Why My Dad Is the Bestest Dad in the Whole World


This is the picture of me that my dad keeps on his dresser. The year was 1994 and I was on my way to go play with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. Mom (photographer) and Dad went to hear me play. This was taken at my little beachfront apartment in Biloxi…sadly, it’s no longer there since Katrina. Anyway, I love this picture of Dad and me. (My hair is up in a twisty, curly pom-pom…it was the 90s…you could get away with stuff like that then.)
I was only 24…sigh.

Last night I was heating up a piece of bread in the oven to eat while I cooked dinner (it was either that or drive to Wendy’s ’cause I was STARVING).

Anyway, I noticed a flickering light in the oven. I opened the door and found that a one-inch section of the bottom heating element in the oven was sparking and glowing.

I turned off the oven.

The sparking got worse.

I began to panic.

I threw some flour on it.

The glowing turned to small flames.

I shut the oven door and wrung my hands.

Should I call the fire department over a little sparking coil? What if it got worse before the fire department got here? But, still… firemen… mmmmmm…

I refocused.

I shut off the top burner of the stove.

The sparks flew higher inside the oven.

I grabbed the phone and called the person I always call in emergencies.

I called my dad.

Now, let me stop here and tell you that my dad rarely answers the phone. I mean…almost never. Usually my call is answered by my 15-year-old brother, Cooper (who has an amazing social calendar), or my mom (who’s always hoping her kids will call). But my dad…he’s usually out in his shop working on a car or out in the yard working on the lawn. However…inexplicably…whenever I call because I need dad’s help…the most uncanny thing happens…dad always answers.

“Hello,” came the deep voice that I love so much…just hearing it calmed me some…though I was still compelled to talk a mile a minute to tell him the problem before my house exploded.

“Dad…my oven…fire…sparks…I don’t know…should I call the fire department…it’s glowing…what…how can I stop it…what should I do…”

“Shell,” he spoke in a tone usually issued by wise sages that live atop high mountains and dedicate entire days to forming the perfect thought. “Calm down.”

“Yes, sir.”

“It’s gonna be okay.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Go turn off the oven at the breaker switch.”


“Yes, sir.” I padded to the breaker box and flipped the switch. “I did it.”

“Now, is it still sparking?”

I walked back to the stove and peered inside the oven…”No, sir.”

“Your heating element needs to be replaced. Don’t use your oven until you get it fixed.”

“Can I use the burners?”

“Well, turn on your breaker switch and see.”

Back to the breaker box I went…”Okay…I did it.”

“Is it sparking?”

I walked back to the oven…”No, sir.”

“Then, yes, you can use the burners.” His delivery was dry and full of sarcasm…he’s the master at sarcasm.

“Thanks, Dad. Sorry I lost it a little. I love you.”

“You’re welcome. No problem. I love you, too.” This time the sarcasm was mixed with a heavy dose of mock patronizing. I paused and pictured his twinkling blue eyes. I was sure he was smiling broadly…he always smiles when he gives me a hard time.

I smiled, too.

“Dad, what would I do without you?”

“You’d do fine, kid.” Not a trace of sarcasm…just relief and love.

And speaking of dad’s…who else cried like a baby when George’s dad passed last night on “Grey’s Anatomy”? That whole episode was amazing.

As for “The Office”…my heart leapt when Karen asked Jim if he still had feelings for Pam and he said, “Yeah.” Good stuff.

And…for anyone watching “Men in Trees”…is it me or does Justine Bateman seem to have not aged well?

Oh…and I have to say…I don’t want you guys sucking up to me in hopes of getting closer to Gray Charles or Taylor Hicks…I want you guys sucking up to me because you like me.


39 Responses to “Why My Dad Is the Bestest Dad in the Whole World”

  1. nolagirl Says:

    Cute picture! And great story, Shelley! I would have been talking a mile a minute too – that would have freaked me out!

    And yes, Grey’s was heartbreaking tonight. I know my sister-in-law was watching, as she always does, even though she just got home from the hospital today with their new little baby boy. We usually call and discuss after each episode, but I couldn’t this time. She lost her dad very suddenly and unexpectedly in mid-October, and I KNOW this episode hit her right in the gut. Had to. That, combined, with her raging hormones, I am sure made for my brother to have a crying mess on his hands. So I let her be and will let her recover before I call. 🙂

    One question about Grey’s: What was the point of Callie trying to bring up the baby/abortion thing to Sloan? I didn’t get that.

