Tuesday, May 27, 2008


It's just a two post kind of day.

Even though I expected it, I am still disappointed. When I emailed my Dad and his wife about Oscar's birthday next month, they responded they would try and make it. I was doubtful. My brother was doubtful. My sister was doubtful. My husband told me not to be so pessimistic.

So, when I got the email today from my father saying that he could not make it, I was not surprised. But I am still disappointed. He couldn't even call me to tell me himself. In fact, I'd put money on the chance that he didn't even write the email himself. I mean, he addressed me as Jennifer. He's never called me Jennifer in his life.

He did not visit when Oscar was born, or in the subsequent months of Oscar's life, even though he kept saying he would. I eventually just stopped asking him to come. In fact, my father wouldn't have even met Oscar were it not for his own father's passing away when Oscar was four months old. It took a funeral for him to meet his only grandchild.

But still. I guess I was just secretly hoping he'd make the effort to make it up here, to make the effort to be part of Oscar's life.

His reasons? He cites high gas prices - his over sized SUV would eat about $425 in gas on the trip. Oh, and my mother's alimony (which, after 24 years of marriage, she deserves every bit of.) He even told me how he had to cancel his own vacation because of his work schedule - like I'm supposed to feel bad for him!

He could make it if he wanted to. He could rent a car with better gas mileage for much cheaper than $425. He could get a plane ticket here for half that; I know because my mom did.

I keep telling myself I'm going to stop putting forth the effort, that things are better this way because at least he'll never be able to disappoint Oscar like he has disappointed me. Oscar will never even know him. So maybe this is the last straw. Maybe this time I won't chant my mantra "He's the only dad you've got. You have to accept him for who he is and just get over it." Maybe I won't get over it this time. Maybe I'll decide that I don't have to accept him, that I can shut him out and turn him off and never give him another chance to disappoint me.

But I can't help but wish that we he cared enough, that we were important enough to warrant a just a little bit of his time and attention. The fact is he doesn't and we just aren't and I have to learn to deal with that. I'm just not sure how.


Jennifer said...

I'm not close to my dad, either, as he equates money with love and is an emotional fucktard.

Oh, did I just say that outloud?

Still, there is a little girl inside of me, despite all the disappointments, that just wants to be a daddy's girl to a normal, awesome father. And I will never have that. You'd think it would hurt less as I get older, but it doesn't.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

This is where I leave a statement of sweeping generalisation - Family's Suck.

Focus on people who do give you the effort.

Ellen B. said...

So much to say on this... on both my side and my husband's side. In my experience, acceptance is the ONLY option. But the hard part is accepting that they ARE the only parent (Mom, Dad, etc.) you will ever get, yet at the same time accepting that THEIR top priorities do not involve you and your family. Hurts like a mofo, eh? So sorry Jenni, sometimes family sucks. Hold your babies dear and promise yourself you can do a better job with your kids. I dream of the days when my kids won't need me as much and I can have some "me" time but I also know when I grow old they will still be my top priority.

Jenni said...

@jennifer - thanks for the sympathy. i'm glad to know i'm not the only one who still secretly hopes all will change.

@xbox - don't I know it.

@ellen - I totally agree; I never want my kids to feel about me the way I feel about my dad.