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Words of Wisdom from Our Dads

DuJour staffers share the best advice they’ve ever gotten from their fathers

Lindsay Silberman, Senior Editor
The two most important things I’ve learned from my dad:
1) In life, a good sense of humor will be your greatest asset.
2) Always judge a restaurant by the quality of its bread. 

Sydney Wasserman, Market Director
“Be a good guest so that you always get invited back.” Neither of us has the host/ess gene in us, but we make great guests.

Frances Dodds, Editorial Assistant
When I was in college, I once complained to my dad that he hadn’t pushed me to achieve more when I was younger. His response was, “I never wanted you to think you had to be like me.” This is ironic, because I am probably more like my dad than anyone else in the world. Ours has been a far-reaching 26-year conversation. He warns me about the difficulties of paths that he’s taken (a career in the arts, of crippling student debt, of not believing in your work, of perfectionism, of needing to hear you are extraordinary, of falling in love with or wanting to be loved by… well, pretty much everyone), and then I take the exact same paths, and then we talk about them. I wish I could remember specific pieces of advice he’s given me—that I could cut out of time and put away like meaningful clips from the newspaper—but for now at least, they allude me. It’s probably because I’ve never been much of a hoarder, and I’ve actually never cut anything out of a newspaper in my life because I know I can always find the story later if need be… so maybe I take my dad for granted the same way. I can’t really imagine not having him there to pick up the conversation where we left off. 

Eden Univer, Digital Editor
My dad is very logical, calm and judicious, and he always has great advice, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from him is to just be there for people when they need you most. If I need something, he will drop what he’s doing and move mountains—and that unconditional support means more to me than I think he’ll ever know!

Jessica Khorsandi, Web Assistant
“Dream big and follow your passions. If you love what you do, you’ll always be the best at it.” And, “Keep at least $40 in cash in your wallet at all times—you never know when you’ll need it.”

Etta Meyer, Photo Editor
“If you’re not playing to win, it’s not worth playing.” Even though he’s retired from the courtroom, at 74, my dad is still racking up W’s like nobody’s business. He’s a competitive amateur pool player in Wyoming. Work, life, games, doesn’t matter—play with passion, or pick another sport. Oh, and also never play tug-of-war with a bird dog—it hardens their mouth. Thanks, Dad!

Juli Mosoff, Senior Web Producer
My dad told me there was only one rule to live by when I was growing up: “Don’t be an asshole.” While this may prove that I was brought up in a slightly unconventional way, seriously, think about it! If the only way you can control a sticky situation is by how you react to it, you might as well choose the nicer reaction. It benefits you and everyone around you. I think about it when I miss my subway as a slow-moving tourist blocks my path, when my drink order comes with the wrong kind of juice, when I’m impatiently waiting at the pharmacy for seemingly no reason. Any time I’m feeling like I’m about to lose my temper, “Don’t be an asshole” really cools me down—and I’m sure everyone I’m nearby at the time is really thankful for that.