“I moustache you a question, but I’ll shave it for later.”
Whoever said clothes make the man never met DooDaddy. Because it’s all about the whiskers.
My father has long been known for his elegant mustache, which he has proudly worn since the seventies (when they were in) and into other decades (when they were out). And now, as every millennial mixologist can tell you, facial hair is decidedly debonair again.
So DooDaddy is on trend with his newly grown goatee. Apparently all the geezers were doing it out at The Home, so the Doo jumped on the bandwagon, and now he’s rockin’ the goat. Besides, it hides his wattle.
I think it’s emblematic of a new era. DooDaddy finally got a chic new recliner (in latte leather, no less) for his living room. And he’s started playing Thursday Night Live Team Trivia at Shannondale, in addition to his Friday bridge foursome and 3X weekly exercise class. Add to that Saturday morning Bible study and Sunday church, and you’ve got a pretty full schedule. It’s a lot to work in around napping. And apparently the new recliner is better than Ambien for inducing coma-like sleep. In fact, DooDaddy has, more than once, almost slept through mealtimes, which are not to be missed at The Home. In fact, if you miss breakfast without calling in, it’s a serious offense – like missing roll call at boot camp. Besides, it’s the only way they can make sure you didn’t die in your sleep.
We’ve had some health scares since Gmamma died, but mostly my father has found his rhythm. The new normal.
A friend told me recently that what he most remembers about my dad is that he always had a smile on his face. Made you feel good to see him. Because he was genuinely glad to see you. Dad loves people and hearing their stories and making them feel special just by listening. He is genuinely interested in a way most people aren’t. He doesn’t text while you talk, although he may accidentally nod off. Don’t take it personally. Blame it on the recliner. Believe me, DooDaddy is hanging on your every word.
As a lifelong introvert, I find my father’s stamina for human contact remarkable. He actually ages in reverse when he’s engrossed in conversation. The years fall away like dead leaves. His eyes light up, and his ability to recall relevant details to contribute is amplified. It’s like a geezer superpower. And it’s as refreshing as manna in the desert, because most people don’t actually listen; they only wait for their turn to talk. They’re already planning their replies before you finish speaking.
DooDaddy is a dying breed of true conversationalists, who are fully engaged in what other people are saying. Even if they’re repeating themselves and telling the same anecdotes over and over, as some of his fellow residents at Shannondale are prone to do.
So the goatee is a new look for a new chapter. But the Book of DooDaddy is still the same story of How to Make Other People Feel Special. It’s my father’s gift to the world.