a man and a woman standing next to each other
Mandy Bolen becomes Mandy Miles on April 10, 2010. ROB O’NEAL/Contributed

I long ago reached the unsettling realization that everything my parents told me is generally correct, despite my best and repeated efforts to prove them wrong. 

So on Father’s Day, my older brother Kevin, and I compiled a sampling of my dad’s favorite words of (ahem) “wisdom.” 

Welcome to the world according to Bob.

Bob on work:  “Never quit one job until you have the next one lined up.” Sure, we’ve all envisioned the perfect, dramatic exit that would have the most devastating impact on a soon-to-be-former employer. But the thrill of that departure won’t pay the rent. 

Bob on teen drivers: “Just because the state of New Jersey decided you could drive well enough to have a license, doesn’t mean you’ve passed MY test.” Until Kevin and I could change a tire, check our oil and navigate the 9th Street traffic circle in Somers Point, N.J. at the entrance to our Shore town, we were considered unlicensed in dad’s view. 

Speaking of that infamous traffic circle, which has since been replaced with a normal intersection and traffic light… “Stay to the outside, OUTSIDE, of the circle.” Dad imparted this knowledge when teaching us to drive — and while stiff-arming the dashboard, screaming and stomping his foot uselessly through the floor looking for the non-existent brake pedal on the passenger side. 

Bob on drinking: “If you’re going to wallow with the pigs, ya gotta soar with the eagles.”

His hangover mantra was usually accompanied by him vacuuming our bedrooms at 8 a.m., then suggesting a breakfast of buttered bacon and anything else that would turn our stomachs.

Bob on romance: “There’s not enough o’s in the word smooth,” he says whenever pulling off some suave gift or surprise for my mom. 

Bob on my wedding day:  “Stan, you’ve got the football,” he said as he passed me off to my husband as if passing the silver suitcase that holds the nation’s nuclear codes. 

Bob on shopping:Buy the best; only cry once.” This was his justification for spending more than my mom had agreed to on a new TV or lawn mower that was supposed to last forever. 

Bob on humanity: “When fat and ugly team up, stupid usually isn’t too far behind.” This is one of Stan’s favorite “Bobisms,” though I know my mom is cringing that I’ve put it in print. 

Bob on family: “Where did you get the idea that this family is a democracy? It’s not. It’s a monarchy and I’m king. So, yes, as a matter of fact there are and always will be double standards for sons and daughters. Why? Because, boys have sex and girls have babies. That’s why.”

Bob on curfews: “Nothing good happens after 1 a.m.” This jury is still out on that one. While I fought him tooth and nail during unending curfew arguments, I eventually came to realize he’s probably, technically correct. But then, good and fun are not the same thing. So while a 3 a.m. adventure wouldn’t be considered good, it can sure as hell be fun.

Bob on fatherhood: “My two kids are the best things I’ve ever done. Whatever they choose, as long as they’re happy, then their mother and I are the happiest people in the world. That’s all that matters.”

Thanks, Dad (and Mom). I am happy, ridiculously happy, and indescribably grateful. Happy Father’s Day.

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.