Search This Blog

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Life With Fathers...

I am beginning to feel that we should enact some sort of law,or regulation or at least a social convention which dictates that holidays are only to be celebrated by those under the age or 27. It would solve so many problems. Why 27? Well, 20 seems too young, 30 is past the age of reason and splitting the difference at 25 just seemed way too predictable. And I like the sound of 27, don't ask me why because I don't know. As a rule, when I have to come up with a random number it has a 7 in it. As in "Jeez, I thought he WAS dead, how old was he?" and my answer is usually "117".

This, of course, is Father's Day. Or, just another Sunday in my cramped and filthy apt here in the urban village. Father's Day should be celebrated by people under the age of 27. You can hang with your dad, you can get away with taking him to Chuck-E-Cheese's because it's the bestest place ever and you want to share it with your dad. Once you hit 28 though, things start getting ugly.

There are two things one needs to celebrate Father's Day in America. One...a back yard. A yard is essential to Father's Day because, for some unhealthy reason, Father's Day requires a barbecue. I believe this is actually a Constitutionally mandated form of celebration, hidden the the oft misunderstood and much maligned Second Amendment. It's most frequently invoked as the right to keep and bear arms, something that seems simple enough until one realizes that it's used as a battle cry for thieves, murderers, patriots and pedophiles alike, in short, it can be pretty much bent to support whatever one wishes to do with one's free time.

As the Second Amendment is always subject to major discussion and personal interpretation I have come to believe that, between it's constantly debated lines is contained a National dictate to barbecue on Father's Day.

We no longer have a yard and, against my entreaties to the contrary, the hubster gave away the barbecue when we were forced to move from my home. The one with the room inside and the back yard outside. Many people who live in this dump, and on the block that contains the dump, drag their grills out to sidewalks and driveways and courtyards and such and fire 'em up for any and all occasions including any televised Chicago Bears game (we, btw, don't live anywhere NEAR Chicago, this is Los Angeles, people). However, as our barbecue was charcoal I'm just as glad it's gone, I kept yelling about carcinogens and fouling the environment but to no avail. The last Father's Day I actually had a home, I replaced the charcoal with apple wood. Smelled divine. My FIL and my own father were there, as was my SIL and it was a really wonderful afternoon. Last one I've ever had, if I remember right.

The other thing you need for Father's Day is a car. If one can't barbecue, at least one should be able to actually go SEE one's father, drop off a card and a baseball cap and maybe a bucket of chicken. I don't have one of those either.

There's one other thing you need now that I think of it. You really need a heart.

My own father drives my INSANE! He spent a ton of money on hearing aids then never changes the batteries because they're too damn expensive. He thinks global warming is a commie plot and he sees terrorists hiding in every 7/11. He doesn't trust bag-less vacuum cleaners, French press coffee-makers or Facebook. He believes the President is an illegal alien and that all those people crying "wah, wah, wah" about the oil spill that is undermining the entire world in general and the Gulf of Mexico in specific are just a bunch of people who don't understand that it's no big deal and people got killed in a flood in Arkansas and no one but Fox News covered that story and why aren't people going "wah, wah, wah" over the people killed in the flood?

Yes, you might suggest that someone point out that people, tragically and unfortunately, get killed in floods all the time. Well, when there's a flood, that is, but the BP debacle in the Gulf will have a lasting negative impact on the world but you would be wasting your breath. Trust me. Been there, done that, sold the t-shirt on eBay.

So yeah, he drives me nuts. But he's my dad and he loves me. He thinks I'm a commie pinko liberal but he loves me anyway. I would like to do more than engage in a phone call today but it's all I've got at the moment. Because he's about a 90 minute drive from here and there's no public transportation to where he is on Sundays.

The hubster refuses to speak to or of his father, for reasons no one understands. In fact he claims his father didn't do anything to warrant this behavior except marry his step-mother who is, I'll admit, a cold hearted, money grubbing pig who, at one point in a personal disaster of BIG proportions (to us, anyway) offered to SELL her support to us. Now the money grubbing part used to bother me, not so much now, as she still has a home and I no longer do so maybe it's not such a bad idea in the long run. She never gave money to unemployed sad sacks who didn't work because they were trying to sell scripts and break into show business at the age of, oh, somewhere in their mid-50s I'm guessing and were 18 hours from eviction. And when she DID lend money to my BIL she sent my FIL to Florida to personally collect the loan...but I digress.

She pulled some really crappy stuff, manipulative and vindictive, which is kind of odd as we didn't really do anything to HER. When my FIL had a heart attack last year I found out about it six weeks later, she was too mean to pick up a phone and call his oldest son. Now, here's the thing. I tell the hubster. And I say "you need to call your father. Because he's sitting over there thinking that you knew he was in the hospital with a heart attack (for all I know the MIL TOLD him she called us) and you deliberately ignored him. You need to tell him you just found out, that you didn't know." Yeah, like THAT happened. So I don't know who's worse...the (step) MIL who deliberately did NOT call any of us in an attempt to make us all look like unfeeling, selfish, petty bastards who cut off his father because they refused to help us when we desperately needed some help (like in the form of emotional SUPPORT, you freaking bitch) or the hubster who deliberately let her play a stupid, schoolgirl plan like that out to great success.

His father has been married to this woman for over 30 years, he's not going to divorce her to please my husband. His father can be an SOB at times, who can't? But he is, in general, a pleasant guy, a genial host and he's EIGHTY THREE FREAKING YEARS OLD! How the hell much longer is he going to be around to ignore? Is is really so FUCKING HARD to pick up the damn phone and say "Happy Father's Day?"

Look, there's the thing. My father drives me to drink. My FIL pretty much follows whatever the bitch he married wants him to do. They're happy. Maybe they weren't the best fathers in the world, my own dad walked away from some problems that, had he dealt with them, would have, undoubtedly made me a much better person than the one I am. And I suppose, the hubster's parents are responsible for the coldness he exhibits towards his own father.

But you know what? They did their best. Was it good enough? Yes. Because is WAS their best. A very warm and wooly friend of mind once told me that no one makes the wrong decision. We do not decide to do something because we think it won't work out. All of our decisions are made with the feeling that we're doing the right thing, or, if not the absolutely RIGHT thing it's at least the best of all our options. So yeah. Your dad did his best. All of our dads did their best.

It's a PHONE CALL, people. Make it. If it doesn't work out all that well, you can sit on your butt, smug in the knowledge that YOU have been the bigger person.

Oh, and by the way? I don't care HOW adorable you think it is, NO woman over the age of 8 should be calling her father "Daddy" in public let alone posting it on Facebook. It's kinda disturbing...

No comments:

Post a Comment