth buying.

Or bigger things, like the arguments between us that seem to spark out of the blue and escalate too quickly for us to even realize what we’re fighting about in the first place.

Dad in NYC

More often than not we reach no resolution since he believes he’s right when he knows very well, I’m right. My mom on the other hand protests – we’re both wrong.

We’re still working through the fact that in heated moments both of us feel like we’re not being understood.

However, with as many ups and downs we’ve had in the past and I’m sure will continue to have, in the future, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want anyone else pissing me off.

My dad is a meld of calm, strength and pure silliness; he is a protector and provider for his family and whom he loves.

Whether he knows it or not, he has had a profound influence on the person I am today. Teaching me to stand up not only for myself and what I believe in, but also for others, as well as realizing when certain situations aren’t worth dwelling on.

Not only seeing a healthy relationship between both my parents but my dad has given me insight into all my relationships. Even into the man I would want in my life. Like my mother, I could never be with a man that wasn’t a man.

For better or for worse, my dad’s mottos and words of wisdom are ingrained in me.

I can remember cold Colorado winters when the thermostat was set no higher than 64 degrees. Every time I exaggerated about how I was freezing my dad’s consistent response was, “Put more clothes on.”

To this day I find myself under pairs of thermal underwear, sweats and sweaters before I turn the heater on.

My brother, mom, dad, and me (in belly)

He had similar energy saving tactics when it came to air conditioning. Driving in one of the many old Ford trucks he owned that were as loud as tractors and of course blew no cold relief on a hot summer’s day, he sprayed me in the face with a spritzer bottle full of water and told me to roll down the window – air conditioning.

He taught me how to drive, fish and be creative in the kitchen after I mastered the art of eggy-toast. He is also responsible for my love of classic rock.

He always offers his two cents, even when I act like I don’t want to hear it. He’s supportive no matter what and always makes his family laugh – generally at him, not with him.

My relationship with my dad has been one grown out of love and frustration. I consider both my mom and dad two of my best friends and respect them not only as my parents, but as people.

Even with his less than desirable habits and the way he delivers his quirky advice, he’s the best man I know.

I’ve found the cliché saying to be true: you can’t choose your family. But you can choose to love them anyway, even if they make you want to pull your hair out from time to time. Besides, what are dads for, if not to annoy you, embarrass you and love you unconditionally?

To all the amazing dads out there, and to my wonderful and unique father who I hope will continue to irritate me for many years to come: Happy Father’s Day!


Jolee McBreen is a student at the Art Institute and whips up delicious coffee concoctions at a coffee shop in Denver. When she’s not avoiding homework or steaming milk she can be caught with her family, friends, snuggling her two adorable dogs, or dancing… pretty much anywhere.

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