My father wasn't prone to giving advice.
He did once point out to me that if I didn't leave all of my crap on the floor in front of the door when I get home from school, then my Mama wouldn't come home from work a few minutes later and yell at me for leaving a mess. (Why I couldn't figure this out myself, because it happened EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. says something about me that I'm not particularly proud of.)
Other gems of fatherly wisdom:
"If you didn't do the job right [his way], then the job isn't done."I have found those very words coming out of my mouth as I'm standing in a room that one of my children insists they just cleaned that is still full of wet towels, wrinkled school papers, and dog-hair tumbleweeds.
"Go to college so you don't have to work outside in bad weather doing manual labor like your Old Man."
I remembered these words fondly as I was standing in a church parking lot during a monsoon moving 50 lb. bags of potatoes and crates of produce around in preparation for a farmers' market for food pantry clients. I didn't learn about this in college, I tell you what.
"There is nothing wrong with working in the service sector, but if you are going to be a waitress, work at the 5-star hotel on Nantucket, not at the diner in South Podunk."
This served me well, as I waitressed my way through college and the early years of my professional career when my entry level salary needed some reinforcing. Working banquets at a PGA golf club was WAY better than my gig at the pizza place.
"Don't date a plumber. They'll put their hands in anything and I don't want them touching you later."
This just makes me laugh. Especially when you realize that he advised my brother to consider BECOMING a plumber, because it is a recession-proof trade. "People are always going to need a good plumber, Mike."
The piece of advice I have re-shared most often, though, besides the "don't date a plumber" piece was this response he gave me when I asked him what to do about a bit of boyfriend trouble:
"All men are assholes. Even the good ones. Once you come to accept that, you can lower your expectations and things will go more smoothly for you."
My father died almost four years ago, but the lessons he left behind stay with me. Thanks, Dad, Sir.