Discover more from Chasing Normal
Golden Stepdad Rules
There I was on a Monday afternoon walking through Shanghai on the treadmill when I heard my stepdad’s voice telling me, “Do it now, kid! It don’t get any easiah!”
Of course, I wasn’t really hearing his voice as he has been dead for almost 23 years. I was just hearing him in my head as I huffed and puffed my way through yet another iFit walk. My stepdad, John, used to lecture me about exercise almost daily when I was a lazy teen parked in front of the TV watching General Hospital.
When my mom and I first met John, he was 60 and had survived a triple bypass. So, he was ALL IN on fitness. John introduced us to Morning Star products, skim milk, and Egg Beaters. In addition to avoiding all things fat and cholesterol (it was the 80s – carbs were not the devil yet) he would ride his bike to the beach and down the broadwalk (Hollywood Beach does not have a boardwalk; it’s a broadwalk.) and back again daily. No helmet. No padded shorts. No sunscreen. Just cargo shorts, a ball cap, and his old man clip-on sunglasses. John ended up needing a knee replacement, but he lived to be 75, which was considered to be a good lifespan back in the day.
John was right about exercise not getting “easiah” (He was from Boston.), but like a lot of young people, I ignored his advice and didn’t realize he was right until my own knees started biting me. So, now I get on the treadmill every day and tell myself to do it now because it definitely won’t get easier with each passing year. That’s not the only piece of advice I follow of his now. Here are a few other golden stepdad rules.
Don’t talk out yah Ahss! -- Is that information coming out of your mouth really true? Do you know that for real? Don’t speak as if you are an expert when you clearly are not.
Bettah too much than not enough! – This usually pertained to food as John always made enough for a football team.
Don’t fahce it! -- Don’t force it. He yelled this whenever my mom or I were trying to put something together or take something apart and getting frustrated with it.
Don’t drink the dahk sugahy drinks! – This is from the “how to drink” lecture on New Year’s Day 1989. Those sweet rum drinks will make you vomit. Stick to light liquor that is not sweet.
Pace yahself! – This is also a part of “how to drink.” Basically, don’t go nuts. Slow down. This is a wise practice for many situations.
Feel free to utilize the nuggets of Bostonian Italian stepdaddy wisdom I shared. I follow them all almost always, but there is one suggestion from John that I NEVER follow. He used to tell me, in a sing-songy rhyme, “If you have a friend who’s tried and true, screw him before he screws you.” I love my friends!