Oh, Father! Why bother?
Since we are on the heels of Father's Day (It was literally yesterday), I figured it would be apropos to highlight my feelings on the man that is half of my DNA. And let me preface this by saying that I love my father very much. That being said, let me explain why I had to give a preface in the first place...
But first, let's talk about Father's Day, can we?
Although it is not celebrated as commercially as Mother's Day, Daddy's Day is just as important. For many, especially "daddy's little girls", it's a joyous occasion to brag about the man that showed them what a man is supposed to be; the first man they "fell in love with" or "showed me what real love is". Whether it be their biological or stepfather, grandfather, uncle, godfather, or mentor, I know people who are over the moon about celebrating the men in their life on that holiday. Just not as many as I'd like. Then, we have those that will yell out, "F*** Father's Day!" without a second thought. Some will even give credit to their mother because she was the sole responsible parent in their life. That is a controversy with people all on its own. (Another sermon, another day) Lastly, but certainly not least, there are those who are mourning on this day because their father/father figure is no longer among the living. Surprisingly, or not, even some that deem their fathers as "ain't s**t" are still a little melancholy about it.
So, where do I fall into these categories? I'm glad you asked.
I am currently on the fence between let’s celebrate all the wonderful fathers and f*** it. Here's why... My father has been in my life since day one. Not always physically because... military. (Insert shamefaced emoji here) However, my father always took care of my needs growing up. If there was ever a moment that he didn't, which I doubt, my mother didn't tell me about it. So, I'm one of the "lucky ones" in that aspect. The reason I'm on the fence at the moment has everything to do with the personal relationship we have. I guess this is where I explain that providing monetarily does not cancel out physical connection. They are NOT the same. As I stated before, I love my father. But at the same time, I can feel the disconnect and it hurts like hell. I want the same love and adoration that a "daddy's little girl" gets. Yes, even as a grown ass woman. A DLG was something I never was. Although, if I'm being honest with myself, even the people closest to me have/had daddy issues; Including the people who love their fathers to pieces.
Take my best friends for instances. I'm the only one out of the four of us whose parents were never married. But with all three of them, divorce decrees were granted in the end. Only one of them was what I would consider a daddy's little girl. And when I asked her, she agreed that she would say the same. The other two... I would not at all. Unfortunately, those same two have lost their fathers within the last 5 years and only one of them had repaired their relationship before he passed.
Me? I've never been as close to my dad as I'd like. The sad part is, whenever we do talk/hang out, it’s as if there’s nothing wrong between us. I guess it’s a culmination of fear and reverence. I don’t want to disrespect my father and I don’t want to ruin the moment with negativity. However, my mom has told me about more than one encounter that led me to say, "that's proof that I wasn't going to be a fan." Sad to say, I know. But the truth hurts. Even from the womb, it was like I knew our relationship was going to be complicated. Yeah, like that Facebook status that people use when they don't know what to call it. Thankfully, my mother let me form my own opinion of my father instead of embedding derogatory statements in my brain like the bitter baby mamas do. It still didn't help when it came to the irritation I have about the lack of communication there is between him and I though.
As of June 22, 2020, it has been 10 months, 1 week, and 4 days since the last time I remember hanging out with my father. That wouldn't be such a bad thing if we didn't live in the same city. Or the fact that his job is less than a mile from my house. I get that we both work all the time. However, if we know how to prioritize to go on vacation or do any of the other things that we do to enjoy ourselves, why is it so damn difficult for us to see each other? What's worse is, if I don't call or text first, I don't hear from him. (Hey, you! Minutes and text messages are free all day now!) When I do call, I very rarely get an answer. Which is why I've resorted to just texting for everything as to not waste my time. But even when he does return my calls or text about it, he automatically assumes something is wrong or that I need his help for something. And we all know what they say about assuming, right? But since that’s what the assumption is, I guess I should tell the truth. Sir, I do need something from you, COMMUNICATION! Out of his 7 kids, I'm the oldest and the only one that lives in the same city as him. Yet and still, I haven't seen him since last year. (Insert shamefaced emoji here)
There are so many little annoyances that have happened over the years. But alas, I'll end it with this, so that my diatribe does not go two hours long...
Let me bring it back to the topic that sparked this silent monologue, Father's Day. Did I celebrate? NO! But I had planned on it. I even TEXTED him to see if he would be in town so that I could take him out to eat (something we both love to do). So, two weeks before the holiday, I suggested us doing brunch. BRUNCH! Meaning that timeframe between breakfast and lunch. Why? Because I work overnight and I would be sleep during lunch and dinner hours. He said okay and I requested that he let me know where he wanted to go. It was agreed and we were set to go. Two weeks went by from that original conversation and I hear nothing from him. So, I text him again, asking if he's figured out where he wants to go and the time. His response: I have to work that morning. (Insert shamefaced emoji here)
I'm not upset that he had to work... kind of. Only because he said it was overtime and that could have been mandatory. Plus, I had to work that night too. Either way, it would have been nice and considerate to let me know this ahead of time instead of me having to reach out to him to find this out. So, Father's Day was cancelled. And for me, it wasn't about the eating (Just a little bit), or the buying gifts, or anything else that isn't meaningful. I wanted to spend time with my freaking father. But... work. The same thing that caused him to be a state and miles away when I was born. The same thing that kept him from being there for so many of the milestone moments of my life because he was overseas or stationed in another state. You would think that after he retired from the military, that would have changed. HA! Like I said, we both work a lot. The work is not the problem though. I'm used to that part. It's the lack of communication or assumption that I only call/text when I want something that pisses me the f*** off. He actually said (texted) that he assumed something was wrong or that I needed help for something just because that's the norm.
No, the hell it’s not! Not with me.
I know I sound ungrateful when there are so many people that are hurting that their father is gone. But just remember, it hurts just as much when they are still alive and the person’s just isn’t there. I know I'm not his "favorite" child but does he have to make it so blatantly obvious all the time? Hell, I'm sensitive.
Note to Dad: Don't group me with your other children or family members just because that's what they do. My mother raised me better than that.