Sunday is my weekly call to my father. Usually, he’s too drunk to answer. Occasionally he’s lucid/sober/not quite hosed yet and he’ll answer the phone. The conversations are usually limited to 20 minutes or so, but the most recent call went almost 45 minutes because we talked about New Nephew.
My father is a poster child for Type A Personalities. Not only that, if he walks into a room, he sucks ALL OF THE RIGHT directly to him. For example: you could state that “The sky is blue” and my father would state “The sky is AZURE at this moment in time” and he would be right. Oh believe me, you would be correct too, but HE’D BE MORE CORRECT. It’s one of his most apparent traits other than his capacity to be drunk. My Brother and I have long accepted this about my dad.
Lately, Dad has been obsessed with my relationship with Boyfriend. Well, when I say obsessed I mean OPINIONATED. But not in the way you think. See, Dad is elated that I’m no longer single. I’m pretty sure he thought I might be too much of a head case to have any kind of relationship ever.
Since Dad wants me to continue my relationship with Boyfriend, he occasionally offers advice or commentary on the stories I tell him about Boyfriend and I. Normally his comments aren’t really anything outstanding, common sense commentary is the norm. But the other day, Dad said something…off.
We were talking about how I don’t bother Boyfriend at his place of business. I could, it’s a public place. But Boyfriend would be working and wouldn’t be able to spend more than a moment to look at me before working again, so what’s the point really. Boyfriend keeps things separate in his life, he works with lots of people who aren’t necessarily people he would hang out with outside of work (I’m the same way) and bringing his personal life to those people really wouldn’t benefit his career so he keeps work friends separate from his family and actual friends. (I’m the same way, for the most part. I’m a chick, and chicks in Cubicle Farms loooooove to talk about their personal lives. While I don’t mind divulging some details, there are few people I work with I would invite to my home. Ya know?)
On that subject, my father said to “Well, he probably just doesn’t want you coming to his work and seeing him screwing another woman!” and chuckled.
…….wait, what did he just say??? Did my father just try and joke about my Boyfriend possibly cheating on me? WHO SAYS THAT TO THEIR DAUGHTER?!?!?!?
I laughed politely and explained that Boyfriend and I had that conversation EARLY on in our relationship, because I know the nature of his workplace makes it easy to start sleeping around. Boyfriend looked me straight in the eye and said “I don’t dip my pen in the company ink” and that was enough for me.
Then it struck me, a few months back, when my father asked me if I was happy in the relationship and I had told him that I had never been so happy in a relationship before and that Boyfriend and I intend to marry one another, my father had then stated “Well I can meet him at the alter, I don’t have to meet him before then.” Which is weird right??
I’m my father’s only child, his only daughter, and he doesn’t want to meet the man I love and want to marry? WHO IS HE??
Then I remember, his mind is pickled and full of holes from 30+ years of drinking and mixing pain medication and alcohol and it makes it a tiny bit easier to dismiss his comments as nonsense. Which the completely are. I think I’m more annoyed at his presumptions than anything. I’ve been that stupid in relationships before, I’ve learned what to watch for and when to trust my gut. Frankly, the lessons I learned I sure as hell didn’t learn with any input from my father.
Maybe that’s the problem too, I never shared the lessons I learned with past relationships with my father. I didn’t want him to tell me what I’d done wrong when I was hurting already; I had to figure the mistakes out (both mine and anyone else’s) myself without my father sucking all the Right away and not allowing me to come to the correct conclusions internally.