Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nature and Nurture Trump Nitwits

When driving, I mutter and mumble about other drivers' lack of skills and use an antiquated vocabulary particular to people who grew up in a certain place and time. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," pops out of my mouth most often.  "Nitwit," the ultimate insult, is reserved for the person who cuts across four lanes of traffic without signaling.

I prefer to watch televised sports with the sound muted, Why? Some broadcasters are nitwits.

A cardigan sweater is a wardrobe staple.

The quintessential summer cocktail is a gin and tonic. I'd never make one for myself, though, and wouldn't ask my husband to make one for me. The world's best G&T is made by a particular individual. 

The ultimate accolade for a restaurant, cafe, or bar is to call it "a good stop." 

Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast food.

The best family vacations involve water: a lake, a pool, or the Jersey Shore.

When forecasters predict a storm, I make sure I have at least half a tank of gas in my car. If I have less, I drive to the station and fill 'er up. 

The list above shows the influence of my dad, Joe O'Dea. His greatest gift may be that I, deep down, believe I'm his favorite--and my sisters and brother would say the same about themselves. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad!


Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Aw, your dad looks like a sweetheart. I love dads. Well, I love good dads and yours sounds like a good one. I'm pretty sure you're his favorite.

Yes, nitwit is the perfect word to use while driving amongst idiots. Although my language is a bit more colorful and sometimes accompanied by hand gestures. (Did I just confess to that?)

Happy father's day to all the dads everywhere And yes, my friend we shall have to meet up at an RWA conference and complain about the crowds and be cranky together. Although, as President of my local chapter, I can't be too vocal with my complaining. Have to set a good example and all of that. But hey, that's what bars are for. I'll meet you in San Antonio in 2014 and we'll have a gin and tonic that neither of us has to make ourselves.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Coleen Patrick said...

What a lovely post, Pat. And I agree with Patricia, your dad looks like a sweetheart.
Nitwit reminds me of one of the words my dad would call someone he thought was behaving in a less than smart way, "Boob." To me and my siblings it was the funniest (and strangest at the time) word to call someone. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

You're lucky to still have your Dad. Hope he and your husband both have a Happy Father's Day.

When I read your comment about using an expression particular of people who grew up in in a "certain place and time" I thought immediately of the 1968 Television show, Rowan & Martin's "Laugh-In".

Some of the skits in the show just consisted of rapid-fire one-liners and if you remember (and I'm sure you do), the great actress and comedienne JoAnne Worley would always take umbrage if she thought that someone was indirectly making a "chicken joke".

I don't know, Pat - were you indirectly making a "chicken joke" about NJ people back in 1968? I guess JMJ would be appropiate for EOCH though, wouldn't it?

And in some ways 1968 wasn't that bad a year, was it?

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia!
I'll be at RWA San Antonio, and you're on for that G&T. Don't worry, I won't be complaining about fellow RWA members. It is, after all, a high-quality group. Oh, but the quantity makes me cranky.

Congrats, Mme President! Aren't your chapter members smart to have elected you!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Coleen,
I seem to recall my dad saying "boob," too, and that was back when the word didn't mean anything but nitwit.

My dad IS a sweetheart, but look at his face. Would you make up a story about missing the last bus or forgetting where you parked a car to explain lateness to that man? Me neither. That eyebrow of his is already quirked up. I didn't get away with anything.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick,
I try to avoid jokes about NJ. It and Texas are easy to poke fun at, but both are more interesting and diverse than the stereotypes.

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph" is my dad's expression. Since he taught me how to drive, I picked up his behind-the-wheel expressions, too.

I AM lucky to have him.

As for EOCH and 1968, do I know you? If so, please introduce yourself. I haven't lived in NJ for more than 30 years and have lost touch with people and places.

If you know EOCH, East Orange Catholic High School, you know it's no more. What a loss! It was a wonderful school.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

I didn't mean to alarm you - I don't know EOCHS but somehow I know that it unfortunately closed a few years ago - always sad when a HS closes, hope you have good memories from your HS years.

I suffer from HSAM and 1968 was an important year in my life and I thought you might also remember that year too - but maybe you don't.

I think we all have one year in our lives that has special meaning for us. I guess in my case it was 1968.

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

HI again, Patrick,
I had to Google HSAM and learned it's Highly Superautobiographical Memory. I remember the "60 Minutes" feature about people who have it, including the actress Marilu Henner. How are you coping with HSAM?

Anonymous said...

Hi (again, again) Pat,

Good question: "How do you cope with HSAM?". With difficulty, can you imagine remembering everything in your life?

I'm aware of Marilu Henner's claims of having HSAM - she's been married 3 times and I wonder why she didn't remember what went wrong the first two times, especially since marriage is certainly an autobiographical event, isn't it?

A few years ago when I was on that horrible Facebook for a short period of time the computer suggested that I friend someone who I went to the same college with (I started college in 1968).

Well, I knew immediately who he was - we had one conversation, on a Thursday night, the 12th of September 1968 at 6:00 p.m. outside the main Administration building of the college and the sky was overcast for early September.

Never saw or spoke to him again over the next 4 years.

Now, do you suppose if I contacted him to be my "friend" he would have the slightest idea about that conversation almost 45 years ago or who in the world I was?

My experience in life is that most people don't remember us - not because they're bad people - memories (including those with HSAM) are often faulty and play tricks on us.

I've run into people from my life at airports and hotels all over the world and when I approached them they never remembered me - yes, they confirmed everything I said and were always most gracious, but no, they really didn't know who I was.

So now when I see someone I once knew I don't approach them - just to avoid them the unnecessary embarrasement (sp). That's the downside of HSAM. The upside is there a lots of good memories too.

Well, that was mouthfull - Keep up your work on your blog, I enjoy reading it.

- Patrick

Sheila Seabrook said...

I'm still laughing over all the similarities between you and your dad, Pat. Happy Father's Day to your dad!

Lynette M. Burrows said...

I love that you and your siblings think you each are your dad's favorite! I definitely did not get my potty mouth from my father, though I may be guilty of a similar temper. :/ I hope you and your family have a fabulous Father's Day.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi Sheila,
I thought of your father on Father's Day, and I imagined him reading your stories and chuckling/wiping away a tear/saying "awww."

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

You? Possessor of a potty mouth? Say it ain't so, Lynette.

Seriously, in your line of work, swearing is a necessary tension-reliever.