Thursday, December 30, 2004

Control Freak or Student of Life?

Remember back in the day when gas stations would pump the gasoline for you? Well my Father would be outside of the vehicle dutifully watching over the attendant. I mean like a hawk. I would ask my Dad what exactly he was watching for when he finally got back into the car? He would always say, I always try to learn new things. Well one would think that by the time self service gas stations came around he’d be an expert at pumping it. Not so much.

Then there'd be the heating and air repair tech making the bi-annual visit to service the furnace and compressor. My Dad would be right there in the guy's workspace usually in his way. My Dad is quite charming so it makes perfect sense that he is able to shadow anyone who appears at the house for repair duties. He explains how he is a student of life and he lives to learn new stuff. How can you argue with that?

When it was time for me to move out of the house, my Dad decided to give me a quick lesson on the inner workings of a car. Being a physician he tends to relate all his lessons around the human body. So he would label the parts of the engine after the parts of the body. You mean you didn't get this same lesson?? Battery = the heart, radiator = lungs, carburetor = liver and so on.

As he gets older, it's more about lack of trust versus wanting control over all things. We try to schedule repair visits when Dad is not home. It seems this new generation does not find my Father's quest for enlightenment all that charming. We tried to hire a teen to mow the lawn so that my 78 year old Father doesn't have to deal with that especially in the hot summer. As you may have guessed after about the second time he went out to learn how the kid's lawnmower functioned, we never saw the young man again. I am pretty sure the Jiffy Lube Team specifically added the "no more standing with us in the service bay" clause to keep him from his thirst for knowledge.

So for all those service related people that will eventually meet my Father, please be kind to your elder.

1 comment:

HotForSimon said...

Battery = the heart, radiator = lungs, carburetor = liver and so on.Nope...never got this lesson. Dad used to rebuild carburetors on the coffee table in the living room, so if I REALLY wanted to know, I could have had him show me.

I never had that urge. LOL