Sunday, December 27, 2009

And then he said, "I love you"

I talk a lot about my dad, my realtionship with him, the run ins we have. I feel as though Daddy is one of the great unfinished-es in my world. My realtionship with him isn't as strong or as developed as I think it should be. I base this a little bit upon how I see my friends interract with their children, and a little bit on how I interract with my mom.

Yes, I know that no realtionship between two people is ever the same. Personalities, circumstances, schedules, get in the way. People grow up. They grow apart. And as life happens, it becomes more difficult to forgive the hurts and the neglect and easier to just be angry.

The holidays are especially difficult when it comes to my dad. Unless he lived in another state, chances are we would at the very least see him at or near Christmas. He was a classic Santa Dad. When we saw him at any time of year, we would eat candy and donuts and Lucky Charms. We'd watch movies and he would make omlettes with shrimp. There would be visits to his parents' and grandparents. Toys, Nintendo, no chores. Somehow, I didn't notice that the rest of the year when he would be out to sea for 6 months and then back for 6 months, we wouldn't see him until the last weekend before it was time to ship out again.

I know things now that I didn't know then. That he was probably on a bender for that time period. That when we would stop at his friend's house "real quick" and he would leave us in the car for what seemened like forever, that he was probably refilling his stash. Somehow, and maybe because I didn't know, it never interfered with our time with him. It was another errand.

Now that I am older, I do know these things. And there are so many other reasons to be angry with him. I try to let them go, but it's hard. I am only human after all.

Now, when the holidays roll around, I dread seeing him more than a bit. It has nothing to do with the fact that he is no longer "Santa" and eveything to do with the fact that I just don't know what to say. Its been like that for years. It breaks my heart. There was a brief time when I saw Daddy every weekend. A time when we could talk for hours about this and that. When he would tell me stories and we would go to the Swap Meet.

All that has happened in the last 9 years since my grandmother died has overshadowed that. Somewhere in there, I lost my father. Now I know that what really happened was that he lost himself.

On Christmas, we were invited over. I didn't get there until late. There was a miscommunication but I should have tried harder. I didn't want to try harder. It's become easier to avoid the silences. What I found when I did arrive was a relaxed father. Who started almost immedietly telling stories. To me my father is the sum of his stories. I love every outrageous tale. Many are true, some I question. The one he told that night will be AWESOME if it is true, and is one of the few that I might be able to get backup on. We will see.

For the first time in a long time, when my sisters got ready to leave, I didn't jump at the chance to go too. I wanted to stay a little longer. This feeling made me happy and broke my heart a little.This is how I should always feel. I left knowing he was coming to dinner the next night.

He did. Since Uncle Mike was there, he launched into stories again. Some I had heard, some I had not. Still, all the world is right when Daddy is telling stories. I get that from him. During the course of these tales, it came out that Daddy has not fished in quite some time. 5 years, actually, which is how I know that he has lost so much of himself. The parts of Daddy that aren't made up of stories are made up of fishing. I don't really want to fish unless it's with him; I only catch fish when we are together. (and I don't want to bait the hook, kill the fish, clean it...)

5 years is a long time to go without doing the thing you love to do the most. Later, after he left, Uncle Mike mentioned taking him out (UM is an AVID fisherman who is frequently in Bass tournaments) and I told him how much it would mean to me if he would.

I'm not sure how much fishing Daddy has left. Each time I see him, I learn something new about his growing list of health issues. From the back issues that may leave him paralyzed to the heart drugs he doesn't want to take because they will render him unable to tell where his bloodsugar is; dangerous for a diabetic.

I don't know how much time I have left with my dad. The fact that he didn't expect to make it past 55 doesn't make it any easier for either of us to accept that the years of hard living have caught up. I am thankful that he's rediscovering the important things now though. Maddy lights him up like nothing else and I think he knows that all the things he missed out on over the years while he was being selfish with himself have culminated in her; so those things must have been wonderful too. And they were. I'm sorry he missed them.

I was sad to see him go last night. I was enjoying him again. I pray that we are able to spend more time together so that the good memories can replace the bad. He gave the usual round of hugs last night, ending with my mom. As they held each other close, he said, loud enough for us all to hear, "I love you". Not an easy thing to say to a woman you have been divorced from for 31 years. But an important statement. And so nice to hear. Not because I have any sort of thought about them getting back together, but because I know that it is important and healing to tell the people you love how much they mean to you.

I could certainly say it more often.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Flew south for the holiday

Ah, the warm sunshine of SoCal. It's good to be among family, good to be home. Except now that I HAVE a house of my own, it feels less like home and more like somewhere I used to call home. Probably as it should be.

I'm enjoying my family, have had plenty of time with my neice who really is the world's cutest kid and who, unlike most children, doesn't cry when I smile at her, she smiles back. Good match. I'm sure it helps that she seems to like everybody.

We're celebrating Christmas on Saturday this year. My father is invited to dinner and we should have a full house. In the meantime I'm spending time with my mom and hope to go look at lights with her and Girl Roomie while I am here. Seeing Poo is on the list too. My trips are too short, but also feel long. The puppy butt is staying with Bella and Baby and Oliver are home alone. I I'm sure she's fine always fear I will return to a dead parrot. I'm sure she's fine.

