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Fridays with father
Lunching at Carl's Jr. or a Chinese fast-food joint

    By Ashkan Yekrangi
    February 16, 1999
    The Iranian

    Late into my freshman year of high school, my father decided that he and I should spend more quality time with one another. My father, being clever and all, decided him and I would go out to lunch Fridays after school. At first this idea didn't seem too appealing to me, but as time passed, Fridays with my father became one of the very few things I looked forward to.

    Every Friday, instead of eating lunch at school like I normally do, I "fast" until the hour of liberation, three o'clock. As all the students rush out of school, I walk to the crowded bus stop and chat with my friends until my father shows up.

    I overhear conversations about who likes whom, who did what with whom the night before and how someone hates biology because their teacher gave them an F on a project they didn't do. As all this commotion continues, I wait eagerly for my father to pick me up from school and take me out to lunch so we can spend our quality time with each other. Sometimes my father is late, but he usually makes it to school on time.

    When my dad shows up, I quickly jump into his white Lincoln Continental. His warm smile and his casual "hello, son" welcome me. He then proceeds to tell me that he walked out of a very important business meeting just to make it on time so he can be with me, his favorite son (even though I am his ONLY son).

    His second question is "So where do you want to eat?" I usually reply "Carl's Jr." or "Chinese," either way it's not the food I look forward to. When we reach our fast food destination, my father and I order the "usual" from the place; if we choose Carl's Jr., both my dad and I get the Famous Star combo. If we choose to eat Chinese, we both order the sweet and tender orange chicken with chow mein.

    In this hour of conversation we touch upon everything from my grades in school to politics. My father always has opinions on everything. I always manage to learn something new about him and I am sure the same applies for him.

    When my Friday with my father comes to an end, we go home. I call my friends to see what they are doing and my dad waits for my mom to come home from work so he can spend quality time with her.

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