- BIRTH. When I was born my dad wasn't allowed in the birthing suite. He took this a step further and left the hospital.
- NAPPIES. Apparently, in the sixties, nappies couldn't be changed by men. My mother went into hospital to have her tonsils out when I was five, my sister was three and my brother was one. Dad didn't change a single nappy all week. He'd walk my siblings next door so our neighbour lady could deal with it.
- DRINKING. Mum wasn't allowed into the pub. Dad would bring her out a lemonade while she sat in the car. He was a responsible drinker too. Yessiree. Drink driving was firmly frowned upon so Dad always made sure he took the back streets.
- KIDS. I did what I was told. My kids, not so much.
- WIVES. Wives did what they were told.....yeah, I'm not so sure about this one. My mum might have appeared to do what Dad suggested but I'm pretty sure he was only suggesting what she'd suggested, if you know what I mean. My wife? Don't even ask. Sometimes I think she does the opposite of what I suggest, even if it was her suggestion originally, just to show me who's boss.
- DENTISTS. Dad's always been a stickler for regular check ups. Every twenty years, whether he needs it or not, he gets a check up. When I was fourteen, despite my solid argument it was six years too early, he sent me for a check up. The dentist took one look at my surname and burst out in hysterics. Seems my father was the only patient he'd ever had to bring in an anesthetist for a few simple fillings. I did ask if this was still an option but it wasn't.
- FOOD. My Nanna had seven meals she'd work her way through every week. If it was Sunday, you ate roast. If it was Monday, you had cold cuts from Sunday. Visitors tended to avoid Monday. My Mum, on the other hand, was cutting edge. She was cooking spag bog back when you went out for that kind of fancy schmancy food.
- FASHION. I've seen the family photo albums and I'm convinced there wasn't any. In my father's hay day everyone in Australia wore the exact same clothes and that's not fashion, that's communism. When the seventies arrived, and people discovered the colour wheel, my Mum dyed all Dad's white shirts vibrant colours rather than buy new ones. He even had a pink shirt which, she assures me, was the seventies equivalent of a metrosexual.
- ROAD RULES. Back when Dad learned to drive you didn't need things like indicators or an understanding of how stop signs work. My Dad is very nostalgic and to this day he still drives like it's the sixties.
- GENDER SPECIFIC ROLES. Dad worked hard while Mum only had to clean the house. Or that's how he saw it. What actually happened was Dad went to work and Mum stayed home and cooked, washed, shopped, mopped, vacuumed, swept, helped with homework, mowed, weeded and did all those other irksome little woman's duties. Dad was so good at his work some of it could even be done while drinking beer: none of Mum's was. Dad has finished his work and retired now. Mum isn't as efficient and so hasn't stopped yet.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Ten Things Which Were Different In My Father's Day
Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.
His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).
Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.
His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.
If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.
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