    And how ironic that Miss No Feelings herself, Cristina, was the one who went out and talked to George first.

  2. shelley Says:

    NOLA…I loved it when Christina reached out to George. Her character is so compelling.

    The thing with Callie and Sloan WAS weird. I didn’t get it.

  3. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, ok , that story about your Dad was too much for me to take at 2am while I am hormonal. My dad passed away when I was 2 yrs old, and my mom never remarried. My mom is my hero and raised 4 of us and got us all thru college. There are times in my life though that I have felt that void in my life and longed for that dad/daughter relationship. Give your Dad a big hug next time you see him. He sounds great.

    I watched the last 20 minutes of The Office tonight. I loved it. So I take it we’re supposed to root for Pam and JIm? You are right Shelley, Jim is very hawt! Of course I still have a major crush on Steve C. His character is very endearing. Loved the scene with he and Dwight (? the guy w/the funny hair).

    And Shelley I suck up to you because I love you, and I want to get closer to Steve C. LOL

  4. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Shells…Trust me when I say this…I am your Dwight.

    Okay, maybe more your Dwigt or your bobble head, but you get the drift.

  5. shelley Says:

    Awww…Leejolem and Shrew are the best kinds of suck-ups there are.

    sheds a single tear

    That’s beautiful.


  6. ivoryhut Says:

    What? Who’s sucking up? Uh … does sending garlic corn nuts and other tropical snacks count as sucking up? Because, you know, I just wanted to corrupt you and make you crave weird snacks that you otherwise would have never known existed.

    Your dad sounds really cool. He kind of reminds me of my maternal grandfather. My dad, on the other hand, being the military man that he is, would have answered the phone, heard the panic in my voice, and instantly dispatched a platoon of soldiers to my place before even hearing what the problem was. Because you can do that in some countries.

    Although … hmm … soldiers in fatigues … or better yet, soldiers in flat-front khakis …

    Oh wait, I almost forgot. I’m married. Dang it!

  7. texan Says:

    ROFL “I am your Dwight!” Shrew perfection in that one!

    My dad would have had more of an IvoryHut Dad response. A SWAT team would have surely appeared and I would have to blog from the Y2K bunker! Hey Ivory..perhaps we are related!

    Shel, May I please have your Dad’s phone number so he can advise me when I need to call in my own? thank you.

  8. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shelley: I knew, the moment I heard this…”I don’t want people sucking up to me b/c they think I will further their career. I want people sucking up to me b/c they love me.”…that you would be dying laughing at home.

    That show was classic!!! Andy’s phone in the ceiling….Andy recording his own ring tone….Dwight pissing off his co-worker at Staples…Dwight assuming Oscar’s welcome back party was for him, and Michael not disagreeing….Dwight saying he didn’t need the blindfold for the pinata, then beating the s**t outta it….and, of course, Jim and Pam….ahhh…saaaweeet!

    You look so pretty and tiny like a bunny in that photo! Your dad is a GIANT!!

    Callie had that thing w/Sloan b/c she has to be all up in everyone’s bizniss all the damn time b/c she so desperately wants to be part of the “in crowd”. Gross. She’s all, like, dreamy about George. She needs to step-off. I’m not kidding. I don’t like her. She’s a poser.

    Poor George. I bawled like a baby. Esp. when his mom leaned over and kissed his dad on the mouth. Lost. It.

    I love Izzy. She is perfect the way she is…as a surgeon and an emotionally invested person. And she bakes.

  9. Jan Says:

    I cried like a baby when George’s Dad died. I watched even though I knew it was going to upset me. My Mom passed away in 2001. I left Thanksgiving weekend and said I love you Mom and then 10 minutes later, I got a call from my sister and she said honest to God “Mom has fallen down and she can’t get up.” I said “Call an ambulance” and my sister said “She doesn’t want an ambulance.” I made her call an ambulance though. Turns out my Mom had had a stroke. We tried different meds to take down the swelling and she started to get better at least enough to know where she was and who we were. I regret that but you have to try when there’s a chance because people do recover. I wish she had never woken up so that I wouldn’t live with the guilt of having to tell her that we were taking her off life support. She had made it clear that she didn’t want to live on life support. What you never see on TV or in the movies is when you take someone off life support, they don’t pass on in 30 seconds. My Mom was off life support for 10 days. There was at least one of my family with her 24/7 for 21 days.

