Good morning, Coug fans!
I’m starting the celebration of Father’s Day early this year by publicly humiliating my dad, by which I mean: speaking nicely about him on the internet.
For those of you who don’t know, even though it feels like common knowledge at this point, I was not lucky enough to attend Washington State University. I have, however, spent my entire life getting glimpses of the promise land that always felt like my safe space. Something I’m sure is a universal experience of all college-aged folks is the brief stretch of time where you hate everything. I’m a year out of college now, and grateful for my time in Chicago, but I would be lying if I told you I loved it here the whole time. A benefit of me not attending WSU is I never held the same misplaced resentment towards Pullman as I used to hold against Chicago.
Instead, I got to love Pullman for what it was to me: the place I got to go with my dad. Our special thing. Our special place. We’d meet friends who would become family, we’d watch good games and bad games through every weather climate known to man. Pullman was there through good times and bad. When my dad and I didn’t see eye to eye on most things, we always had the Cougs. When we got back on the same page about everything, it seemed like it was because of the Cougs.
My dad is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life. He’s infinitely witty, and shy, and likes the best movies. He is kind, and patient, and teased me just the right amount so I would end up being normal instead of weird as an only child.
When I was growing up he would take me up to Pullman and remind me I’d always find a way back home. He’s what inspired me to start writing for CougCenter!
My mom (who is also great, but this isn’t about her- sorry Patty) raised me in the same neighborhood she grew up in, and provided me with a community I’ll always be thankful for. She get’s a lot of credit for that. However, I wouldn’t have this community without my dad. And I don’t think he’ll ever understand the gift he gave me the first time he got me a Coug shirt. How could he have known that it would grow into this?
That brings me to my second favorite dad(s)- even though they all prefer being “older brothers” since now we’ve all gotten drunk together on several occasions. Many of my CougCenter colleagues are amazing dads (to real children that are not me) and all of them are great examples of men in my life. They’ve all taught me things since letting me tag along when I was just a scared 20 year old who was really lonely in a big city. I joke all the time that I have like 17 dads, but what I really have is an absurdly active groupchat full of grown men (and now the rest of my next gen friends- hi guys) who have my back and tell me when I’m being dumb on the internet.
While we joke about it, I’ve never felt excluded because I didn’t go to WSU, instead I feel like I’m part of something bigger. I turned parasocial relationships into real ones, and now they’re stuck with me forever.
So thanks dad! And thanks CougCenter! Happy Father’s Day.
If today is a hard day for you, I am here — and so are they, because we’re all a community and we’re all a family.
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