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It's the little things - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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It's the little things [Oct. 5th, 2013|09:18 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |nostalgicnostalgic]
[music |There's Got to be a Morning After]

On an Amtrak racing from somewhere to somewhere right now (this is life at 100mph) and noticing they have really fancy napkins with the Amtrak logo on them. This is the sort of thing that my dad would bring home for me when I was a kid and he went somewhere.

I remember once when I was probably in first grade, he and my mom went out to dinner and a movie, my sister and I had a babysitter. Our babysitter's name was Tim and he was awesome. He had curly hair and he was in high school. He'd already seen the movie my parents had gone out to see and he told us the whole story, in great detail, making a paper boat, and showing us, as we stared goggle eyed how a giant wave hits the ship, and it rolls upside down -- trapping the survivors who must then climb down to the bottom of the ship, which is really up -- through upside down rooms, up upside down staircases, past upside down dead people and right side up fire to try and escape.

It hadn't dawned on me yet that movies got shown over and over. We couldn't fathom how Tim knew all this stuff, but it was a great story it mesmerized us.

I remember my dad waking me up when they got home. He'd had some sort of club sandwich at dinner and he saved the little plastic swords that held the bread together and he gave them to me. It was probably ten o'clock at night but it felt like it was the middle of a new world. I'd never seen anything as wonderful as those tiny plastic swords. Or really as wonderful as a guy who'd think to save them for a six year old.

I prefer being an adult, but that night I remember as being something like magic.

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[User Picture]From: eriss
2013-10-06 02:27 am (UTC)
The Poseidon Adventure?
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[User Picture]From: shuttergal
2013-10-06 03:07 am (UTC)
People can be pretty darn wonderful. Yes, this really is Annaliese.
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[User Picture]From: boobirdsfly
2013-10-06 05:00 am (UTC)
Aw that is so sweet!
Sometimes I wonder what small things like that's kid will remember...
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[User Picture]From: calendula_witch
2013-10-06 05:03 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. Thank you. :-)
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[User Picture]From: coffeeem
2013-10-07 03:38 pm (UTC)
And translucent plastic mermaids designed to hook over the edge of the glass with their tails in your drink. When my parents went to Pearl Lake Supper Club for dinner, or when my dad took clients to dinner there, I got mermaids.

I wish now I'd thought to stage duels: monkeys against mermaids, both armed with swords.
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[User Picture]From: pickleboot
2013-10-06 07:44 am (UTC)
my parents would bring back little gifts like that as well. something small, like a gum ball, or a toy from one of those machines, one of the plastic swords, a neat swizzle stick, fancy chop sticks, give away bento boxes, and always some sort of garnish for the guinea pigs. it seemed so neat, those little gifts.
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[User Picture]From: mizkit
2013-10-06 08:50 am (UTC)
Saved them for you and woke you up to give them to you late at night. What a brave man. :)
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[User Picture]From: russtycat
2013-10-06 10:24 am (UTC)
Your father sounds like he was a great dad. This reminded me of a time when my father took me all by myself without my three brothers to a swap meet. I remember he held my hand as we walked and bought me a little stuffed monkey that had velcro hands. My dad was a very quiet man who I didn't know very well, so it seemed like a very special day that he would take me some place all on my own.
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2013-10-06 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oma would bring me the little paper-wrapped sugar cubes German restaurants kept on the table for coffee. Grampy would sometimes send us a letter on hotel stationary. When my dad started traveling to Texas a lot in the 80s, I'd joke "bring me back an armadillo" and sometimes, he would. One that could grip my pen, another lovely stuffed animal. I still have the t-shirt with an armadillo on the front and the back.

Magic happens all the time. It's nice to look back and appreciate it.
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[User Picture]From: kimberlogic
2013-10-06 04:50 pm (UTC)
I loved this - thanks for sharing it
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[User Picture]From: indigo_spice
2013-10-07 01:26 am (UTC)
My mom and I send each other the "sickness" bags from planes as tokens of our travels. We also take the stationary from hotels and send each other letters. I love getting stationary and envelopes from Thailand or Nepal. You're right, it is the little things.
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[User Picture]From: coffeeem
2013-10-07 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you--this really brought back memories of my dad.

He was a salesman for a company that made grinding equipment and abrasives, so he often took clients to dinner. He'd bring me back plastic swords, or (as Lois and I reminisce above) plastic monkeys or mermaids; a pair of tiny basswood boxes with Japanese characters wood-burned into them, from the table of a fancy Japanese restaurant in Chicago; little paper drink umbrellas. He also went to trade shows and returned with show booth swag for me. I still have, and treasure, the tiny all-metal retracting tape measure. And from the factory floor at work, he brought home magnets and ball bearings for me.

I was happy about those things at the time. Now I think about it from his point of view: in the midst of his work, remembering his little girl at home and bringing her a token of that moment. In my dad's generation, men didn't say "I love you" very often, and he was true to that. But I realize now how much he loved, and how much he didn't say out loud.

God, I miss him.
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[User Picture]From: neke
2013-10-07 05:10 pm (UTC)
It´s indeed the little things that count. :)
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[User Picture]From: coffeeem
2013-10-08 10:24 pm (UTC)
YES! Let the dueling commence!
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[User Picture]From: layers_of_eli
2013-10-12 12:51 am (UTC)
I loved reading this post.
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