To all of you who are mad because your dad won’t buy you a pony, or because he says “Love ya,” instead of “I love you, my most precious darling,” or because he said you were never going to make it as a professional basketball player so please just major in economics, or because he asked you why, if you were a lesbian and attracted to women, you had to pick a girlfriend who looks just like the hairy guy who pumps gas at the Mobil Short Stop: You may have noticed that I haven’t been around much for a few weeks, and this is because I lost my dad a few weeks ago. Believe me. All these problems, and any other that seem of the utmost importance right now, will one day pale in comparison to the big, horrible problem of not having your dad anymore. So be nice. Take it easy. Let things roll off your back. Stand your ground if it’s important, but be kind and understanding and look at things from his point of view. I’m not saying he’s right. I’m just saying, be a little gentle with the people you love.