Howdy kids!  Another great day in our Nation’s Capitol!

        I had promised you a continuation of Black-in-Law, and so I’m here to deliver.  Sorry about the delay, but there was a couple of flights, a rental car, and some freeclimbing involved.

        Anywho, today we’re all about impressing daddy.  Her daddy.  Who apparently was the same as my daddy.  To quote the miniscule philosopher, Kevin Hart, lemme ‘xplain.

        Her dad was a chain-smoking retired truck driver who loved working on cars until his health deteriorated to the point that he no longer could.  My dad was a chain-smoking retired truck driver who loved working on cars until his arthritis got so bad he no longer could.  Unfortunately, her dad passed away in 2012.  Mine decided to quit smoking and is still alive despite having to cope with COPD.  Google it.

        About a month after we started dating, it was time for me to impress the dad.  He was kind of iffy about his baby girl dating an American white guy, because he was concerned that she was an experiment with something “exotic” while my parents weren’t there to disapprove. He was, as all dads should be, worried that I wasn’t really taking her seriously.  So a month after we started dating, I showed up at their house with a couple of grocery bags full of food, and commenced to use their kitchen to cook dinner for the whole fam: my specialty, crab and mushroom enchiladas.  Dad enjoyed (well, everyone did), and I was given a grudging nod of semi-approval.

        About two weeks later, the starter on M’s car crapped out.  I happened to have the day off, so I drove her to work and asked HL (her dad) if I could use his garage and tools to change out the starter.  Again, he was reluctant, because a relative of theirs had used the garage before and left it trashed.  I assured him I’d do no such thing, and he grudgingly acquiesced with the condition that I put everything back the way I found it.  Did I meet that condition?  Of course not!

        A little-known fact about me: I can’t work in a mess.  I have to have everything neatly organized and everything within reasonable reach.  I work better, more efficiently that way.  As I had said before, the relative had left the garage trashed, and because of his failing health, HL had been unable to clean it up.  So I did.  I spent about half the day sorting tools, organizing the garage, using kitty litter (which I’d bought) to sop up the spilled oil that was still there, sweeping and hosing down the floor, and generally neaterizing the place.  Once done, I spent the other half of the day changing the starter (ever change a starter on a Toyota Paseo?  My advice: DON’T!  It’s a PITA!).  I also pulled the dashboard and replaced all of the dash illumination light bulbs, because all but one had burned out, and part of M’s drive to and from work was down an unlit country road.  She knew I was changing the starter; the dash lights were a surprise.  Safety first!

        Afterward, I cleaned all of the tools, mopped up my mess, and put everything neatly back the way I’d organized it, versus the way I found it.  This left me just enough time to go pick up M at work in her car.  She was happy about the starter, but she was completely gaga over the new dash lights!  So much so that she crowed about it to her fam when we got back to her house.

        Later (much later), I found out that her dad had gone out to look at the garage after I’d left to see what a wreck I’d left it in, and had his mind blown.

        Impress dad:  Mission accomplished!


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