fathers day progressive daddy commercial dads parenting david mcgrath
Progressive Insurance TV commercials are hilarious but also deep. You know the ones with the Sully Sullenberger lookalike as group therapist, Dr. Rick, who tries to help owners become their parents: “Guess what,” he informs them, “the waiter didn’t no need to know your name ”.
The talented actors and the familiar message of the ad made me wonder about Father’s Day: are we really all clones of our parents?
Charlie McGrath had a henchman’s job as a father. He rigged a system of gentle discipline and Christian principles to move six boys and two girls through childhood, higher education, and the door to our separate lives, without any detour to juvi or drug rehab.
While I hope I inherited his good qualities, I vowed to avoid what I saw as his mistakes. Funny as these characters are, of course I never needed Dr. Rick’s help, unlike the owner of an ad who practically goes under the sink with the plumber, when Dr. Rick berates him: “Okay, Tom, we talked about it. You hired him. You are not his assistant.
Yes, my dad did that too if he hired a painter, or when he called me in as a handyman to fix something, and he watched, apparently to make sure the job was done right, but probably more by curiosity or entertainment, to the growing annoyance of the one doing the job.
Determined not to duplicate daddy’s behavior, I always make sure to stay away from hired help except, of course, in cases where I want to monitor every move of a technician or shopkeeper. , so I know how to fix it myself the next day time.
Another bad habit of Charlie McGrath was watching television. The year my parents got cable TV with a remote control was also the year my mother became a baseball widow. Or should I say, baseball and game show widow.
Dad’s upholstered chair was planted no less than 7 feet directly in front of the subway, where he surfed his favorite channels for about eight hours a day, making sure to watch every round of the White Sox’s 162 games, occasionally playing golf. . tournament when he needed a nap.
Not to say that every once in a while he didn’t like watching Carol Burnett or an episode of “The Golden Girls” with mom. But for better or for worse, Charlie was the king of cable in his Long Street home.
Fortunately, I am not at all like my father on television either.
Because our smart TV is 50 inches wide, I can sit and watch it much further than dad. At least ten feet, or fifteen full, when Marianne asks me to back up so she can vacuum.
In addition, I have more predilection for football than for baseball. Granted, I can watch over 8 hours on a Saturday or Sunday and of course Thanksgiving and New Years. But NFL Ticket wasn’t available in daddy’s day, pretty much forcing subscribers like me to watch every game to make the monthly satellite bill worth it.
Does that make Marianne a football widow? Definitely not, as she has her own slightly smaller TV with a permanent but inconspicuous blinking vertical line on the left side of the screen, which she pays no attention to when watching her favorite Hallmark programs while she is relaxing. on the surprisingly comfortable spare kitchen chair. in the guest room.
All of this means, Dr Rick, that your ads may be funny, but the joke is not on me, as anyone reading this can easily see.
So what I mean for Father’s Day is that Charlie McGrath loved his children and grandchildren more than himself, and his wife even more. He taught us through his own example that moving forward in the world is a good goal, as long as it never compromises kindness and honesty with your neighbor or being faithful to your own beliefs.
These are the attributes of my father that I want to emulate, while forgiving him these annoying peccadilloes.
David McGrath teaches English at FSW in Punta Gorda and is the author of SOUTH SIDERS. [email protected]