Things my dad told me…

When I was growing up my dad said:
  1. Eat that, it will put hair on your chest.
  2. Are you wearing perfume, you smell like a $2 hooker.
  3. I wonder what those poor bastards on shore are doing?  (when we sailed away from a harbor.)
  4. Get a degree in computer programming.  It’s the future.  (1977 to my sister, but I wish I had listened to him.  I got a degree in English Lit.)
  5. Children are to be seen and not heard.
  6. I used to swim with bow legged women.

My father had three daughters.  He expected all of us to go to college.  He expected us to work when we graduated.  He didn’t say that, but it was planned for.  What do you want to do when you grow up, where do you want to go to college were conversations.

It wasn’t until I graduated from college in 1988 that I realized that this was not a normal expectation.

He didn’t treat us as girls, but neither did he treat us as though he wished we were boys.

I don’t think he ever said anything that made me feel I was limited in my options by gender roles.

7 thoughts on “Things my dad told me…

  1. I’m from a slightly earlier generation and male as well, but I was raised in a similar way. On the farm everyone was equal partners. We all were expected to do the same chores, do the same jobs. My mother was an equal partner in the farm. In the era before spouses legally shared property, my father went to great lengths to make sure that her name was on the bank accounts, property deeds, etc. along with hers to make sure she had legal rights to the property, etc.

    It wasn’t until I got into college in 1971 that I learned that this wasn’t common and I began to realize what sexism is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he was. I knew it was a sailor limerick, but not that it was associated with a particular time. That’s interesting. He was on his way to Korea when it ended.


      1. I used to work with a former Navy guy and he had many sayings for his role in Accounting. I will try and keep these clean.

        When he wanted people to be forthcoming with their financials, he would hope “they would open the kimonos.”

        When something was screwed up, he would call it a SNAFU, which is more commonplace.

        A WAG is a a Wild Ass Guess. A SWAG is a Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess.

        A more colorful one is “It was so cold, it could freeze the balls of a brass monkey.” This alluded to the stack of cannon balls that would roll off a device to hold them called a brass monkey when it got cold.

        Finally, my Dad is a member of the Blue Nose society for being aboard ship when it crossed into the Arctic Circle. He for a card which was distributed for morale purposes. Do you have any you can remember?


      2. My father was fond of the limerick and did use SNAFU. I think he liked the bow legged women one because my mother would always stop him from finishing it. I never did hear it end.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You helped me remember a story. I grew up in Jacksonville which has a couple of naval stations. A friend told me he went with a shipmate to his girlfriend parents’ house while on shore leave. At the dinner table, with her little sisters present, he asked for one to pass the peas like they do on ship, “Could you pass the fking peas?” When the room went quiet, the Dad (who was former Navy) said, “You heard him, pass the fking peas.” It diffused a tense situation, which the sailors thanked him for afterwards and apologized profusely.


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