Being the President’s Daughter

Grace+Gyolai+exercises+her+daughterly+privileges+at+her+dad%27s+office.

Marley Rozman

Grace Gyolai exercises her daughterly privileges at her dad's office.

Sixteen years ago I was born into the Gyolai family. We are a clumsy, decent-looking family that has four children, one ugly dog, and a whole mess of dysfunctional planning skills. One day, my father was picked to be the president of the prestigious, Catholic high school Benilde-St. Margaret’s. This threw his two eldest daughters (one of them being me) into a world of royal balls, gold crowns, and above-average school lunches. My father being the president, I obviously get whatever I want. Sadly, that isn’t the case.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “How many assignments do you get out of?” or, “You aren’t like going to tell your dad right?” or, “So can you get (insert least favorite teacher) fired? I mean, come on, do me a solid.” If you want to know the truth, I get out of exactly zero assignments. He’s just my dad, and sometimes my way to get money when my mom won’t give it to me.

It’s actually really weird to see him at school. On several occasions, I’ve just been wandering down the main hallway when my Pops pops out of nowhere to say, “hello.” With all the stress from finishing my geography map before class, I forget I even have a father, much less one who works a maximum of 500 feet away from me. He probably gets offended when I respond with a “hello” that has a greater tone of confusion and annoyance than of amiability, the kind of “hello” you would give to an anonymous call in the middle of the night from a guy in Wyoming.

When I do remember that I have a father who works next to me, my heart goes out to all the kids with staff members for parents when I recall this absolute truth: Parents are embarrassing. Not peeing your pants at the mall when you’re 14 embarrassing, but still awkward. It’s all manifested in my jumbled, irrational brain, but if you’ve ever witnessed your parent give a speech to all of your peers during mass you’d feel me. It’s almost as if you’re fidgity and anxious because your parent could say something horribly awkward at any time. I’d rather pull a Van Gogh and cut my ear off than hear my dad use slang words like “bae” or even worse, do a throwback to the Yolo Era during an announcement.

People need to realize that I, like every over high schooler, have 99 math problems, but my dad being my tool of mass destruction shouldn’t be one. I’m not like James Bond, gathering intelligence about the student body and reporting back to headquarters who the “bad kids” are. You don’t have to censor your complaining about how you “hate so and so” or silence your raving about how “rad so and so’s party was,” because I’m not a sleeper cell. I’m just the high school-aged daughter of a faculty member, who sometimes gets little bags of free Cheez-Its because of it.