Trolling my blogs like I usually do, I see a lot of really beautiful fathers days posts (Especially over here at No, seriously, What About Teh Menz?) I wish I had something really wonderful to say about my father. Something uplifting and mature like “He had his flaws but he’s a wonderful father and I love him.” But. I just…. I can’t
I haven’t spoken to my father in over a year.
Don’t get me wrong; I love him. When I was a kid, I WORSHIPED him. I thought everything out of his mouth was full of wisdom and awesome. I was definitely daddy’s little girl; so much so that, looking back, I think I was a little unintentionally cruel to my mother.
But he wasn’t around (my parents divorced when I was very young). I remember waiting in near tears for him to come to my violin recitals only for him to never show up. He never came to my horse shows either. Hell, he wasn’t even there for my high school graduation! After a while, I just got used to him not being there.
He made excuses. He owes tens of thousands of dollars to my mother for child support, he’s barely lifted a finger for my college education, and when I was 12 he owed so much money in child support that he fucked off back to England to avoid the consequences. After that I saw him less than once a year, and by the time I was 16 I’d experienced enough of his immaturity, his irresponsibility, and his disdain for everything feminine that i became royally sick of him.
He didn’t treat me like a daughter. He would often “playfully” call me a bitch, and it’s amazing to look back and think about how long i thought that was okay, and how i felt unable to put a stop to it after I decided it wasn’t. In fact, something like that happened the last time we spoke. It was over AIM, and I didn’t want to speak to him over the phone. He started cursing at me and calling me names, and at this point I had the words to tell him that if he was going to speak to me that way, I wouldn’t speak to him at all. So he just stopped talking to me.
Maybe I should make the first move. Maybe I should be the mature one and reach out to him first. But there’s this little petty part of me that just wont accept being the mature one in my father/daughter relationship. So I don’t, and for the most part, it doesn’t bother me at all. Kind of sad, isn’t it?
A lot of the times when I think about my father, I think about my favorite uncle, who’s my mother’s brother. My uncle, as far as fatherhood goes, is everything I wish my dad was. He’s a flawed man, rather bitter towards women (albeit for very good reasons) with a very strict worldview when it comes to gender and gender roles, but he’s an amazing father. He’s always calling and texting his kids, and the only reason he lives where he does is so he can be close to them (unlike Mr. Move-to-England-and-skip-out-on-child-support). He treats his kids with respect, but is still Dad, instead of a buddy. He has that sense of Real Men Don’t Show Mushy Emotions, but it’s obvious that he loves his kids regardless. A lot of this I experience first hand, as his niece, but sometimes I wish he was MY father (and then I think about it and then I go “Ew, wierd.”
So today, when my boy was calling his father for father’s day, I texted my uncle, and when I think about father’s day, I think about him. This is a day for honoring and loving good fathers, after all.