• http://www.apeymonkey.com christa

    wow, i can honestly say that my dad is not like that. i mean, he will make comments if something is not looking perfect in my house, but he’ll blame it on my husband. i am daddy’s little angel.

  • J

    I don’t think anyone is trying to invalidate anyone’s feelings or experiences. They are just venting about how much their dad hurt them, or disappointed them, or how envious they actually are of the fathers others have. Ultimately, parents are painful, sticky, wonderful, maddening, blessed subjects.

  • bigbigtruck

    Oh man. Beautiful column…
    A few weeks ago, my folks were in town – Mom drove me back to my apartment after I’d had surgery… as I lay down in bed, she started getting on my case about the cat hair on the sheets. Which I’d just run over with a lint roller before the surgery.

  • http://fudgeit.blogspot.com bushra

    ah, issues with dad. whenever we disagree on something, he always manages to argue well enough to make me agree that i’m wrong and he’s right. that and reducing me to a blubbering wreck.

    there’s comfort in there somewhere, i’m sure.

  • http://www.dominocat.co.uk/panic domino

    Well, despite the fact that my mom is a *complete* slob and never cleans anywhere, I get terribly anal about housework when she comes to visit me. Mind, I still remember living at home and her going away for a weekend; I cleaned like crazy, hoping for a thankyou, and got “you haven’t even done the dishes”

    Love the Blog, Dooce. Especially Chuck. :)

  • http://bubblegumwrapper.com michael

    been following your site for a few days, and this is my first post. i love your site and you’re a gifted woman.

  • http://blab-o-rama.com Beerzie Boy

    If Mr. Busy is looking for some cleaning tasks, I have a house with three small boys that always can use a little spit ‘n polish.

  • Sheila

    i discourage my family from visiting my apartment (its too small for any kind of gathering anyway). i do not have my mother’s cleaning gene. :/
    believe the bathroom would prompt her to phone the CDC.

  • http://pocketchange.blogspot.com/ holly

    Better your father to help pull the weeds than a neighbor. The man that lives across the street has said he has a fear of dandelions. He will come pull them from your yard if you don’t!

  • Scott M.

    That’s why I’m not going to have kids — because I would probably be just like your father.

  • http://www.virginmoistness.com Alanna

    When I know my parents are coming for a visit, I like to pick up the cat shit from the floor…

  • Taylor

    Soo God gave him legs and feet to push the pedals on the car. Dishwasher atheists…ANYWAY I think that The Husband looks like Ewan McGregor at the end of Moulin Rouge when he’s all sad and alone with his type writer. v.v. cute!

  • anna jr.

    my dad is a psychologist.

    need i say more?

  • sahanjis

    Again off topic, but the jar “Benjy” mentions with dooce’s image ghost on eBay has a bid on it for $550,800.
    What the hell is this world coming to!!


  • sahanjis

    actually $750,100.

  • Al from Sacramento

    never had the same dad around the house for more than a year and mom worked a lot, we all cooked and cleanded, for most of my adult life and through 3 of my marrages until she passed away whenever she came to vist the only thing she ever changed was to bring a new coffee pot and coffee each time, otherwise she would just move stuff out of the when when she needed to and visit with us, I loved her and I miss her.

  • Kristine

    1. This man sounds as if he’d fit perfectly with the Avon woman. What’s up with that?

    2. Remember, you are in Utah now. The yard is the man’s responsibility. Your responsibility is to be his help mate, but primarily to become barefoot and pregnant.

    3. I see from your descriptions of your parental units that you come by your personality traits very honestly.

    Enjoy what you can of your dad’s visit. You can choose to be the kid some more or you can laugh at how he is and be the grownup. Good luck.

  • http://www.talkingcrow.com/blog/ rosebaby

    when my dad came to visit last he wanted to help with yardwork (i try to discourage this, especially after the pacemaker). i refused to tell him where the weedwacker was, or some such and i came home from work to find him edging the lawn with kitchen scissors. he’s the most stubborn man i know. it’s where i get it from.

