Translating for My Dad

When I was seventeen and remarked that I probably wasn’t as smart as I thought I was and he replied: “Probably not.”

What this means: No matter how smart you are there is always room for improvement.

When I was six and asked him whether he would cry if I died and he said: “Probably not, but I would be very sad.”

What this means: Stoicism is a fascinating form of philosophy. It is one of my favorite topics. I think it is time that I teach you about the Stoics.

When I asked him to read a story I had written and he said “You’ll have to be prepared for me to be honest about it if I read it.”

What this means: I think you are ready to be treated as an adult. Plus, I totally approve of your haircut.

When I told my father that I was suffering from severe allergies and his response was: “You need to kill that cat”

What this means: I hope you take every step necessary to achieve your goals. You make good choices regarding your interpersonal relationships.


Appendix A.

“You need to take out your lip ring to get a job.” = I celebrate your individuality.

“I hate Roy.” = I’m impressed that you’ve stopped locking your keys in your car.

“If I were you, I’d just wear those pants to the party.” = I am proud of the adult you have become.


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