Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dad Goes To Bat

photo from

My stepfather married my mother when I was eleven. He's been a part of our family for over thirty years now, and I call him Dad.

When I was entering my freshman year in high school, I was hit squarely in the face by a gender injustice, the first one since I'd wanted to play little league baseball. It seems that when everyone chose their electives for that year, a lot more students chose to take Industrial Arts than Home Economics. Well, the school decided since they couldn't give everyone what they'd asked for, they'd just assign the boys to I.A. and the girls to Home Ec. I was furious. I went home that day and told my parents what had happened.

The next day my dad was in the principals office. He said, "Why on earth would you put the boys in IA and the girls in Home Ec.?" The principal explained that that was the way things used to be, so they decided to just do that again to solve the over crowding issue.

dad: "If you have too many students in an English class what do you do?" "Throw out the girls?"

principal: "Well, that's not the same thing."

dad: "What's different about it?"

principal: "Boy's are more naturally inclined to IA, and girls to Home Ec."

dad: "Oh really. My daughter shingled the entire roof of our house last summer, by herself, cedar shakes on a gambrel roof! Show me one boy more qualified to take that class."

After dad's visit, they changed the resolution. Now every student had to take half a year of each class. Go dad!

Recently he said something else that made me really proud. He said his receptionist had advertised for a roommate because the price of heating oil was killing her.

Suzanne: I found a roommate!

dad: that's great, how much are you getting?

Suzanne: I'm getting $525.00

dad: Do you think that's enough?

Suzanne: Oh yeah, it's fine. I might have a problem though?

dad: What's that?

Suzanne: I think she's gay.

dad: Well.. Are you gay?

Suzanne: No

dad: Then you've got nothing to worry about.

That's my dad. He rocks!


Anonymous said...

Hhehhhehheeeee, is he Irish?

There were only four girls at our school who elected Metalwork and I came first in Woodwork which was HUGE for a girl. That was a very long time ago ... My boys are excellent daily cooks and I fix all the electronics they break ;)

citizen of the world said...

Fantastic, both those things.

In my school, all 8th grade girls took Home Ec, all boys took shop. I didn't like it but I was not especially bothered until the quarter we did sewing and we were required to make a skirt and then model it for the school! I never wore skirts to school and was humiliated.

RED MOJO said...

anon, That's great! You aren't very girly! That's a compliment. I won an award in high school for being the best in drafting. The first girl to win.

cit, I loathe sewing, and I hated taking Home Ec. We got to choose a project, so I sewed an apron for my grandmother. The home ec. teacher said it was the worst thing she'd ever seen!

Slip said...

My oldest son does all the meal prep at his house, my daughter-in-law thanks my wife all the time for teaching him how to be a domestic engineer. Nice girl, produced wonderful grand children, but don't eat her cooking.
One question:Would it have been a problem if Suzanne was gay?

RED MOJO said...

slip, I think he meant that it could potentially complicate things down the road, not that it would, but that would be the only reason to factor that in.

citizen of the world said...

Tagged! But if I know you you already know that!

Wieneke said...

What a wonderful man! My sincere congratulations to you to have such a father. 'Step' is not important, it is the man who count. I see no difference in technical girls and boys, but fact is that here in the Netherlands there is a problem for employers to get technical skilled people like e.g. plummers and carpenters. The good schools are there, but it seems that the children have not interest in this kind of work. They all want to work with computers and in offices. Bad situation.

Tinder said...


charlotta-love said...

Way to go Dad!

Jack said...

I get everyone else to do all the Industrial Arts and Home Economics! Don't want no boy or girl in MY Castle but have a girl outside. Still don't know if I'm a boy or girl but I'm beautiful and KING! Your Dad should work for me ...

RED MOJO said...

Jack, You are living the good life my friend! Happy Birthday!

Benjamin Boudreau said...

Gay-friendly Dads are so underrated. No - not just gay-friendly, but overall supportive and wonderful human being Dads are underrated. You better rock his world on Fathers' Day or I'll do it for you. In a non creepy way despite how that sounds.

RED MOJO said...

cit, I know now.

tinder, perfect.

charlotta-love, Yep!

benjamin, LOL I get what you mean, and I'm still laughing!

VE said...

Great Story. Sounds like your Dad took matters into his own hands and made a difference. It's good to read stories like this...

Dorky Dad said...

YOU SHINGLED A ROOF? Cool. I'm totally calling you the day my roof leaks.

Dorky Dad said...

By the way, my sister was an auto mechanic. Before that she was a network administrator and somewhere in there she connected cable TV. Whenever I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my car, I called her.

jello said...

what a cool dad! i totally agree that everyone should be able to choose what kinds of electives they want. and well...after taking home-ec in 8th grade and having to model that god-awful skirt i made i knew it wasn't my calling for sure!

RED MOJO said...

ve, thanks. I like telling them occassionally, but prefer being funny.

dorky dad, yes, more than one now, but after the last one, I said NO MORE! It hurts! Your sister sounds cool.

jello, hello. Welcome, and I'm sorry about the sewing thing. I feel the same way.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Your dad does rock!

I was a victim of sex discrimination in junior high and had to take Home Ec, half a year of cooking and half sewing.

I sewed the bottom of my flannel nightgown project closed and had to sneak it home for my mother to fix, and during cooking class I broke into a box of shredded coconut and sat in the back scarfing it down.

I resented every minute of that class.

Debra Kay said...

Highlights from home ec-Rolling the biscuits across the floor to explode them. I think I may have tried to sew a hat, but never finished it. What was really ironic is that I could a did crochet, but that wasn't a part of the curriculum, so I couldn't get credit for it.

We had to rotate Home Ec and Drafting-I designed a horse stable instead of a house and got a low grade. Hmmm, 7th grade was not a very good year come to think of it.

TheWeyrd1 said...

awwwwwwww...that's great! I wish my dad were still here. He was cool in a different kind of way (not the charge into the high school type) but there for ya when you have questions about life.

RED MOJO said...

heartinsanfrancisco, Sewed the button shut! That's a good one. I used to throw the plastic grapes at people when no one was looking in Home Ec. class, snore.

debra kay, you make exploding biscuits?

theweyrd1, I think a cool dad in any way is good. I'm sorry about your dad. It's hard, I lost my first one when I was 13.