  • http://www.talkingcrow.com/blog/ rosebaby

    ps, read this.

    you will not feel bad after.

  • Xiobhan

    My father died in 97 at 56. I would give anything to have him on his hands and knees pulling the weeds on the lawn of my house that he never got to see. That being said, (so no one thinks I’m “invalidating feelings”) my mother has sold my childhood home and is moving out here to be closer to me. TWO BLOCKS AWAY CLOSER. I love my mother, but this is a woman who repainted the ceilings of the closets prior to the first open house. I can’t begin to tell you the fear in my heart now that she will be my neighbor.

  • http://aravis.diaryland.com aravis

    My parents ALWAYS inspect my appartment from top-to-bottom every time they visit. If everything is perfect, they (especially my pop) seem a little sad. My solution – leave the monitor and tv screens dirty. My pop whips out the windex, sighs dramatically about how dirty they are, and cleans them til they squeak. He is happy, I am happy. It is all good.

  • http://www.beily.com beily

    your dad reminds me of my mom!

  • http://www.echoside.net Jen

    I just think it’s hilarious that he says “It’s Mike from Tennessee.”

  • http://queenbeebrady.blogspot.com QueenBee

    Oh my God. I looked at the Ebay picture that Benjy mentioned and nearly pissed myself… That’s a doocey ghost, for sure.

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    sounds to me like you have yourself a free groundskeeper and potential maid service.

    i say keep him around.

    what’s a little family stress when you end up with a tidy home?

  • http://www.anordinaryboy.com/blogger.html alex kidd

    maybe he should be SMOKING WEED. might loosen him up a bit.

  • http://www.visionwave.com Shawn B.

    Why must you insist on tormenting poor Mike by leaving weeds in the flower beds? Sounds like a passive aggressive problem to me.

    Solution: Start selling pot as a side biz and use the money to have the yard done right. This way Mike can feel more comfortable about the state of things, and you can afford to put a better shine of the front he likes to call reality.

  • http://runwithscissors.blogspot.com r

    Bless his wacky heart — he’s doing the best he can, and as goofy as it may be, he loves you (as I’m sure you know).

    If nothing else, he’s giving you the gift of superb writing material.

  • xiolagrl

    my dad’s opening line is “hi kate, it’s your dad” as if after 26 years i wouldn’t recognize his voice.

  • Laura

    Dads spend the first 18 years of our lives being responsible for our survival. They teach us, feed us, house us, love us. And then, we grow up, and they go from being the center of our universe to being fringe, at best. Especially with daughters, who marry, and find men to take care of them (I’m speaking theoretically here) in the same manner that they used to. Your father is doing something that makes perfect sense…he’s trying to be an intimate part of your life the way he was for XX years, and to do SOMETHING/ANYTHING for you. He needs to feel like he’s adding value. So he pulls your weeds. AT least he cares….

  • pinky

    I think it’s hard for Dads to have daughters all grown up and not needing them anymore. He wants to be useful and necessary, maybe, even though he is some sort of hygiene deviant.

  • http://ever.lastyear.net jess

    but dooce, just think, now you won’t have to pull weeds for a while because he got the job out of the way for you!

  • http://volume22.blogspot.com/ Scott

    I wouldn’t have felt like a failure, I would’ve just turned the hose on him. But that’s just how our family is.

  • Michael

    Funny like Sedaris.

  • http://www.eleventwentyseven.com christine

    When my dad passed away, and we were cleaning out his stuff out of his home, I was shocked to see that he was quite a tidy guy. His clothes closet was like the ones you would in a movie…pants all hanging perfectly upside-down on expensive wooden hangers; shirts all perfectly hung in rows organized by the type of shirt; lots of expensive shoes with shoe horns in the best pairs; beautiful ties hung artistically on their hanger. I absolutely did not get this mans genes.

