top of page

Our Justin Jeeper Journey

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

I love a good laugh. And the best kind of joke is the one with a twinge of irony in it; where the timing is so perfect it couldn't be recreated in a million years. Well, I had one of those serendipitous humorous moments just a few days ago.

So, here's the set up. I come from a very Italian family on my dad's side. And, well, they can be...and I mean this lovingly...chauvinistic. It's more of an underlying, subconscious, "it's because I care about you" kind of chauvinism, but it is nonetheless still chauvinism. My Italian family is very loving, but they do value their males as kings and their females, as well, more of a figurehead; valued, but too emotional to ever rule. Now, there is a sweetness, almost chivalrous nature in it all, but being the independent, speak my mind type of gal that I am, I never have completely fit into it all very succinctly.

So, about 10 days ago, I called my dad in Florida and told him that I wanted to get my daughter a newer car. The one she had was constantly breaking down and not exactly the "coolest" mode of transportation for a teenager. She was being robbed of so much in her senior year with no graduation ceremonies, no real prom, no senior year-end activities of any kind and I wanted to bring some light into all of that disappointment and put a smile on her face.

Now, because we live up north, rust is always an issue on used cars, so I wanted to purchase a vehicle for her from down South. So, I asked my dad to start looking and told him that Maryn and I would fly down and drive the car back up. In fact, this exact scenario had just played out 6 weeks prior when 2 of my sons went down to buy themselves each a newer vehicle over spring break. So my dad was familiar with the routine.

But upon my request, my dad's response was, "Well, I don't know about that, Ang", in his most fatherly voice, "I'm not sure that's a very good idea having you and Maryn drive back in a car that's going to have over 100,000 miles on it."

"Why not, dad? The boys just did it."

"Yeah, but that's different. They're boys. They'd know how to handle themselves if they broke down on the side of the road. You and Maryn would just be stranded."

Yep, he really said that out load.

He thinks a 19 and 20 year old boy is more qualified for an emergency than his middle aged daughter who's been around the block a time or two. But then again, I am just a girl.

I took a breath and zealously responded back, "Dad, I'm 51 years old. Look at what I've been through the last 7 years. You don't think I can handle myself? I think Maryn and I will be just fine if something happens."

I got off the phone and booked our flights.

A few days later we were in the sunny state, found a car and had a wonderful mini vacation. My dad made sure the oil was changed, that it had brand new tires, and proceeded to clean that new vehicle from top to bottom. He made sure it was road ready for the grueling 1,000 mile trip that lie ahead. See, there's the chivalrous part.

So, Maryn and I set out on our girls road trip back home. We split it up into 2 days driving and enjoyed the sights along the way. At the start of our second day, we were about an hour into our adventure and I started noticing that the car wasn't switching into gears very well. Within another 30 miles it became very clear that the transmission was toast. We were 5 hours from home. I pulled over and just started to laugh.

I wasn't scared or worried or even mad. I was just laughing. The irony was so incredibly funny. I was almost gleeful. Sure, it sucked that I was now going to have to spend another $2000 for a new transmission, but the humor in it all was priceless!

After gathering my thoughts (and laughter), I phoned my dad to tell him his 2 independent females were currently stranded on the side of the highway. It was almost providential. He proceeded to ask me a ton of questions about what the car was doing, even though I had already told him it was the transmission. I knew it was the transmission without a doubt in my mind.

He said, "Let me call your brother and see what he says." Because of course, there had to be another male opinion involved to validate my claim.

8 minutes later, my phone rings. "Ang. It's the transmission. It's blown."

Yep, he said that out loud, too.

So, I proceeded to limp the car home with our 5 hour destination turning into 8 and my phone going off every half hour as my dad's anxious voice came through the airwaves wanting to know what mile marker we were passing. Finally, we arrived safe and sound in our driveway and there Justin Jeeper (in our family, we name our cars) has sat for the past week waiting for his new transmission to be found.

It was almost satirical. The very thing that my dad didn't think I could navigate through, happened. And I handled it like butter...smooth and creamy. It was an epic victory for me, even though I knew my dad didn't feel the same way.

Don't get me wrong. I love my dad very much and I am truly grateful that he cares so intently. And I am also proud and honored of my Italian heritage. There is actually a true goodness in all of it, even though it can have a dogmatic mindset in it sometimes. But see, it's that dichotomy that makes is so special. People...who they are and where they come from are never one dimensional. And there lies the beauty. My dad loves me more than anything, but because of how he was raised, he sees me differently than my brother. He views me as having certain "limitations" because I'm female. But that's ok. In fact, I've grown to understand that it's actually quite endearing. It's as if, I hold a special place in his heart that carries an exquisite tenderness with it; a place where the totality of his love is even greater because he views me as "lesser" in some areas. And now that I am a seasoned adult, I feel honored to be held in such a place of love by my dad. Sure, it drives me insane and makes me feel inferior sometimes, but it has also taught me to be a fighter; to find my value in who I am, not in what anyone else thinks or believes I am, but who I know that I am. Our relationships help to shape who we are. That's why they are all so beautiful. And that's why I am so incredibly thankful to have the dad that I have....even though he is just a man.

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

Proverbs 3:15-16

56 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Just the Onion-01.png



bottom of page