March 25, 2005


my father is a reserved, organized kind of guy. he arrives early for everything, researches all purchases over $100 extensively, and sends all manner of forms in on time. fortunately, some of it has even rubbed off on me, but i’m not even in the same league as my father when it comes to handling the little technicalities of life. nobody is. he is working on a whole other level compared to us mortals. he should have his own line of desktop calendars and sticky notes.

he’s a hospital chemist, one of the guys in pathology who runs blood tests, fixes the testing machines when they break down and so on. in college, he got an a in organic chemistry. you know, the class that everyone fails because it’s about memorizing molecule types and figuring out countless reactions that are completely abstract and unfamiliar. hobby?: cooking. chemistry with food. always having the correctly sized bowls, remembering to wipe down a cutting board after raw meat was on it, rigging up sauces with different ingredients because he can predict what the combinations will taste like.

even though my father seems very well suited for his job, i sometimes think that the world could be better using his talents in other ways. air traffic controller, city planner, etc. he could easily be a senator, but he would be an old-school one with no aides who does everything himself and sleeps like 3 hours a day.

if bill-paying, direction-finding, calendar-making, phone number-remembering, and punctuality were olympic sports he would have a neatly marked bin of medals that he always kept in the same drawer.

and the best thing is that talking to him you would have no clue that he was this super-organized robot of a person. he wears cheap shirts, takes awkward pauses, sometimes talks too loudly, and doesn’t project that breezy confidence that most of those 7-habits-of-highly-effective-people people use to stick it to the rest of us. my dad isn’t sticking it to anyone, unless the it is a post-it note, and the anyone is his microwave.

which is why it was so funny when he accidentally treated a few of us like post-its one night. when asked how he managed to eat only several chocolates a day from a recent gift-box he replied simply, without any hint of conceit or smugness, “i have self-control.” awkward pause. and he does.