    Sorry to end on a sad not but I have to go to a meeting. Sad, sad Jan. It’s not something you ever recover from.

  10. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Jan- I am so sorry you had to go through that! That is awful! I wish I was good with words of comfort, but I know that words don’t really fill voids like that…

    I am so stunned when I hear about other’s tradgedies. It puts my life in perspective. (Leejolem-your story, too, touched me.)

  11. nolagirl Says:

    Bama – The mom kissing her husband was rough. And Bailey and Weber sitting in the room with George and his fam. Man.

    Jan – I am so sorry about your loss. Last night’s episode must have been particulary poignant for you.

  12. Jax Says:

    Shelley … great pic of you & your Dad!!!

    My parents were divorced when I was 4 … My Dad got custody of the 3 youngest girls .. 4,10 & 11 ..(the oldest 2 had already left home) remember this was 1959 soo it was a bit unusual for the man to get custody to say the least …

    I never knew about the “woman’s work” thing .. My Dad cooked, cleaned, washed clothes, gave baths, cleaned cuts & scapes, etc etc etc … He knew how to do EVRYTHING … was a master carpenter … taught me to counter sink nails & cover them with putty (Mr Jax & I were re-doing a fixer upper .. old house we could afford) I could change “seats & washers” in sinks … never had a leak! … He could build anything … all of this & he worked 2 full-time jobs for 17 years to pay for all of my sister’s medical bills ..(she was a BIT accident prone … hit by car…shot by accident .. she’s fine .. just probably due for another)

    Took me a while to find a guy that could measure up .. I did thank goodness ..

    Lost my Dad in 1989 … I was the one that had to make the decision to end life support … sounds crappy right … well it wasn’t fun but he had prepared me thru my life to take charge when needed & have to make the tough decisions when called upon..

    Did not watch Greys last night … HAD to watch the Larry King Live Interview … which ws great btw … will watch tonight…so glad they show it twice!

    Much Love to the Monkbots!!!!

  13. nolagirl Says:

    Grey’s fans – You MUST see this!

  14. double d Says:

    I miss my Dad. It’s been 16 months and I still pick up the phone to call him to ask him a question about something and then remember that he’s not here.

    Shelley, great picture and great story. I think it’s wonderful that you have such a close family. Both your Dad and suzi-Q seem to be great peeps.

    Oh, and sucking up? Sorry, not in my vocab. I do love ya, though!

  15. Mind Doc Says:

    Jan, I am sorry to hear about your mom. And DD, about your dad. I don’t know what I will do when my dad is gone. My biological father did not win any prizes in the fatherhood department, but my stepdad took over handily. I still melt a little when I call and I hear his rumbled “Hey-lo, Princess”.

    Here’s to Dads and their daughters!

    Shelley, you can see your Dad’s pleasure and pride in you. What a lovely picture.

  16. double d Says:

    Makes me think of John Mayer’s Daughters. I love that song…

    Fathers be good to your daughters.
    Daughters will love like you do.
    Girls become lovers who turn in to mothers, so mothers be good to your daughters, too.


  17. claire Says:

    “Oh…and I have to say…I don’t want you guys sucking up to me in hopes of getting closer to Gray Charles or Taylor Hicks…I want you guys sucking up to me because you like me.”

    Um…Shell, I hope you didn’t feel the need to post this after my “where’s Gray?” question yesterday. I really only asked because he seemed to pop in here quite regularly, and then suddenly – zip. I certainly don’t post here hoping Gray will read it. He’s got his own little-known blog to post on. He could use the traffic 🙂

    And I am SUCH a Daddy’s girl. I’m the youngest of three, and the only girl, so even thought I’m 32, I’m still Daddy’s Little Girl. He still phones me if the weather forecast is bad to tell me to be careful driving, or to warn me about mortgage rates rising, or other such Dad-like stuff. Not to mention the “How are ya?” phone calls. They’re a given.

