A Rose By Any Other Name

December 13th, 2010

I’ve been talking about or to my father ever since I learned to talk, but I found myself in an odd situation just the other day.

My parents we supposed to meet me at the airport.  After collecting my suitcase, I was trying to get change for a dollar to use a payphone to call them.  As I was waiting for the clerk to give me my coins, I saw my father walk by and not see me.   So I called out to him. “Dad!  Dad!”  But he didn’t turn around, and why would he?  How many people call out “Dad!’ in the arrival halls of airports around the world?  I knew that all I had to do was call out his name, but there was something weird about that.

I’ve almost never referred to my parents by their first names, and definitely never to them.  I’ve referred to my dad as “Professor Chiswick” plenty of times when calling his office.

It really shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but standing there in the airport, I couldn’t bring myself to call out my father’s given name.  I even thought at the time that it was strange.

I finally got his attention by calling out a little louder.

Something I had never thought about until it happened.


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