Wear a Tie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     “Where would we be right now if I did not have the restaurant? How else would I be able to provide for our family? Who would give me, a man without an education, a job?” My father would say these things whenever we had a father-to-son conversation. We would usually have these talks on car rides to the stores that supply our restaurant.

I would look at my father, a clean-shaven man with short curly hair, with the greatest admiration. He’s a tall man with a strong chest that sticks out, like the super heroes I used to watch on Saturday morning cartoons. He would tell me stories of long, hard hours spent working in the hot kitchen and helping all the customers. Now I stay up late on weekends to welcome him when he comes home. I sit with him and hope that he will tell me something wise; he always knows how to inspire me. I could never understand how he grew to be so wise without even having the opportunity to complete high school.

My dad would tell me how hard his life was and how he continues to work so I will never see such days. He would say how few men would put in the hours he has. I know that he does not say these things for special recognition but to scare me away from a future of manual labor.

“Make sure you get a job where you have to wear a tie!” he’d always say with a smile. They were like a paintbrush that began painting this beautiful picture in my head that I have entitled my goal in life.

My father has worked day in and day out with few days off for 20 years now, never complaining. He would explain how this is what he had to do to make my future better. My father worked so I did not have to; he worked so I could go to the best schools; he worked to supply me with opportunities that will provide a job where I have to wear a tie.

My father is a mirror in which I can only hope to catch a reflection of myself. He is the one I strive to model myself after. One day, when I make a great name for myself as a doctor, someone will ask, “Where did you get such a great work ethic?”

“My father!” I’ll say, adjusting my tie, and I’ll smile.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 4:39 am
i love this so much!
otherpoet said...
Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:51 am
Beautiful. Your father sounds like such a great role-model. I'm sure you'll reach your goal someday!
Laughternchoclate said...
Apr. 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm
Wow, this is a great piece. Touching :) Best wishes to you guys
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