This is probably my favorite picture of my dad and me. Can you say adorable? Also, I’m working that Tweety Bird hat… haters gonna hate.
I was such a daddy’s girl when I was little- I went everywhere with him. Between owning a bakery and cafe and renovating our house (the one this picture was taken in front of, and the house they still live in today), I think I have been to every grocery store, produce distributor, restaurant supply store, Home Depot, Lowes, lumber yard, and utility supply store in the area… all by the time I turned double digits. Oh, and people wonder why I like running errands and shopping so much… it’s what I grew up doing.
There were favorites among those: Papania’s for produce. Walking around in a jungle of fruits and vegetables. I loved seeing all the food, picking out the berries, and exploring the cold freezer rooms. When you think of it, it’s probably inevitable that I would turn into a foodie health nut. Oh, but the best part of Papania’s was the loading dock, where I would stand on top of the loading dock while either my mom or dad stood below and caught me as I did a “trust fall.” It’s amazing what simple things amuse us as kids- give me an empty box and a Barbie doll/Berber horse, and I was set.
Next up on the agenda was Ferguson’s Kitchen and Bath. To me, Ferguson’s was da shit, it was like a life-size doll house. The showroom floor contained countless bathroom and kitchen arrangements, so while my dad did… whatever it is he came for (this part was usually irrelevant to Little Nika)… I would sprint to the showroom and get lost in all the bathroom fixtures and appliances. I would pick out my favorite vessel sinks, stare questionably at the bidets, stand staring upward in the shower stalls, but my favorite thing was the bath tubs. Oh how I would throw caution and social norms to the wind and crawl into the deep, luxurious bathtubs to just hang out.
One of our frequent expeditions was SAMs Club. Do not turn Little Nika loose in a large store filled with so much stuff, or her tiny body will explode from so much want. Electronics, can I has dis? Snacks, can I has dis? Books, I need dis! School supplies, oh god I need dis!
SAMs Club also contained two of Little Nika’s kryptonites- candy and school supplies. Oh I can’t even explain how many times I went through an entire BOX of Shock Tarts, my mouth numb and aching from all that sour.
I can’t even explain or form words about how much I loved (and still love) school supplies. My two favorites? Colored paper and gel pens. Ohhhh goddd, the 90’s were ALL about the gel pens… and Lisa Frank.
Seriously, what girl did not have EVERY color of gel pen? Inside her Lisa Frank pencil case, of course. Found conveniently inside her coordinating Trapper Keeper.
Oh, and then there was the time my dad and I went on a day trip to another city, and I forgot my shoes. My parents would get me up early in the morning, tuck me into the back of the car, and I would pass out until we got to our destination. Well, Little Nika woke up hours away from home with no shoes. Naturally, I was devastated because I had left my fabulous jelly shoes at home, and my dad was devastated because wtf am I supposed to do with a kid with no shoes in a different city? So we had to go to somewhere like Rite Aid and miraculously found some women’s shoes that were about 3 sizes too big. Speaking of jelly shoes, who thought that was a good idea?!? I had blisters in the shapes of stars and circles with residue of glitter decorating my mangled feet.
So here’s to you, dads. Here’s to running errands and buying shoes in Rite Aid, to carrying us in our jelly shoes and always picking out our splinters, and to silently supporting us always and bragging about us (even if not to us directly). Today my parents and I celebrated Father’s Day with some Persian food: chicken kebab, tahdig with potato, and a swiss chard salad. Mmmm tahdig ❤
Happy Father’s Day, everyone. Remember to give the men in your life some love ❤