Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Lessons

Yesterday, my sister and I arrived at Patsy’s at just about 4 p.m. and were seated at a table for four. Our “’rents,” we knew, were on their way. Daddy loves Italian food and, since we’d had a nice family dinner there back in January, we chose it again, this time for Father’s Day. However, before we even opened the menus, we realized that the music was pounding so loudly we could barely hear ourselves and, despite the heat and humidity, the windows were wide open to the city's summer steam, and we were already schvitzing. Knowing our parents all too well, Amy and I made an executive decision to leave and, when my father pulled up in front to let my mother out, we jumped into the car instead.

And so off we went to Piola, another Italian place where Amy, Ian and I had enjoyed a nice lunch after seeing Up a few weeks ago. Negotiating the few blocks effortlessly, my father dropped us off before going in search of parking. Unfortunately, only once we were inside and seated did the rest of us learn that some whoop-de-doo soccer tournament was underway and the restaurant was broadcasting the game live and at incredibly high volume.

So yet again we changed venues. This time, unable to reach my father (of course his cell phone was off), my mother and sister jumped in a cab and headed to The Cottage while I waited for him in front of Piola so we could walk the few blocks to 16th and Irving together. Finally, at nearly 5 p.m., an hour after our fisaco began, we found ourselves seated together at a table – albeit in a Chinese not an Italian restaurant -- where at long last we could hear ourselves and each other.

After the scallion pancakes and chicken dumpling appetizers (delish!), Amy and I gave Daddy his gift, a book we’d carefully selected for the infectious disease guru. Good thing we’d gotten a gift receipt, though, because, despite my mother’s assurances that he hadn’t, my father had indeed already bought it and read it.

No matter…we Hermans went on to enjoy a delightful Father’s Day meal with lots of laughing, schmoozing, togetherness and fortune cookies -- not tiramisu -- for dessert! But after all, isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about?