Thursday, May 3, 2007

Gloria Patria

I really, REALLY miss my dad lately. I called him on the other day, and they were just sitting down to dinner, so he called me back later, pretty toasted, and we just talked and had long distance cocktails (ie, sit on the phone and drink. Weird, but it works. God bless free long distance.)
It's always odd to talk to my dad when he's drunk... He vacillates between being the strong, kinda stoic SuperDaddy I always thought of him as when I was little, and the painfully human, vulnerable, aging man that he is. He and Laurie are moving to Tucson as soon as they get they can, like, a matter of days, and he's scared- he said that, those exact words. It's such a cognitive dissonance to try and reconcile SuperDaddy and scared... I can't help but realize that in fact he is just an old man trying to get by pounding nails and doing his damndest to do right by his debtors, his creditors, his wife and his daughter. He talked about how he's been using more than one credit card to pay for groceries, because they're all maxed out to within $20 of the limit... He's been turning down all other work in favor of getting the house spitshined to sell, so he's "got people standing on his tongue waiting for money" (his words, not mine), and he's got precisely nothing until Laurie's house closes.

The first point I'd like to make in reference to this is, he's always told me that getting my own gig and working for myself was the way to go, no bosses to answer to except yourself... While that would indeed be nice, I'm not sure I'm ready to trade the security of a nice steady paycheck every week as long as I show up and don't kill anyone, in favor of the uncertainty of working for myself but only maybe sometimes sort of getting paid...

The second point is this- I know how a contractor's money situation fluctuates, and I know how hard the times are when you've just spent ton of money for supplies and materials for a job, but nobody's gonna cut you a check for a week or two... Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to turn down some poor shmo's credit card because the balance is maxed out, and he gives this resigned sigh, just like my dad does when something screws him, and I know full well our computer system allows us to force a card through????

The third point is this- Why in the hell did they have to put me in housewares, where every time I walk through those damned aisles, I remember all the times my dad took me school supply shopping at the hardware store, not understanding that I NEEDED the Lisa Frank folders (remember those?) and special pencils, and I didn't understand that kids don't come with instructions, and he didn't get to spend enough time around me to really know what in God's name was going on and why I was crying, he was just doing the best he could, and taking me somewhere that he knew in an attempt to familiarize the unfamiliar...

Maybe I shouldn't work in a hardware store until I get all this shit with my dad worked out... Mostly I just want him to know that I admire him, and I want to grow up to be big and strong just like him, so I always eat my veggies and drink my milk, and that time he came to pick me up late and my mom wouldn't let me answer the door because she was angry, the whole time you were knocking, I was leaning on the other side of the door listening and wanting nothing in the world more than to run out and hug you because I love you and I missed you, but I was afraid, and I wasn't strong enough to just say so.... I'm so sorry Daddy. I wish I could have been a better little girl to you, but now I'm all grown up, so I'll just try and be the best daughter I can now. I want you to be proud of me... I want you to show off my picture in your wallet to people, I'll get you a recent one, I promise, no mohawk, and you can tell them all about how your daughter is going to college, and has a good job, and has a good future. It's thanks to you, you know. My mom taught me the tricks of how to get by, how to balance a checkbook and make a bed, but you taught me the kind of person I want to be... I might want kids more if I could be a dad like you.

*sigh* I guess the combo of liquid honesty and the anonymity of the internet coincided to make a driveling idiot out of yours truly...... Just do me a favor and call your dads and tell them you love them without a Hallmark holiday, k?

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