Letter writing is a wonderful way of communicating. If you get a handwritten letter from a child or grandchild, put it in the bank vault.
Actor/filmmaker, Ben Stiller, said of his father, Jerry Stiller, who recently passed away, “He was kind of an irreplaceable person. It’s been really heartwarming to see how much he touched people, how beloved he was.”
Shown below are some letters a L. I. dad might receive this Father’s Day. How would YOU answer them?
Grandma has been “floridated”—sent to Miami. I wish
she could have continued being a “Snowbird”
because I miss her so much. What should I do?
2. Dear Dad,
I am grossly overweight and ridiculed every day at
school. When I walk down the halls, boys call me
“Wide Load.” Other kids make pig grunts or moos.
I’d like to attend a SlimDown summer program, but
due to COVID-19, all the camps are closed. Any
Don’t laugh, but I’ve been having a “Bad Hair Day.”
One of my sorority sisters uses “Jumper cables” to
style her hair. A Univ. of Florida professor claims that
just admitting to a “Bad Hair Day” and laughing it off
is an excellent way to cope with the troublesome
tresses. What do you think?
4. Dear Dad,
I have a confession. I’ve been getting “Guiltgelt”—a
Joseph Nash term for the money grandparents slip
under the table after parents refuse a tear-jerking
request. How shall I handle this problem in the future?
5. Dear Dad,
Grandma says that you and mom are “Gourmet
Parents”—people who would have me studying
Russian or Japanese. They claim that I’d rather be
at the National Gallery of Art than Disneyland. And
they say that your idea of a nutritional lunch is lentil
soup rather than a Whopper and fries. BTW, what’s
a “helicopter parent”?
6. For my last birthday you sent me the following
Hallmark Peanuts card: “Whenever you need
someone to count on, someone to talk to, some-
one to share hopes and dreams, I’ll be there for
you. If I’m not there, leave a message. Were you
7. Dear Dad,
I know that you and mom are thinking of divorcing.
If you do, will you be a “Disneyland Daddy”—a
divorced father who occasionally visits the kids
and shows them a good time? That expression
really bothers me. Help!
What’s an “au pair”? It’s arriving this Friday.
9. Dear Dad,
My teacher said that my reading skills will improve if I
rhyme. I understand the rhyme “Trump bump,” but I
don’t understand these examples:
Out [with] Gout
Silk Bloomers [for] Baby Boomers
Huey, Dewey, Louis
Newt [is] Cute
10. Dad, You know that I’ve been wearing reading glasses
since I’m 8 years old. My classmates remind me that
“Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”
Is there any truth to this statement?
11. Dear Dad,
My 4th grade school desk is always a mess. I save
Ansel Adams photos, baseball cards, earth-friendly
gift-wrapping paper and a map of the U.S. Should I
tell my teacher that a well-known psychologist said,
“If a desk is too clean, too antiseptic, too empty, it
could mean that he has nothing to do”?
My 9th grade English teacher has a reputation for
using lots of “Gobbledygook”—wordy, vague, unclear
language. She says “wood interdental stimulator” for
toothpick, “social-expression product” for greeting
card, “involuntary conversion of a 727” for plane
crash, and “experienced car” for used car. Is she
permitted to do that?
13. Dear Dad,
I would like to get a tattoo of Rodney Dangerfield
(“I can’t get no respect”) on my left shoulder. I know
that body piercing used to be something you only saw
in National Geographic or on motorcycle gang
members. You’ve always said, “Think before you ink.”
Do I have your permission?
14. Dear Dad,
I know that you read in the papers today that more
than 1 in 4 high school students reported vaping in
2019. I promise that I will not use any Juul or other
e-cigarettes. Now will you PLEASE stop smoking
15. Dear Dad,
I love listening to rock music and when I’m older I plan
to attend a concert at the Coliseum. I know that you
like the neo-klezmer bands such as “Nosh, Lox &
Vodka” and the “Hot Latkes Klezmer Band.” Have
you really joined HEAR (Hearing Education for
Rockers), an organization which alerts performers,
technicians and concert-staffers to the perils of
Whenever I do poorly on a spelling test, the kids refer
to me as a “McFly.” I know this term is from “Back to
the Future” and refers to a person with no intelligence.
So, I’m not a GRATE speller!
I know that you and mom always follow the advice of
the late Fred Rogers. This year you’ve prepared my
kid brother—age 5—for his first day of school by
introducing him to the school crossing guard. You’ve
also put a family photograph in his lunch box to
remind him that you’ll all be together at the end of the
school day. Is all this preparation really necessary?
He’s been going to nursery school since he’s 3 years
18. Dear Dad,
Mom keeps talking about “caregiver roulette.” Does
this have anything to do with the fact that, since Mom
returned to work, I keep having different babysitters?
19. Dear Dad,
I’m learning Common Core math, a method that you
and mom don’t understand. Yesterday’s homework
asked this question: John collected 32 candy bars
on Halloween. He ate 28. What does he now have?
Can I answer the question with “Diabetes?”
20. Dear Dad,
You know that I’m taking a personal finance course
in high school. Why is it that in Monopoly, when you
go bankrupt, you lose the game? But in real life,
though, you don’t get to flip the board and start over?
21. Dear Dad
I love to draw. Before we purchased a new stainless
steel GL refrigerator, Mom set up a Crayolia—an area
where childrens’ drawings are displayed. Now
there’s no place to hang my artwork, to-do lists,
post reminders and report cards. Any thoughts?
A local school system is urging parents to buy their
kids the $12 ballistic armored bags which students
wear over their chests during safety drills. Is this
Is there really an illness called “Oreoporisis”—a
disorder caused by eating too many cookies and
not enough milk?
24. Dear Dad,
You and Mom should learn the difference between
“ransomware” and “Tupperware.”
I know that when you were a kid your music teacher
explained the acronym for music notes:
E G B D F means “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”
Today it has two new meanings:
“Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” and
“Every Good Burger Deserves Fries.”
26. Dear Dad,
Recently you told me that in 1315 a doctor wrote
HIS sons cautioning them with this advice: “Don’t
sleep in winter with cold feet; but first warm them
at the fire or by walking about or some other method.
And in summer, don’t sleep with be slippers on your
feet because they generate vapors which are very
bad for the brain and memory.”
Yesterday you told me “Don’t go out without your
rubbers.” Does that mean what I think it means?
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the mother of three sons and grandmother of seven. She is the author of two books: “Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers” and “Are Yentas, Kibitzers & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction? Yiddish Trivia.”