Sunday, June 18, 2006
Well here it is again, Father's Day, and it appears I may have survived yet another with only minor wounds. Other than Valentine's Day, Father's Day is my least favourite holiday. Maybe it's all the forced sentimentality around both holidays, or maybe (more accurately) it is my own personal bias.
You have to admit, they really ram it down our throats. Beside me sits a newsletter from my favourite Independent book store with a nice big section "Perfect for Father's Day". You can't blame them, really - marketing opportunity - and lots of people have really great dads they would like to buy books for like "The Wisdom of Our Fathers". Lots of people have (or had) dads that did great stuff with them, and will be spending today with them, or calling them at least.
My own dad wasn't such a bad guy, I actually learned a lot from him, much of it since he's been dead and I've become a parent myself. He died 16 years ago of alcoholism. He didn't want to die. I think had he lived and stopped drinking we would have seen one hell of a guy. I know he would have liked the idea of being a grandfather. My mom left him when I was in grade 1 because of his drinking. I missed him, but life with just mom was cool. Then she got remarried to a man who emotionally, verbally, and occasionally physically abused my brother and me. Father's day got tricky 'bout then.
You may now be thinking I'm not that June Cleaver type character I play on TV.
At least now we live in different countries and I can get away with 2 phone calls a year (let's not forget the one on his birthday). He and my mother invited my husband and the kids up to visit this summer (we are separated, but still living together - I'm more like some soap opera really - No! No! that's not it either) - I am too offensive. My phone call this year was the first time I'd spoken to him since he stormed out of my home at Thanksgiving (I had told him he may not insult my 10year old son). Whole family stopped speaking to me actually, bit of a vacation really.
He used this year's call as an opportunity to "lecture" me on my errors, defects, etc and told me he and my mother had been betting on whether or not I'd call (I'd been given 50/50 odds) I didn't ask which way my mom was wagering. Lovely conversation really, will have to do it again end of August, looking forward to it already.
My children's father had been out late the night before and spent most of today hungover - either sleeping or grumpy. It's been special, I think is the best way to sum it up.
Or perhaps Judith Viorst say it better in her book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"
"Today was a difficult day, tomorrow will be better"