Guest Post by Jamie Ford
My father ran a restaurant — a small, unassuming, diner kind of place, with a smoke-filled bar attached.
This meant that while my friends' fathers were engineers and pipe-fitters, with college degrees, journeyman's cards, or at least fancy titles, my dad breaded chops. He wasn't working on his masters on the side and wasn't in line for any kind of promotion, ever.
And to be painfully honest, as a selfish, myopic teenager, I was often embarrassed.
I felt like the Chinese version of Toula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Growing up, on any given Saturday I'd doff my stained dishwasher's apron, go home and shower, then head to some junior high dance wondering if I still smelled of frying oil.
Much to my chagrin, birthday dinners were always held at the restaurant. It was the only way my dad could be there on my birthdays. My friends loved it, of course. Instead of eating delivery pizza, they could order anything off the menu and have the run of the place.
How cool is that?
"Not very," I'd mutter.
Gawd, I was a brat.