masters of the universe vs. toronto maple leafs
April 15, 2009, 4:11 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , ,

i know my dad loves me. i have no doubt about that. he is a special man who has always been there and done whatever it took to provide for his family. i’m proud to be his son, and proud that many say i’m just like him, which is just another way of saying i have lame jokes and smoked too much weed when i was a teenager. he still denies that he ever did…i haven’t decided whether i believe him or not. i saw those high school pictures, dad. you can’t fool me.

there was nothing quite so amazing to me when i was a kid as the cartoon “masters of the universe”. i don’t remember much of it now. just some dude wearing a loincloth with a giant sword. i wanted to dress like him, but mom said i would get kicked out of school. i still think it would have helped me with the ladies. and trust me, i needed help. my skill was, to say the least, lacking (read here). to this day, i have never tried the loincloth and sword idea. i think i should call up johnny depp and ask him to do it, because then it would be cool. if i did it, i would just get fired. but if he started it, i would just be following the trends. since i have him on speed dial, it shouldn’t be a problem…

hockey playoffs are life and death situations in the roberts family. and so came the night when masters of the universe conflicted with the worst abomination to walk the face of the planet…the toronto maple leafs. i don’t know why i’m telling you who it was, i’m sure you all know they are uglier than sin. while i didn’t know this scientific fact at the age of 7, something inside of me must have sensed it, because i knew masters of the universe was way better than some stupid hockey game. so every time my dad would sit down, i ran to the tv and changed the channel. i pretended it was a joke at first, because i hoped he would give in without me having to beg. but my stubbornness came from somewhere, and it was then i realized it was him. it was a showdown like no other. 

father vs. son. HE-MAN vs. toronto wussy leafs. 7 yr old vs 32 yr old. it all came down to this moment. dad firmly said as calmly as can be, “son, please quit changing the channel. i really want to watch this game.” would i give in? would i fall flat on my face in defeat the way the toronto maple leafs do every single year (did i mention i enjoy that?)? would i crawl in bed and be the bigger man. of course not. i pushed my luck. dad got up to go to the bathroom. i turned it to the real deal. when he came back, eye contact was made and frustration was obvious. and he walked away. he gave me what i wanted. he gave up. he gave up something important to him so i could do something trivial. i felt really guilty. i tried to convince him to turn it back to the game, but he wouldn’t. he just sat with me and watched masters of the universe. i felt pretty low. i thought victory was supposed to be sweet. but it tasted stale and empty. but i knew my dad loved me. i’m sure i knew on some level before. but in this moment, dad let me win in a meaningless fight. if the stakes were higher and i was doing something destructive, he would have loved me enough to not let me win. but in crappy hockey vs. crappy cartoon fight, he knew that i was more important.

as hockey playoffs start tomorrow, and i understand now how important it was then to my father, i hope i can have the same grace when my daughter switches from the Canadiens game to Dora. i hope i love my daughter enough to let her win the meaningless fights. i know i will. because my dad did it for me. and that’s what dad’s do. they let their kids win because they love them. thanks for loving me enough to let me win, dad. if only they loved me a little more to let me wear the loincloth, i would have been set, but i guess their hearts just aren’t that big. 

and p.s. i’m not as good as my dad. i’m just lucky enough to have a lap top to let her watch Dora on, so i don’t have to be as giving as he was. sucker…love you, dad.

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