My Dad Always Says

When it comes to my father, there isn’t much to say except I love him so much my heart gets full just writing about him.

As I go back to re-read my blogs, I realize my more recent entries don’t seem as personal or as full of life as they once did.

As difficult as it is to admit, the blogs aren’t really feeling me because I have been a little down and out.

So I’m going to be honest.  Really honest.

Honest to a fault most likely.

My dad has always told me not to say anything about someone that you wouldn’t say to their face.

Literal translation:  If you don’t like someone, then you better be comfortable enough to tell them because if you’re just saying it behind their back, you’re a complete coward.

Dad translation:  Be kind.  If you’re saying something mean, most likely, there’s no way you would say it to their face.

And this, my friends, is where my honesty comes in.

Enough is enough.

All of these people out there who use the internet to bash food or restaurants or service or wines or people are just cowards.

O.K. I said it.

Where does it stop?

Do you not think that this whole career thing might be personal?

I choose not to read chowhound or yelp or tripadvisor or any of the limitless web information out there because it can be so scathing, so ruthless, so hurtful, I have no desire to even go there.


If you don’t like the fish, tell me.

I will do my best to remedy the situation.

If you don’t want to tell me, and you’d rather just write about it, then you’re out of luck.

Not only can I not try to fix it, but I also never saw your complaint.

My favorite thing about living in Tarboro.  The people are straight up.

I tell the story often about my daughter who goes to a school that is around 90% African American.  This past summer she went to a very nice camp that her namesake great aunt allowed her the opportunity.

At the precocious age of 9, she was very aware of her surroundings.  When I picked her up from camp, I asked her how she enjoyed her time.

She answered, “Mom, did you know some girls talk about each other behind their backs, but then when they’re around each other, they pretend to be friends?”

Not excited to be dealing with this so early, I said, “Honey, welcome to girl land.  It’s one of those things girls do, sadly, they often talk about each other behind their backs.”

Cynthia looked confused, and then answered, “Not black girls, mama, if they don’t like you, they say it right to your face.”

Girl, if only I could be a black girl.

And then I realized, I have been keeping my inner-black girl inside me for the past six months.

Well, no longer.

Here’s the deal.

And it was given to me by the most brilliant man I know, my father.

If you don’t say it to my face, then I don’t think it has much weight.

Weight meaning I can’t take you unless you’re honest.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cathy

    Amen! ENuff said!
    I hope you and your family have a very “honest” and Merry Christmas!

  • nice!

  • My father gave me a lot of wise and useful advice too.

    When I don’t like something, I try and determine if it’s worth telling the person. If it is, I do it with as much tact as I can (constructively and with kindness). If it’s not, I keep my mouth shut. 🙂

  • Lou Reda

    🙂 I agree.

  • Veronica

    Hey Inie!
    For some reason, I am just seeing this. Well, as a black “girl”, some of us keep it in too. I often find myself being “politically correct” and just sucking it up. But boy is that a lot of weight to carry. I find that the older I get, the more I care less about what others think about me (or what color my hair is this week), or what I am doing with my life, or what chances I am taking in my career (that they are too scared or coward to take). There will always, always, always, be haters…. black and white (and every other race for that matter). Let them be your motivators. There is a female disc jockey here that uses that line every day when she closes her show and I have adopted it and live by it. There are not a lot of people who will step out on faith and try something new. Those are the REAL cowards. I’m sure Mr. Rusty had a lot of haters along the way with his business(es) as well. Just comes along with the territory. Even if you made every meal to satisfy everyone’s palate or stocked every wine of their choice from the finest vineyards in the world, you could still not please everyone. So continue to do the great work that you are doing. And remember to let your haters be your motivators!

    Love and Miss You,


  • I love you friend.