Speaking Fluent Fatherlish
Reader's Digest US|October 2021
Dads have a language all their own, one that’s not difficult to decipher
Richard Glover

“HAVE YOU CHECKED the oil in the car?” my father used to say to me, his version of “Hello, hope you are well.” Sometimes our phone calls would begin with an inquiry about the oil and end with an inquiry about the oil, with not a lot in between.

Fathers have a lot of love to give, but it’s often supplied through the medium of practical advice. In my experience: It’s mostly about your motor vehicle.

“How’s the car running?”

“Did you get it serviced?”

“How did you get that scrape on the side?”

My bomb of a student car—a battered green Toyota Corona bought for $500—was the parchment upon which my father inscribed his paternal affections.

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