The relationship I have with my father is a strange one. Strange, because sometimes we get along just fine, but there’s always room for an argument or disagreement. There’s always room for some kind of Baby Boomer vs Millennial clash, and well…someone who’s had a job for 34 dang years doesn’t get the struggle of not having one. It’s a lot of things, a lot of layers, and a lot of…something.
That’s not to say I don’t like him or love him. It’s just that sometimes, I kinda wanna pluck the hairs out of his face one by one, and honk his nose a little harder than I usually do. He’s not a bad person, just…a little…saucy from time to time. He “only wants the best”, so it’s not all bad.
I suppose that’s why I’m having such a hard time watching him do the same things he commented on, dealing with relationships and exes. At first, I envied it. I am not in contact with any of my exes. There’s one I will never speak to again, and there’s another one where not talking is best, but I’ve been thinking about him lately. I felt strange driving through his town some months ago.
Anyway, exes. Dad gave me the business during the Darren era. How he dumped me, why he dumped me. Gave me extra business when we kept getting together and drifting apart. Gave HIM the business and let him know how he felt about seeing me so hurt. Same with Jeff. Long story short (I’m so not documenting the whats and whys), he had so much advice and so much to say. It made me feel like I was handling things wrong by giving people chances, and not moving on correctly. So, when HE broke up with HIS girlfriend, I expected two things–his getting over it in time, and her not showing up again.
Cue the canned live studio audience laughter.
That has not been the case. Not in a steady way, anyway. She was gone for a while, but that stopped sometime this summer. Suddenly, because she needed the money, he allowed her to clean up his side of the house. Now, I’m not a complete fool. There’s a bedroom up there. There’s not a lot of carpet to clean, and dad isn’t a messy person. Not completely messy. You do the math. This part got to me, because he kept saying he was tired of giving her money. I didn’t say anything, because…he’s my benefactor. I would be F…er…in a bad place if not for his desire to care.
I mean, I wanted to be direct with him and talk about my concerns, but the man is 61. He’s the “been there, done that” type. He’s also a rock-headed Capricorn blah blah blah. So, I’ve been keeping quiet while he has reassured me he’s got it all under control. For a minute, he was telling me about his dating hang-ups. He couldn’t move on, because he didn’t want to date someone around his age. He felt like that was like kissing his mother. I reminded him that not every woman over 60 LOOKED 60. While some were high maintenance, a lot just looked younger. Therefore, he didn’t have to choose someone who liked to spend money. Then, he says to me “I don’t want to date anyone younger. I’m over that.”
So, this is why he’s been “seeing” his ex, without…you know…being with her. He keeps claiming that it’s not what it looks like, and he’s ready to move on. That, in fact, he’s told her “it’s just a frolic”. Not that it should rub my rhubarb in any way, but it’s causing friction. I can’t tell my dad what to do, but I’ve learned from experience that it’s not healthy to get over someone by being around them. If you can avoid it, you oughta work with it to work with yourself.
I’m actually upset, because he’s not listening to the very advice he gave me about exes, moving on, and not doing the same thing and expecting different results. Because in the end, he’s still financing her. He’s still giving her rides. He’s not ALWAYS doing it, but he’s still doing it. She’s still coming to this house. What’s really different?
So, I got direct with him once he started asking about some lady in his sister’s town. I gave him a look, knowing full well this man isn’t ready to do anything but bed with the same habits he was allegedly tired of supporting. He says to me “no, I’m ready. You don’t know! I know, and I’m ready to move on.” Okay, but, you’re in this dance with this lady, probably making her think she has a chance. You can’t go half hard-ass, and then turn around with love and flowers.
Well, then he drops this bomb on me.
“She found a lump on her breast, and I’m being there for her until we find out what’s up.”
Well Christ on a cracker.
She was there for him when he went through his Prostate Cancer. So, favor for a favor. It’s just that, obviously this is going to get emotional. I just don’t want him to get into a situation where minds are changed, and he ends up in a spot he was in before. A spot he kept saying had run its course. It just wouldn’t make sense. Just like…wait for it…he never understood why I kept going back to Darren or accepting Jeff. I too said “never again”, but turned around to say “what the hell”, only to get hurt by both of them. Finally, after getting dropped on my ass good and hard by Darren (lol basically “fuck your friendship offer”), and just…a vine full of sadness with Jeff, I said “no more” and meant it.
That also meant accepting a long time of loneliness, but it SURELY meant not losing my mind or my spirit one second longer over people who took and took, and were reluctant to give. Now, dad’s ex did give. I can’t sit there and say she didn’t give. However, there were things she needed to do or said she was going to do that never got done. He got tired of that. Once he realized she didn’t want to put forth the effort to maintain them, that was it. He decided to break up with her and have her move out. THAT was supposed to change things. Never did.
People are human, parents aren’t perfect. I’m only saying this–take it from someone who made some of the same mistakes twice and thrice over–at some point, you gotta cut the damn rope. My dad is a smart man, and usually when he makes his mind up about something, it’s done. When I’m not being a flower tossing hippie, I can be the same way. So, I’ve said my piece, I’ve felt my feelings. I can’t run his life while mine is floating up some river–weight, finances, romance, and spiritual life.
On that note, time for bed. I need to be up very early tomorrow for an SGI meeting.
(Whatever my dad does, I will support him. BUT…I’m gonna be direct as fuck and ask him some things.)