Jewish Journal


I Love My Dad

by Elliot Steingart

January 3, 2014 | 11:27 am

Cry babies

My grandpa Sidney Jack Steingart died on Christmas Eve. He was an insurance broker who worked until the age of 91. He lived to sell life insurance. In fact, he sold me my first life insurance policy when I turned 17. You know you're too young to purchase life insurance when your beneficiary is your friend Brad.

He was such a good salesman that as my bookie he would take bets first then tell me the point spread after. 

He met his first wife Helen on a Friday and proposed that Monday. He thought about proposing on Sunday but he wanted to play hard to get.

He met his second wife Essie at Parkway Cabana Club because he figured it would be cheaper to split the membership.

He never stopped working. In fact, he only had one kidney because he sold the other one. Death won't slow him down. I'm sure he is up there selling after-life insurance.

Over the summer I recorded a video of my grandpa talking about his life. He said, “In 1948 Marc was born. I wasn't sure whether to name him Marc or Mistake.”

Like most men of his generation, my grandpa had a hard time expressing his love. When we talked on the phone we talked about insurance. He complained to my dad I didn't call enough. I felt guilty that I didn't want to call him, but I didn't need any more insurance.

Many of our best conversations were through instant message. I saved a conversation from AOL Instant Messanger from 2005 in which he said, “ You are very thoughtful contacting me and having these chats. I love you for that.”

I replied, “I love you for having these chats with me late night at 3am.”

I knew my grandpa's death was imminent. I called my dad who put the phone up to my grandpa's ear. Though he couldn't speak, my dad told me that he could still listen. “Grandpa, I just want to say that I love you. I'm going to miss you. I'm thinking about you, and wish you the best.”

Not knowing what to say, I asked, “Can you put my dad back on the phone?”

I was at Ralph's buying ice when I received a text that my grandpa died. I called my dad and told him I loved him. Like my grandpa, me and my dad don't say that to each other. I get uncomfortable saying that to him because I knew if I was to say that to him I would cry. The two things in life that unequivicably make me cry are HBO Sports documentaries and any tender moment between a father and son. Also the songs of Warren Zevon, Jimmy V's speech at the Espy's, Christie McVie singing “Songbird” and the other videos from this website I created: http://ibetyoucry.tumblr.com/

Recalling childhood memories of my grandpa, my dad said that at the dinner table when it grew quiet he and his dad would look at each other and cry. “That was our way of showing love, I guess.” He told me.

“Steve, do you remember that?” he asked my uncle.

“No,” Uncle Steve said, as he walked away.

My grandpa wrote a will, but because of legal reasons, my dad and my uncle will need to wait before they claim what my grandpa had wished. In hindsight my grandpa should have given them valuables before he passed.

Learning from this expereince, I'm hoping that because I told my dad I loved him, he will leave me his Movado watch, and Prince Tennis Raquet.

My dad cried at the ending of Bambi. I am my father's son.

I love you, Dad.


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Elliot Steingart is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer who hosts a monthly comedy show, “Melgard Mondays” at Melgard Public House. Steingart has written jokes for...

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