I know it’s a bit late to say Happy Father’s Day but before this month is over, I would like to share with the world what the only man I ever said “I need” means to me. He is my father.
According to my mother, my father and I share the same characters. We are fiery, sensitive, highly particular about our possessions, artistic, penny-pinchers, young at heart and stubborn.
Needless to say, in my tweens, late teens and early 20s, our relationship had been the rockiest with me rebelling against his ideal mould of what his daughter should be. The old man had high, high hopes for me. I was the only one of his child whom he nurtured since I was in the womb. He gave my mother holistic medicine/nutrition for bright child development and later direct to me. I was able to read by age 5 before I even joined kindergarten.
My father was never too happy over the fact that I was into hard rock and heavy metal music at such young age. To him, it was all noise from drug-infested gender-confused creatures. Like I cared what he thought….hah!
I wanted so much to wear jeans and T-shirt yet he bought me only skirts and dresses. I wanted a radio with a cassette player when I got good marks in class yet he bought me a gold necklace so I’d be on par with other people’s daughters. I wanted a series of Enid Blyton books when he bought me a history book on the lives of holy Prophets. He thought brown and beige are the ultimate colours that I ended up the dullest dressed student at boarding school. Thanks to my auntie, I had a pair of hand-me-down pink shoes which made me feel like Cinderella (I might not have the nicest clothes but nobody could beat my shoes!).
The friction between me and my old man peaked in my uni years when I totally lost it trying to follow his mould. Yes, it was a bad episode but now I think he finally understands that I’m as free-spirited as he is yet matured and sensible enough to set my own values which surprisingly still on the conservative ground.
Over the years when I look back, I ‘ve come to realize that even with my rebelliousness, he has always been there for me whenever I fall.
He fixes my little mishaps.
When my Russicher Zupfkuchen burned like toast from trying to use instant cheese powder…….
............ he rebaked the disaster to this edible Marble Cake.
My car was HIS find. It had everything I wanted. Compact size, 1.0 engine, cool accessories, huge sounds, the best-looking exhaust and the paint was what I wanted too.
He taught me the importance of personal financing and living within your own means when he caught me cheating MYR60 out of my school fees at age 16.
He taught me that a woman’s body is a precious treasure to be guarded at all times. To these days, I will never wear sleeveless stuff outside our home or wear waist-length tops with tight-fitting jeans. Ditto for see-through clothes!
He thinks that children need not be banned from watching TVs because he himself finds a lot of wonders and windows to the world outside he’ll never reach otherwise through TV. Sure, like any conservative father, he thinks violence comes from TV but to him that’s a matter of controlling your kids not banning the TV from them.
He counts his kids at home when it’s midnight to make sure we are all safe and sound under his roof. He’ll go at ay length to find any of us missing from home after midnight. Though he never set a curfew for us, that’s somehow understandably it to us. Subconsciously, I live to that curfew even when I’m away from home. If I have to be late, I’ll always inform somebody at home.
We have never been rich but he taught us that if we are sincere in the job that we do, the reward will come to us on its own maybe not in cash but a pleasant life. I think he’s right because for all I know, we have never been hungry or unable to pay any bills. We have a home even stray cats like to call home, cars, nice food. Puzzling how he didn’t understand back then how I wasn’t blinded by gold or anything that glitters.
I never attended my own graduation at the university because I didn't have any money. My father arranged a private graduation for me at the photo studio attended by.....well....us...the family.
For all his conservativeness and despite his own marriage in an arranged setting, my father made his wedding as special for my mother as it would be for any other couple. He wrote her love letters (he loves poetry). He prepared the bridal gifts for her and even took her on honeymoon which he preserved in a wedding album.
The most important thing however, he would never meddle in his children’s personal lives in the matter of the heart. He says that ‘Life partner choice must be left to one’s own for you can’t force love.’
I’m glad because I know that even if I come home with a long-haired rocker as my hubby-to-be, he might still give me his blessings.
All my friends know me as the one who doesn’t really need a man but if there’s one man I can say I need…....he would be my father.