Daddy Dearest

June 17, 2010
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
My father and mother divorced when I was six years old. My father was an alcoholic and lost his job, so my mother decided to take my sister and I to make a life for us before we lost everything. That was wise, for my father did eventually lose everything he had in the pursuit of a dream entrepreneurship. But that's not the point.
My mother has always been the melodramatic but responsible parent who knows how to lay the guilt on thick and takes stuff from no one. She's the martyr type who brings extra stress upon herself until she has mental breakdowns over the pressure. She is beautiful, kind, charitable, and a model of human perfection. She works as a chaplain, but it seems to me that her life is the one that needs so much stitching up. This is mainly because of me. I never know just how to act around her because I do too many things that are unacceptable, ungrateful, or stressful. She has given me everything, every opportunity handed to me on a silver platter; what do I have to be sad about? How dare I feel anger?
My father, on the other hand, is a free spirit. He is irresponsible, self-absorbed, and more fun packed into a parent that I've ever seen. He's attractive, silly, immature, tolerant, and understanding. I have no idea how he and my mother even made a baby without going completely insane together; my mother is a control freak and my father does what he wants. He is addicted easily and was an alcoholic for seven years, beginning at my conception and ending shortly after he was relieved of most of the responsibility of a family. During this span of time, he grew very distant from us, lost his job, and was divorced from my mother without any attempt on her part to understand him. Since then, he has lost everything to an unsuccessful business, womanized his way around more than six ladies [often closer to my age than to his], gotten laid off of his most recent normal nine to five job, and moved to New York. I haven't seen him since October, and he hasn't been paying all the child support in a long time.
My father can be described as irresponsible, flighty, a dreamer, and a failure.
I idolize him.
My father, oh so different from my successful and solid mother, is more like me than any other relative I've met. I've made some of the best memories I have with him, and I miss him more than I can possibly write. This is because my father is tolerant. He tries to understand people, likes things that are out of the ordinary, and loves unconditionally. He does not ask what he has done to make me upset or angry and then dismiss my emotions as pure childish ungratefulness; he recognizes them as real, legitimate feelings and tells me stories of when he felt the same way. He tries so hard to be a good father, but he just can't really deal with responsibility.
Once, and this seems like forever ago, my father lived in Santa Barbara. Driving up there was a joy because we'd open up the windows all the way and put on a CD of Led Zeppelin or The Beatles or The Who and sing along loudly and talk for the entire hour it took us to get to the house. He lived there with his longtime girlfriend, Liz, who was just like him: a free spirit very apart from responsibility. I loved Liz. She was very cool. She burned incense and wore clothes from Patagonia and liked to hike. She formed the part of me that is connected to the earth. She and my dad didn't work out because two flighty people can't stay together well. I wish they could. My dad would still live in Santa Barbara and I would see him every weekend and we could eat buckets of Sour Patch Kids as we watch Monty Python for the hundredth time, and maybe I wouldn't need him so much now because I wouldn't have had the chance to realize it. If two flighty, irresponsible people could stay together, Dad and Liz and I might be driving right now out of Los Angeles, laughing about something stupid, and I could fall asleep in the backseat and wake up to the sound of the ocean on the couch of our tiny blue house. Tomorrow morning, I could make us french toast and wait for the two of them to come out of their unmarriage bed bleary-eyed to eat up. If two flighty people could stay together, I wouldn't be writing this right now, and wouldn't know what it's like to miss my father. I would just call him up and tell him to come over. Turns out, one flighty person is enough.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback