I'm usually the only Dad who attends the monthly PTO meetings, and my ethnicity makes me stand out even more. When I introduced myself to the Principal at my first PTO meeting about a year ago, we got to talking about how we both ended up in our small town in Oklahoma.
Fast forward to a few months back, when we got to talking one night after a PTO Chicken Noodle dinner fundraiser and had a good laugh when we found out we spent some time in the same town in the San Gabriel Valley.
Seems his Dad lived in the town where I had moved my family from, and he attended high school there, before moving out to Hemet with his Mom. During college, he came out to Oklahoma on a football scholarship and never looked back.
We bonded over memories of pastrami dips at The Hat, Tommy's chili burgers on Rampart at midnight, and Double-double's (animal style) at the In N Out by the high school on Rosemead Blvd.
The next week I found an In N Out windshield decal mailed to me anonymously. It went on the Elky.
I escalated by sending him a Tommy's tee shirt, anonymously of course.
He tells me he wears it with pride on weekend family outings.
Since then, I find him seeking me out at the monthly Parent/Teacher Organization gatherings, where we strangely find ourselves saying "dude" way too often.
So now, not every day, but just about every day when I drop C off at school, I toss one of those quick raised-eyebrow, head-jerking, half-smile greeting nods that only guys do, to the Tommy's T-shirt wearing Principal at C's school.
C is not impressed.