  • http://www.aubreysabala.com aubs

    Why do Dads do that to us? My father is the same way, and has been known to vacuum the vacuum cleaner. I shit you not. He came and saw my house for the first time in a year (note that this is my first REAL house that I own, and that I have three shedding-prone cats that put Chuck’s hairball to shame on an hourly basis) and his plane arrived early, preventing me from doing the last minute swiffer AND vacuum. I was ashamed & mortified. As he left, he said he was so proud of me and my house, but wasn’t it a shame that the cats had to go ‘ruin everything like your nice carpet.’
    Some things never change.

  • xiolagrl

    Sounds like my mother. After spending my evenings for a week making sure my house was spotless for her visit, she went into the guest bathroom and proceeded to comment on her way out that I had forgotten to take out the trash. There was ONE tissue in the trashcan.

  • http://footinmouthdisease.blogspot.com Naaman

    My dad’s sorta the same way, except it’s more like, “Oh, new stereo. Yeah, you’re going to have to get ‘fatter’ cables and re-route the wiring. C’mon, let’s go to Radio Shack.”

  • http://carrieon.blogspot.com Carrie

    It’s sad, the way you can just change the names and a few details, and most people feel like you are telling the story of their own family, me included.
    I guess we all have to do our best to remember that parents do these insensitive things to help them deal with their own sense of inadequacy, and it has nothing to do with us.

    You aren’t a failure, Heather. Don’t do that to yourself.

  • arrancia

    when my dad died, we found utilities stats (how much power we used, how much it cost a month) for the past 20 years stashed in his desk. all in a ledger, and as current as the previous year. dads just do stuff like that, eh?

  • pat

    heather consider yourself very lucky that your dad is still around to embaress you i ran away from home when i was 13 and didn’t find out until last year that he died in 1985

  • http://hairyken.hostingcentral.be Hairyken

    You don’t know how lucky you are, Dooce… For as long as I’ve known, my dad he hasn’t done anything but lie on the sofa complaining how tired he is because he works for us all day. Never pulled any weeds or did anything else around the house as far as I know!

  • http://kflood.net/index.php Kyle

    Hmm, mebbe next time you could rent a kept house somewhere and pretend like you live there.

    Actually, I think the better idea is to take his advice and not worry about the state of your house. Let him clean it when he gets there.

  • http://shyeyes.org shy

    :-) poor dooce. your dad’s got the same restless hands, busy-body problem as my mom. in the end, i just let her do it because it makes her happy…

  • http://peggasus.blogspot.com Peggasus

    You have missed the loophole here: the weeds cannot possibly be your problem, because you just moved in! Blame the previous owners and their sorry lack of proper lawn maintenance.

    There! Feel better now?

  • Danika

    My dad is like that too but he does that more because he feels like he should still be taking care of me. Like I haven’t grown up yet.

  • http://riiva.blurty.com/ the porcelain mongoose

    that would *not* be my dad. :D

  • melissa

    can we trade dads? my dad took off, showed up about once a year with some sorry ass present that was the exact opposite of what i needed or asked for. now that i’m an adult i’ve tried harder to have a relationship with him. i went to him a few months ago to get help with buying a car a friend of mine was selling. he was selling this car (a 2002 VW Beetle) because he had lost the use of his legs and was buying a handicap van. he was selling it to me super cheap because we were friends and he liked the idea of me out there driving his little loved car when he no longer could. but i’d just gotten laid off–hence asking dad for help. dad went and looked at it, said it was a great deal, bought the car, and kept it for himself.

    i’d take you weed-pulling dad any day.

  • http://www.italianolio.com Eddie D.

    Whether its licking their finger to wipe the smudge off your lips or pulling weeds in the yard, some things never change.

  • http://www.marmalade.ca kelly

    My dad is famous for washing the walls then insisting on showing you the dirty water. Mind you, now that I think about it, the grungy water was probably caused by his 2 pack a day habit.