Monday, July 16, 2001

My dad drove me to school my freshman year of high school. He’s the owner and president of LaDuke Roofing Co. and has been for maybe the last 15 years. He’s, ever since, made it a habit to be at work at 7am every day so I had to be up and ready at 6:30am. No matter I felt about him at 6:45am when I opened the door, I had to say goodbye. Even if we had the biggest argument the night before, I had to say it. It sounds trivial yes, but my dad considered “bye” as an expression of gratitude for the effort he didn’t have to make every morning.

I could never fully understand where he was stemming from until this last weekend. I drove three of my friends up north for a long relaxing weekend away from home. Even though it was quite a distance to travel and my truck gets anything but good gas mileage, I’ll never ask for gas money. My truck is expensive and I figure if I agree to drive, I should be able to handle the bills myself. It occurred to me on the way there, that I had stumbled upon the source of my dad’s insistence upon saying “bye”. Like to my dad, I consider the offer to cover the cost of a tank of gas tantamount to gratitude in taking my truck. It sounds ridiculously frivolous but it makes me feel appreciated for the 8 and a half hours I drove both there and back. It’s difficult to explain because I don’t want to seem like I’m gluttonous but sometimes I feel like I’m taken for granted without the offer on the table. More than likely I won’t take it but the mere offer tells me that that person recognizes the time, effort and money it takes to drive such a distance.

I don’t know-am I wrong for feeling this way? I guess I’m just used to turning my old college roommate down for the 150-mile drive to school in Kzoo. But I guess people grow up with different fathers and different lessons and I shouldn’t be upset over such a trivial aspect of going on vacation. I should just be glad I was able spend the weekend with my friends.

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