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What NOT To Inherit From Your Dad

You may have written a sappy Father’s Day card in June, but it’s August now.

Your dad’s the best obviously, but… er, come to think of it, is he?

Let’s say you’ve got complementary skillsets.

Your dad is really knowledgeable about WWII planes, what to store in an atomic shelter or how to kill a deer in one shot.

He’s never changed a diaper or cooked an egg… or bothered to come to that school party to watch your children destroy an already watered-down version of The Wizard of Oz. Not only do you have to show up, but you’ve got to be convincingly happy and proud. God, in such moments… you envy your father’s old-school cool.

You can count on one hand the number of times he’s said he loves you… when one of your grandparents just died. Plus that time he left you at the boarding school gates… although that one might have been more about the joy of having the all weekend to himself at the golf club.

When it comes to Christmas, he favours the last minute duty-free purchase on the return leg of a business trip. Which means cheap cologne for your mum, Brazilian Cachaça and a dodgy pair of cufflinks with golf-clubs on them for you. It’s not that you’re ungrateful, but it’s hard to look pleased when you know that the PanAm Quartz watch wasn’t given to him by the aircraft captain. The deadpan delivery was convincing, but he did overestimate your credulity. You’d never seen him drive anything other than an automatic estate car–and he expects you to believe he stepped in to replace a sick co-pilot? You nodded, not to validate the story but to take what there was to take: the lesson he’d given you despite himself. The ability to tell a lie while showing great care. In some weird way, how to love.

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