The Best Compliment

Today was a really great day. It started off with a 3-mile run, I wore a comfy outfit, I was ridiculously productive at work and then I squeezed in a trip to the gym for a 45-minute Chisel class.

But then the best part of the day arrived:

Dinner with my dad!

Dancing at a wedding this summer

My parents live in New Hampshire, so it’s incredibly rare that they’re ever in NYC. They’re country folk!

But my dad had to come down on a last-minute trip for work. He has a meeting tomorrow, so he drove down with a colleague tonight. Conveniently, their hotel is on my way home from the gym.

As soon as they pulled up to the hotel, I couldn’t stop smiling. My dad is so great, and I miss him every day.

Love this photo

Without letting this blog get all sappy, I’ll say this: My dad is my biggest role model. There are tons of people I look up to and admire in this world, but I truly believe that my dad is the smartest, coolest, most badass guy in the world.

Badass: Teaching my grandmother how to use a pellet gun

So all we really had time for was dinner, and my dad wanted steak. He was staying in midtown east, so it was easy to pick from the abundance of steakhouses in the area.

My friend Lauren is obsessed with The Palm, so I figured we’d go there based on its convenience and reputation. I had been before, and tonight it didn’t disappoint. (Honestly, I could have eaten a rock — I just wanted to make sure my dad got a good NYC meal!)

To start, I ordered the tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. It was delicious with big, ripe tomatoes. I have a ton left over for dinner tomorrow night!

For my entree, I went with the sea bass. It was perfect. Warm, flaky and oh-so-delicious. Also, The Palm includes calorie counts on the menu, and I was pleasantly surprised to select a meal that wasn’t too much of a caloric disaster.

My dad got the 18-ounce New York Strip, because he’s a champion, and he was happy with his order.

Midway through dinner ABS was able to join us. He had been mentoring high school kids about applying to college. Swoon.

At the end of the meal, a giant slice of amazing chocolate cake showed up at our table — courtesy of Lauren. They seriously love her there. It was the perfect ending to an awesome meal.

OK, so the point of the title: “The Best Compliment.”

Thanksgiving 2010

We were telling tons of stories over the course of the meal (my dad’s colleague joined us, so there were four of us altogether). We talked about life in NYC, reminisced about when I got my first speeding ticket (on the day of my high school graduation!) and chatted about careers.

In NYC last May for my birthday!

At one point, I made a comment and my dad’s colleague just shook his head at us and laughed.

My dad simply looked at me and said, “Yeah, she’s me.”

Whoa. I am?!

I honestly think that was the best compliment possible — and to come from him made it that much better. My dad is so hardworking, driven and intelligent, and I never realized that he sees me the same way.

As I’ve written before, we can be so self-critical of ourselves, whether it’s about our intelligence, our fitness aptitude or the cleanliness of our apartments.

Tonight I realized that as much as I admire my dad, he’s equally proud of me. Don’t get me wrong — he tells me every time we talk that he’s proud of me — but there was something about hearing him compare the two of us tonight. It meant the world to me.

It’s basically my goal in life to be both of my parents. Maybe I’m closer than I thought.

Now I’m super homesick because I don’t know when I’m seeing my family again.

A note to my fabulous mom: Don’t worry, I love you just as much as I love dad! I’m sure a post all about you is in the near future. I’ll be sure to mention your passion for finding great sales and your exceptional talent for “knowing” all the words to the songs on the radio.

Merry Christmas from us!

TELL ME: Do you get homesick? How often do you see your family?



0 Responses

  1. How sweet! I have a really close family so I can definitely understand. I live with my parents, so I don’t have much opportunity to miss them. Luckily, we get along great and don’t get annoyed by being together so much.

  2. For the first two years of college (with one year spent 8 hours away from home in SC), I NEVER got homesick. I never wanted to go home. But now, in my junior year, I actually get homesick a lot. I never realized how much I truly love my parents and how much they mean to me. I’m going home this weekend and I can’t wait! 😀

  3. I (TX) see my parents (Fla.) once a year and the rest of the family (PA) I haven’t seen in over 5 years. My job keeps me from traveling and my parents won’t come and visit me. There are more times than not that I would give anything to be back in my hometown (PA) and be able to go to Sunday pizza night at my Aunt and Uncle’s house with the rest of the family. I haven’t spent Christmas with my parents since 2004 and the rest of my family since 1998. Being an only child doesn’t help much either, so I just work all holidays so that way I am not alone. I let my staff spend time with their family and do whatever I can to get them home fast. I am looking forward to having my own family one day so I can have holidays again.

  4. I never get homesick for Oregon, where I went to high school and where my dad lives now. But I do get homesick for Houston (where I was born and raised and where I might move back this year, eeps!). Luckily, my twin sister is here in New York, so I see and talk to her often enough. My dad comes to visit us here a few times a year (he came out to cheer me on when I ran the marathon in November). His (small) family is in Arizona, where we spent Christmas this past year. My mom passed away when I was 11 and her (huge) family is in Lima, Peru, where she is also buried. I wish I could visit them more often and hope to go again by the end of this year!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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