    God Bless the Daddy.

  18. leejolem Says:

    Wow, this is like a Father’s Day tribute. I must say one of the greatest joys of my adult life has been to watch my DH w/our 2 daughters. Because I missed out on having a Dad I think I have appreciated his tender and fun moments w/them even more. Whether it was swinging them around while singing Under the Sea, pretending to be Witchie Poo from HR Puff n Stuff (even tho they had no idea who that was), singing B52’s and Meatloaf songs w/them, or comforting them when they were hurt or sad I’ve enjoyed watching him be a daddy to them. He’s so tender-hearted that when I teased him about dancing to Under the Sea w/Abigail when she gets married he teared up and said, “oh, I don’t even want to think about that”. Maybe not as traditional as Butterfly Kisses, but for our crazy family just as meaningful.

    Thanks for all of you for opening up your hearts and sharing your experiences w/your fellow Monkbots.

  19. leejolem Says:

    Claire, I freaked out at first when I read Shelley’s comment, but then I realized it was in reference to the episode of The Office that had aired Thurs pm. Good to hear from you again.
    **big Monkbot wave over to Ireland**
    p.s. Where are the tour dates for Indy and Ireland????? lol

  20. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Jax- I was raised by my dad too. My mother left my dad, brother and me when I wasn’t even a year old. He raised us by himself until he met my step-mom. They were married when I was 2, nearly 3.

    I’ve always been so grateful that I was raised by him. He was/is a wonderful father. He and my step-mom were so committed to parenting that they eventually adopted 5 kids when I was about 7 years old.

    It is rare to hear about the Daddy being the one to stick around. But I feel so lucky to be one of those kids to have that experience.

    I wonder how women raised by their father’s as opposed to mother’s are different…and vice versa. That would be interesting to read about/study….

    (P.S. My relationship w/my biological mother is good now and I’m very close to my step-father too.)

    Jax and DD- I’m sorry that you both have lost your dads. Really sorry.

    I love that we all get to know each other better all the time, though.

  21. Holeigh Says:

    SO confused by the sucking up comment, haha…

    That story was so sweet…I have a relationship like that with my dad, except he’s not so good at fixing things, so I usually end up calling one of my uncles. 😛

    Parting advice from Holeigh’s mommy:

    When you get married, make sure it’s to a man who can competently fix things!

  22. nolagirl Says:

    Our Amos Lee guy on Idol reported to have a “criminal past” Dunh-dunh-dunhhhhhh.


  23. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    awww its sweet to have such good memories of a dad, wish I did with mine but oh well we dont all have good parents. He seems like such a fun dad 🙂 and lol at the oven I think id be the same way lol.
    I was raised by my father, mother passed away when I was 3, I ran away at 12 and didnt see him again till I was 23 and with 2 kids, my father passed away when I was 27. We were never cllose by any means but at least we started talking again.

    as for justine bateman, shes my age (40) and she looks better then me, and I dont think shes getting all the plastic surgery many of the stars do so shes aged, like most normal people but shes too thin, yikes can see all her bones (I certainly dont have that problem LOL) Ive aged more because of constant back pain and 2 surggeries and not much excersize kinda ages a person. but she looks ok for her age, least she dont look fake, but do I want her with Jack? NOOOOO LOL

  24. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Holeigh, DD and Claire: in The Office last night, one of the new guys that transferred from the other branch, Andy, was majorly sucking up to Micheal Scott (the boss) b/c he thought he would get further in his job. So Michael got really, really annoyed by him. He was also missing Dwight who had quit the week before. Dwight used to kiss up to Michael, b/c he thought he was the smartest, coolest, greatest man alive.

    Michael said, towards the end of the show when Dwight had come back…”I don’t want people sucking up to me b/c they think I will further their career. I want people sucking up to me b/c they love me.”

    So, Shelley was just being silly and making fun of the show, etc. She only wants people to suck up to her b/c they really think she’s the greatest ever…not b/c they might get something from her. Totally tongue in cheek!

  25. nolagirl Says:

    Another thing I found (clearly, I am doing “research” online at work) is that the Grey’s episode last night was based on a true story about one of the writers’ dad. You can read her comment about it here – really touching.


  26. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh, Nola, that John Mayer thing was HYSTERICAL!!

