How to Embarrass Your Daughters (Part 1)

I can see this building into a never-ending series since they were once teenagers and I am, well, Dad. It's part of my job to embarrass them, or part of theirs, growing up, to be embarrassed. Not sure which or even if makes a difference.

I was surprised at one thing that embarrassed one of my girls - saying hello, howdy, hi to people who were out running. She couldn't believe that I would actually talk to strangers.

It was one thing to chitter-chat her way through a run with her girl friends or teammates but saying "hello" to a person you didn't know who was out for a walk or run of his own was just audacious. And when I did the same with women out walking and running, it was semi-scandalous and I was "flirting".

Maybe I don't get it because I was never a teenage girl. I grew up in the early running boom when runners still counted themselves as iconoclastic figures, fighting to be recognized as individuals in a society that expected everybody to conform. We wore mismatched socks, grew out our hair, and dodged traffic because there weren't any running paths yet.

Or maybe I'm just getting older and don't care. I know that back when I did speed work on the U. of Idaho track, my running buddies would always strip off their shirts and blow themselves up when women walked by. Me, I trudged along, doing my thing. I was pretty sure the young ladies were not interested in me, given they were about the age of my daughters.

Still, if I had been on the road instead of the track, I'd have said hello. Not because they were pretty girls but because they were people. I know that I enjoy it when someone looks at me and offers a pleasant hello.

It's a moment of connectedness, saying hello, a way of saying "Hello, I see you, I am glad that you are here, I hope that you have a nice day."

It's a bit much for one word, so I usually add a smile.

Even though I can't actually see you right now, Hello!