My Dad has a lot to be proud of. Me, of course. My brother and sister, to a lesser extent. My father dropped out of Lincoln High School in Brooklyn ("You know, Neil Sedaka went to Lincoln," he told us often, to no reaction at all) to dedicate himself full-time to league bowling, but got serious quickly enough to get his GED, join the army, complete his service, marry my mother, fire me from his testes, work three jobs simultaneously, have my sister, and earn a college degree by age 27. The high school dropout son of an elevator operator went on to become Senior Vice President of a major corporation. The American dream realized.
Among my Dad's proudest achievements is his role in The Revolution of 2006. As you probably read in the papers at the time, five years ago, some "jerkoff" in my father's office cafeteria decided to replace the perfectly good coffee that sold for 65 cents a cup — with Starbucks coffee, priced at a dollar a cup. And while many fully employed Americans might shrug a 35-cent price increase off, my father knew that this was his moment to take a stand. He went first to the ground, gaining support amongst fellow cafeterians, who (he says) agreed that a coffee change was unnecessary and unwanted — then took his case to his company's head of procurement who, for whatever reason (most likely indifference), agreed immediately to cast the money-grubbing coffee mermaid back into the sea. Victory was his. Seattle had been slew.
In other words, my father is cheap. With that said, my parents are the most generous people I know. My Dad would give a needy stranger his last dollar. He took a pay cut voluntarily to avoid laying others off. He'll fight you for a dinner check — with fists. But he's cheap. Send him to the market for Oreos, he'll come back with Hydrox. If "children under eight get in for half price" we, his children, were under eight. I was under eight until I was 15. My father was our landscaper, gardener, pool boy, and light switch turner-offer. Why pay someone 10 bucks to mow the lawn when you can spend four hours on a 110-degree Saturday mowing it yourself?