The Girl with the Wonderful Eyebrows – Part 2


I came down to the dining area at the hotel in Waco.  I saw a young woman with great, fun, spikey hair sitting down with someone who looked like her mother and a friend. I went and found a guest napkin & drew them.  The mother had copper eyeshadow, and I love copper eyeshadow on almost anyone. Haven’t ever really figured out why, but I do.  I know, the color of her eye shadow in the drawing isn’t copper, so sue me.  This story has nothing to do with this drawing.

As I was drawing a woman asked if she could borrow one of the chairs at my table. They sat at the table next to me and I overheard them talking about the big Baylor Sing competition of the night before.  My daughter was in the same event so I asked them what they thought of it.

We got into a friendly discussion about the various acts, which were good, bad, ugly, etc.  It turns out their daughters were also in the competition (they were in acts that we ranked very high, so that was good).  I mentioned that I was an artist and I didn’t think enough attention was paid to the visuals of set design, costumes, etc. in the judging.  They said they noticed I had been drawing and I explained about ‘The Napkin Dad’, and told them about this website/blog.  I gave them my card.

My wife showed up so I went to help fix a plate of food for our daughter, still upstairs getting ready.  When I came back my new friends were laughing and cracking up about something. They had just gone to my site on their iPhone and said, ‘You won’t believe it, but Hilary, the girl with the wonderful eyebrows?  We have known her since she was 6 months old, she is one of my daughter’s best friends.’

I brought out the drawing I did of Hilary and they took a photo to immediately send to Hilary’s mother back in Phoenix.  I like this story.  Life is good sometimes and it makes me happy.

Here is the link to Part One



Drawing and story by Marty Coleman 

The Girl with the Wonderful Eyebrows – Part One



Today I am in Waco, Texas visiting my daughter.  I am hanging out at Common Grounds, a coffee spot right off the Baylor campus.  I am watching the parade of students come in, order their drinks and go back out to their next class.  The woman serving, Hilary, has beautiful eyebrows she is not sure she likes. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn’t.  I like them, and told her so.


Hilary, The Girl with the Wonderful Eyebrows, at Common Grounds, Waco, TX
The travel napkin today is the paper towel that serve as napkins here.
To read about the coincidence that followed meeting Hilary, check out Part Two.

Drawing © 2016 by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Travel Napkin #8 – Sleep is Overrated


I am down in Waco, Texas at the Baylor University homecoming.  Our daughter, Caitlin, is a typical sleep-deprived, coffee-infused college student.  Not enough time, too many obligations. Everything is hard and will end in certain disaster.  Except it never does.

I really think college is much less about learning stuff and much more about learning yourself and your limits, and how many times you can go over that limit and still survive.  So far, so good for Caitlin.

Drawing by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

On the Road, day 2 – updated 2017

Hello again NapkinDaddians, I am in Waco still, making things run smooth for my daughter as she recovers from a bad back.

This almost looks like a Christmas type napkin, with all the boxes, but it’s apropos anytime of the year. Take it from someone who knows, having a lot of stuff isn’t any more satisfying than having a little bit of stuff. There are conveniences and luxuries and sweets momentary satisfactions indeed that come with having nice stuff. But look at any child who goes out into the world starting out and see if the ones that have everything handed to them are any more satisfied with life than those who go the more usual route of having to start anew as an adult, with just a little.

All four of my daughters are in that situation now. Small apartments and old houses, going to college or starting over, borrowed furniture, thrift store bargains, iffy appliances. They are making their way in the world and I am excited for them. It’s fun to build up a life with old or new stuff, and I am all for it. I am a believer in stuff. But I am not a believer in stuff giving me satisfaction in the long view. My best satisfaction comes from relationships, from helping, from creating. It comes from using stuff to further love and further good. That is when stuff satisfies.

Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman

“To be satisfied with little is hard, to be satisfied with a lot is impossible.” – Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach, 1830-1916, Austrian author and Countess

Napkin Dad on the Road – updated 2017

Hola travelers! The Napkin Dad is on the road in Waco, Texas taking care of my daughter after her back went out. I thought I would take the opportunity to photograph (with my iPhone) the napkins in the situation I find myself in. This was taken at ‘Common Grounds’ a college coffee house near the Baylor University campus.

One of the things people forget is that treating other people well while treating your children badly is not very effective. They can’t just watch you as a witness, they need to see, feel and hear your direct care and love for them. Of course they do if you are a good parent, but even good parents have to make choices in response to childrens’ behavior and attitudes.

Are you the adult? Then prove to them you are one by responding as you would like them to respond to their children when it is their turn. There is no better and more effective way of paying it forward to the world than that.

Of course, the secret they can’t possibly know until they have a child of their own is that what they see as your ‘sacrifice’ or the ‘burden’ they are for you is so trivial compared to the complete and utter privilege it is to be granted the gift of loving someone so completely. They don’t yet know that good parents would rather take care of their children than do anything else in their life. Nothing else has the meaning, the value, the fulfillment of that.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders. But they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin
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