It is amazing how much of an effect our parents have on our lives.  Oftentimes in focus groups I hear statements such as:
  • “I use this detergent because that is what my mother always used.”
  •  “My grandmother had the best skin and this moisturizer was part of her ritual so I use it as well.”
  •   “My father always drank his coffee black so that is how I drink it.”
Today, on the 15th anniversary of my 21st birthday, I was reminded that we don’t just take on our parent’s product preferences; we eventually become our parents.
It was an innocent enough situation; I was watching my kids at our swimming club when I noticed there was another child splashing water outside of the pool.  It bothered me that he was doing this because the water was going everywhere and getting my canvas beach bag wet.  After a few minutes I could not take it anymore and blurted out, “Hey kid, keep some water in the pool will ya!”
It was as if I had an out of body experience the moment these words left my lips.  I could see myself looking at my father and saying, “The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but a learner, now I am the master.”
The kid stopped splashing and swam to the other side of the pool; apparently, there weren’t any crotchety 36 year olds on the opposite end.
I then realized that I have become my father in other ways.  First off, the obvious; I have a bald spot right where his is.  Secondly, I make up my own swear words when someone cuts me off while driving (the other day I heard my daughter ask my mom what a douchemaster is).  While I have not yet worn black socks with shorts in public, I have gone out to the mailbox wearing my boxer shorts to grab the morning paper.
Perhaps now that I am conscious of this transformation I can stop the inevitable from happening such as:
  • Forcing my children to leave church early on a Saturday afternoon so I can watch the end of a golf tournament
  • Making my teenage kids bend down a bit while at the movie theater to get them in at the 12 and under rate
  • Drenching my salad in so much oil and cheese to the point where it loses any nutritional value that may have existed
If any of you are wondering what in the name of God I was doing at the pool on a Monday afternoon, go back and read my prior post on procrastination and the answer will be simple.  I have a report to write!