How My Brain Works vs How My Dad Does Things

Young people scoff at older folk. They think that they know how to do things better. They assume they are more up to date and savvy, especially when it comes to practical and technological things. For example, I always search the Internet for help with any project. I always find what I want—and fast. My dad, by contrast, is of the old school. He uses manuals that have seen better days. He relies on his memory and what his dad taught him. I have to admit that this method usually works well in the long run. After all, he is a well-schooled DIY handyman. Thus, when I needed a new toilet, I first turned to the Web and found a page called Rate My Toilet. I like to select products based on real user testimonials. What does dad know about self-cleaning, auto flush, hands free features, and the like.

I told him about my new quest and every day I had a new report. I liked this version one day and that model another. I couldn’t make up my mind. I printed pages of descriptions and made ample notes. The hunt for a mundane object went on and on. “Let me help you,” he asked seeing my consternation. I dismissed him as old fashioned. He wouldn’t know how to select what is right for me. He would think what I like is too expensive and fancy.

As time went on and I grew stubborn about my long, drawn-out process, he was getting annoyed and stopped talking to me about the new toilet. I had labeled me as indecisive in his mind. Where was the respect! I was on my own swimming in a sea of information. He was right. I couldn’t come down to the final selection. I couldn’t get enough of Internet research. It all got so complicated and became a jumble of options.

When I seemed to be reaching my breaking point, and I was close to failure, my dad called to say that he was coming over in his pickup truck. He usually drives a car to my house. So, I waited and he arrived in about an hour with a brief knock at the door. As I opened it, I saw a white round object in the back of the truck, shining for all it was worth. It was a porcelain throne, as they say, ready for installation in my bathroom. Dad soon had the old one out and stowed on the truck for disposal. Wow. The toilet was so nice. “I got in on sale at the home improvement store,” he beamed. “They had so many in all sizes and prices. And it was quick. I could see them all at once.” I understood the implication about my obsession with the Internet.

The toilet was a beauty, a reasonable purchase, and had all the bells and whistles anyone could want. Okay, dad. I give in. You know your stuff. He didn’t smile smugly, but just wrapped his comforting arms around me with love.