That's all I have. Nice and mellow and even keel. Can't possibly complain about that!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wisdom from the magic pirate head

I asked the magic pirate head today the following question:

"Will I meet a nice man to date?"

To which he answered,

"No Way, ARRG!"

So of course I had to ask,

"Will I meet a mean man to date"

And he said,

"Aye, Captain!"

So you see? The ever truthful oracle says it's assholes for me so I'm going to stop trying to pick out the nice ones.

I'm looking forward to getting out of this funk and back to feeling confident and fulfilled again. I like me best that way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A book

So much to say. So much self censure. The things I want to talk about, need to get out of my head and off of my chest so that I can let something healthy fill the fissure in my soul, I can’t. I am too public.

And then I argue with my self. Because I know I am beyond blessed. I am achieving the things I always dreamed of. I have no room for complaint. And yet I ask for more. I try to write about it, and I sound like I am throwing a pity party. I’m tired of those.

I delete my posts and remind myself to Need Less.

I have so much. The wonders, they don’t cease. From the Cookie Thief offering much needed cash to help him paint his kitchen to Bella’s wonderful discovery of an almost new washer and dryer, free, if I just pick them up. And Vic making sure I could. Mandrew hooking up the washing machine. It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but I would have made a larger mess. And I don’t know if I could have gotten the fittings tight enough.

My mom would tell me that I deserve these kindnesses because I’m a good person. I don’t see how I’m any better of a person than anyone else. But I do feel like it’s important to pay it forward.

I have so much. House, food, dog, a good job. The picture is pretty well perfect. The friends I have met here are unbelievable. I miss my family but with the friends I have, that hole in my soul is a little less empty. My cup runneth over.

And yet. That same issue boomerangs back again.

I’m lonely. I shouldn’t be. I have and do so much. I remind myself that it is a biological need and reality to want to have a partner. But I also like to tell myself that I am above that. That I am an evolved creature.

I know better. I am consistently making decisions that leave me curled up on the floor wondering when I’m going to get it right. I knowingly make the choices I make, telling myself that I’m being smart about it this time, and yet the end result is the same. How long will it take for it to stop hurting this time?

I tell myself I need to find the lesson. That it isn’t time right now; I watch the years slip by. I feel more and more like Bridgette Jones every day. Without the vodka and the cigarettes. Especially when people ask me, and they often do, why I am still single. I am not, actually, covered in scales. I don’t have a snappy comeback; I just smile and shrug my shoulders. Then I break a little more inside.

Bella asked me today if there isn’t a reason I choose unavailable men. I have explored this. I have looked over my psyche with a magnifying glass and a nit comb. I have examined the men I have dated in the 5 years since my last long term, real, solid, secure relationship. There are some patterns. I am trying to learn from those. Sometimes, there just aren’t. B. How could I have known he was lying about everything? Hi5. We still talk over messenger sometimes. He says he misses me. He says he made a mistake. He says maybe he wants to see me when he’s in town, or maybe it would be better if he didn’t. Jess. Who told me how wonderful I am, how interested he is in getting to know me better. We’ve scheduled 2 dates. They both got cancelled. He had good reasons. Still I had to wonder if that’s how it would be. It seems when I try and break the pattern, when I try to choose wisely, I’m still wrong. I can only blame myself for so much failure. Sometimes, it’s not my fault. I can’t control what other people do.

That’s where I am right now. Where I have been for the last couple of months since the “I am Woman Hear Me Roar” momentum of Hi5 moving and me buying a house wore off. During the worst of it, I hold my head up high, smile, and if possible, skate it off. It’s hard to focus on my heart when I am concerned about what my feet are doing or where the next hit will come from. I have to admit though, that it doesn’t take much to distract me from my focus and to bring it all back. I try to keep that to myself too. I made a promise.

Until things change though, and they always do, I will do what I always do. Smile. Persevere. And try to remember to count my blessings when I can’t sleep.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Little Miss Popular

Although I don't really date, not for lack of trying, it just rarely gets as far as a man taking me (anywhere) to dinner, it appears that I am quite desirable.

I wouldn't know this except that I have now received two emails from two different men. (although they must know each other because the verbage was exactly the same in both.) Yes indeed. I, amazingly have so facinated these two men that they wrote secret blogs to me.

Now, I didn't read the second one, but the first one, written just for me, invited me to guess who the author was and to take a look at some racy pictures of him with my name written on his body via a website. Now, mind you , the website would ask for my credit card number, but only to verify that I am not a robot.

Alas, I have sworn off paying for dates. But gosh, it's flattering to know I am wanted.

In other news, things are much the same as they have been. The house is being unpacked slowly, I am looking forward to spending some time with my family during the next couple of holidays, and I fear I must be insane because in addition to hearing voices and talking to myself, I find myself repeating the same action and expecting different results. Actually, I haven't heard voices in a few years...But I'm pretty sure that if I look at other stuff scientifically, the end result should have been obvious.

Stupid girl.