As Phill and I are both spending quite a bit of our evenings writing fiction, we end up discussing personalities frequently. Three days ago we were discussing types of male personalities. One of the personality types we discussed: the teaser.
That would describe my father. If he liked you, he teased you. If he loved you, he teased you mercifully. The people I know that were in the last category were my mother, Maverick, his sister-in-law, Big Chief, Molly, and me. He really only teased women. Or it was that his teasing to the men that he really cared about was very different than how he teased the women. DA and Good4Water would have to tell me if he teased them. I just saw three men interacting. No, it was two apprentices learning from a master. Yes, that is what is was.
An architect, Bill, that was his friend (and a grunt Marine in Vietnam) understood my father's teasing nature. Bill was buying a new, larger boat and offered his smaller one to Dad for $1000. Dad told him to bring it over. It sat in the driveway for a week or so. Bill asked Dad for $800 for it. Alright, when I get to it, Bill. Let me see if it is seaworthy, would have been said with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. A week or so later, Bill told Dad to just give him $600 for it. After a month had passed since first dropping off the boat, Bill dropped his price to $500.
I remember what Dad said his response was, "Well, Bill, I figure if it just sits in my driveway long enough you'll give it to me!" When he told the extended family that one night over wine and shrimp, we all laughed. (He was on a roll that night.) Bill was one of his closest friends.
I found out a few weeks ago that Bill put his sargeant stripes in with Dad. That makes a drawing from my eldest daughter, a pocketknife from my husband, and a Meyer's lemon from my sister that were placed with my father for cremation.
Molly, my cousin's wife, has been the subject of Dad's teasing. He would tease her about how much beer she could drink when we were at the beach. "Gee, Molly, for a quiet librarian you don't drink like a quiet librarian!" He wasn't being judgmental. He really liked Molly.
So, add to your mental image of my father that he was a teaser. And, man, could he push my buttons!