  27. double d Says:

    NOOOOO, not the Amos guy!

    Man, I wonder if it’ll matter? And will it bring up the whole Taylor Pot Bust thing again? But, technically, Taylor wasn’t CONVICTED of a crime whereas this guy was. I wonder what AI’s “policy” is….or if they have one. Surely, this guy would know since he’s tried out three times. Hmmmmm.

    I heart John Mayer.

  28. double d Says:

    Hello?!? So now I post and you guys disappear. Is it me?


  29. nolagirl Says:

    I’m here, DD! I was actually doing work for a while instead of “Internet research”! Heh.

    I am still just so damn happy that the dude sang “Arms of a Woman” that that is all I can focus on!

  30. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Sorry. I had to work for a minute too. Besides, I couldn’t pull up that article for some reason so I don’t know what he was busted for.

    DD-I left a long-ass response to you on the last post.

  31. leejolem Says:

    Why does work have to get in the way of our fun? Oh bother, as Pooh would say!

    I’m very bummed about the Amos Lee guy. I hope it’s not like the Brittenhum (sp?) twins where they go to Hollywood and then disappear in orange jumpsuits (although I didn’t like those guys from the beginning).

    Holeigh’s mommy–where were you 21 yrs ago when I married Mr. I Can’t Finish a Project to Save My Life?

  32. double d Says:

    Bama- left you a reply. Amos guy was convicted of DUI in one incident and Hit and Run in another incident.

    Man, the vultures just start circling once somebody has even a minute of fame, huh? TMZ — what a sleazy outfit.

  33. double d Says:

    Bama- left you a reply. Amos guy was convicted of DUI in one incident and Hit and Run in another incident.

    Man, the vultures just start circling once somebody has even a minute of fame, huh? TMZ — what a sleazy outfit.

  34. leejolem Says:

    Nola, who knew John Mayer was so funny? Have you read about 4-5 posts earlier when he writes about the PB Spreader? He says he’s working on a stand-up comedy routine. How talented can 1 man be?

  35. Libby Says:


    You are the best. We love you for you — certainly not for a connection to Gray or Taylor.

    Loved your picture of you and your Dad. My Granddaddy was wonderful at telling me all would be ok — and he knew how to fix anything — and loved to do it. I was so blessed to have him here with me for the last year and half of his life. I lost him in July 2005. Miss him so much even today !

    Thanks for reminding me of how much I loved to call — and hear him say Hello Dawlin’.

  36. patrickkadiddlehopper Says:

    I do not have a social calendar FYI! I just happen to have a lot of friends who invite me to many things!
    Dad is the greatest though!

  37. Staci Says:

    I SO Miss getting the time to read your blog. I love this story about your fire and dad and all… and so appropo after Grey’s… which of course, I cried (no surprise).

    for the record, I cried at work today when a guy at work questioned my judgement IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE LEADERSHIP TEAM! Of course, how do I retaliate? I don’t cry in front of him at that moment, I cry later… and then I lash out at a co-worker whom I love dearly, who had NOTHING to do with the situation, but who happened to be “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” WHY do I do that? Why, when we’re hurting, do we lash out at those we love the most? I’m eternally sorry for being rude and mean.

    I know this is a stupid remark to what you started, but it does relate… look at George and Christina… 🙂

  38. Jan Says:

    DD: I’m sorry to hear about your Dad.

    I am in a better mood now. I loved Grey’s last night even if it was sad. I loved that Christina finally went to Burke’s room and just stayed there waiting to hear how he was.

    Creepy look from Callie to McSteamy? I thought her face betrayed that she knew on accident and not intentionally and that when asked directly, she admitted it.

    I thought it was weird about Meredith and he Dad. I don’t know why she blames her Dad so much when she sure wouldn’t stick around if she were being treated like crap. Still, I can see that she’s be devastated that her Dad was out of her life. I think she should forgive him and move on.

    How about when (I can’t remember her name but the doctor who intubated George’s father) that doctor broke down after intubating George’s father? That was moving to me.

    It’s nice to get to know you guys better by the way. Life isn’t always full of happy fuzzy bunnies.

  39. Taylor's Girl Says:

    awww… That was a sweet but funny story. 🙂

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