We are inching our way into another holiday weekend and I’m excited to introduce this week’s guest post by Dani Alpert. Her blog, The Girlfriend Mom is truly original and loads of fun.
I first fell in love with her work when I watched a hilarious video called “A Really Intimate Portrait.” I was mesmorized. Funny as hell. Then I began reading her blogs and without a doubt, she always makes me laugh. She describes herself as “someone navigating this unique landscape with a ginormous sense of humor and a lot of gin”…a drink she doesn’t even like. Dani drives a sassy red and white Mini, loathes cooking, but loves the smell of fabric softener. A girl after my own heart! Also, at the end of the post there is a link called “Love Daddy”…a beautiful song that Dani wrote and sang to her father.
Instead of giving too much away, I’m going to let Dani give a little bio about herself. So, without further delay…here’s Dani Alpert!
My first headshot was my mugshot, taken after getting arrested for tagging in my hometown. Other lofty accomplishments include working out at the NYU gym alongside Adam Sandler, while attending film school.
I’ve written for film and television, worked as a stand up comedian, written and performed solo shows in New York & Los Angeles, and wrote, directed and acted in a short film that was a film festival darling. My work appears in Pilates Style Magazine, Blogher.com, ModernMom.com, and EvolvedWorld.com among others. I blog as The Girlfriend Mom, because Stepmom would make it real.
The Tickle Monster
When I was just a little Dani, about four or five years old, my father invented a character called, The Tickle Monster. This was long before Josie Bissett’s, Tickle Monster Laughter Kit, complete with cuddly tickling mitts. I’m not sure why you would need a kit to tickle someone, but whatever. This was also before Tickle Me Elmo. I’d like to think that my dad was the original. So I will.
My brother and I shared a bedroom in a cozy two bedroom apartment, and when my parents were home and not acting like the 24 and 25 year old’s that they were; that is, partying with the downstairs neighbors, my dad would often don a hat or some random piece of clothing (sans mitts) that was supposed to ‘mask’ his true identity, and he’d become, The Tickle Monster.
We’d hear growling, monster-like noises, in the distance and as the sounds got increasingly close to our room, our excitement and anticipation grew more intense. And then, before we knew it, our door would fly open and my dad would come barreling in, often tripping over a Tonka truck or a Dr. Seuss Book, arms flailing, as he pretended to look for us. We were right there in front of him, on our beds, waiting, but he was ACTING, and relished in making us scream with delight.
He usually went over to my brother first because he was intensely ticklish. My brother laughed until he’d gasp for air. Someone would only have to threaten to tickle his feet, for example, and he’d start wigging out, and retreat into a corner, hoping to hide from the potential tickler. Watching my brother squiggle, squirm and shriek like a little girl, drove me to hysterics.
I, on the other hand, never was, and am still not, ticklish. AT ALL. Seeing his two kids, not only NOT beating the crap out of each another, but laughing… together.. in the same room, was absolute nirvana for my dad. Even at the tender age of four, I sensed his joy, so how could I possibly tell him that, just like the character of Morales in A Chorus Line, “I felt nothing.”
My dad loved playing the part, so when he tried to make me laugh, I feigned smiles and giggles, and did my best ACTING job. I know this particular brand of play was out of his comfort zone. My dad was more the reading and writing type of father, the parent that helped with homework, exposed me to Miles Davis, quoted Rolling Stones lyrics, and read Crime and Punishment to us at bedtime. He wasn’t so much into the ‘kid’ games or child-like make believe. He put his all into The Tickle Monster and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
I have always had a special relationship with my father. I know a lot of daughters say this, but mine is truly the most specialist. I am my father’s daughter, almost to a fault. Almost. We share the same sense of humor, think too much, eat too fast and are, at times, too self actualized for our own good.
From the time that I was twelve or thirteen, my dad knew exactly who I was. And almost 30 years later, little has changed. Recently, I reread a letter than he wrote to me when I graduated from high school. I’m sure that, at the time, I passed it off as just some fearful father, trying to sound all parental and shit. But oh, how wise that Tickle Monster was.
“Firstly, you seem to be an anxious young bird who has learned how to fly, and now is trying to examine every tree in the forest. I can assure you that you will do that but racing to them will defeat your purpose and you will not maximize your enjoyment of them. Like constructing a building with blocks, a foundation must be laid before the spire can be placed on top.
Unless you have certain experiences to call upon, you may miss out on some wonderful fun. You know that I have never stopped you from exploring some very dark places; yet I am fearful of you missing something because of a lack of patience. Sometimes it is better to sit by the ocean and look at the sea, sense it and slowly feel it come over you, slowly and with all of its feeling, comfort and awe. Oh, yes, it is great fun to dive in, but how many people who do that could tell you the color of the sea and how beautiful it smells. Most times the short term is not as fulfilling.
And yes, each day is a challenge to your moral sense. Each day you will have to make up your own mind as to what to do- (unless you want to call us). You know how much I love you as my daughter, but now as you begin to leave the nest and start to fly, I relish in the fact of how much I like you. And remember out telephone number is 238…. Love, Dad.
Happy Father’s Day Daddio.
What a treat! Thanks so much to Dani!
(And to think my dad only got a box of Turtle candy and a card.)