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Spending a weekend with her hot papa

June 26, 2008|Cindy Bertram | Special to The Times

With the untimely passing of the extraordinary Tim Russert on Father's Day weekend, I did what many others have been doing in the days since -- I have been reading voraciously about him, his life and his family. Not coincidentally, it was his relationship with his father that has had me most enthralled.

My own dad came to stay with me for Father's Day weekend. I don't think I have spent 72 hours alone with my father in my entire life. My parents split up when I was 4, and being one of five children, solo bonding time throughout the years was slim to none. But his mind was made up; the weekend was to be spent with his only uncoupled child. As he put it, it was "my turn."

As the Date With Dad inched closer, I found myself getting extremely nervous. What would we possibly talk about for three whole days? Would I need to entertain him every minute? Why does he want to stay with me when my place is smaller than everyone else's? Then it hit me -- I'm the kid with no kids!

I picked him up in "The Grand-Car." That's right, my father named my new convertible after the grandchild I have yet to give him. Thanks. The new wheels provided us 35 miles' worth of conversation. I guess she really is a "grand" car after all. So what do we talk about now?

Truth be told, the conversation flowed effortlessly, and the weekend ahead didn't seem so daunting. I was about to heave a big sigh of relief, but then we arrived at my apartment.

As I mentioned, my place is somewhat tiny compared with my siblings' homes. I live in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. Sleeping on the couch is no big deal, I do it all the time, but I can't quite get used to my 69-year-old father walking around in his towel -- or worse -- his underwear. Another thing that I discovered is that, not unlike myself (and everyone else on the planet), my dad is addicted to the computer. Not a problem, except for some reason he didn't bring his. And every time he reached for my TiVo remote, I could swear my heart stopped for just a moment. I knew I had to get him out of the house, and fast. So I took him to my gym. Well, first I made him change out of his skimpy cycling shorts (seriously, Dad?).

My father is not your typical almost-septuagenarian. For one thing, he's hot. I mean, the man is a chick magnet. He's got more game than I could ever hope for. In addition to his deep tan and mouth of gleaming white choppers, my dad now wears a diamond stud in his ear. Definitely not something that I am attracted to, but thankfully I'm his daughter so I don't have to like it. Scores of women, on the other hand, totally dig it. It would seem that Mr. Harrison Ford has the right idea after all.

I didn't quite get the gist of his hotness until I brought him to the gym with me. If I told you that heads turned, I wouldn't be exaggerating a bit. One woman almost tripped over an elliptical machine rubber-necking as she passed by. And she was my age. It was all I could do not to shout, "He's old! And he's my dad!"

The remainder of the weekend went surprisingly well. No, he didn't take me on a father-daughter shopping spree, and he didn't surprise me with a fat check on my coffee table "in case of emergency," but he did give me something that I had never gotten from him before, not from him or any other man I've tried to woo -- a genuinely sincere, heart-felt compliment.

What he said was, "You know, Cindy, I really like your life."

You know what, Dad? So do I.


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