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Father's Day Rant

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by DanOregon, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I love my dad. Think he's the greatest in the world, one of those guys who my friends always ask about. How's your dad?....etc.

    That said, am I the only one who finds the phrase "he is a great dad" by someone who is not the offspring of said father a little off-putting? Or the sports cliche "it's a great Father's Day present" after a win similarly stale (especially the US Open which, barring playoff, always ends on Father's Day?

    I know there are "bad dads" out there, (start threadjack HERE) but to me the phrase "a great dad" is like calling a religion "a great faith." Dads and religions are supposed to be great.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I can see your point.

    My ex-roommate's father was a guy whom even people who didn't like my ex-roommie thought was cool.

    "You suck giant, hairy monkey balls, but your dad's cool as shit."

    He's an awesome guy, though. I have a ton of stories about what makes him awesome.
  3. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    My old man's pretty much a log of shit.

    I'd like to think I'm doing better with my kids.
  4. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    Dan, dads are "supposed" to all be great.

    The sad reality is that many are not, just as there are many not-so-great moms out there.

    Take it as a compliment and leave it at that.

    There are a lot other more important things out there to allow under your skin.
  5. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I'm a good dad because my kids watch Yo Gabba Gabba.
  6. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    My father is an asshole. My dad is fantabulous.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I think people know where I stand with regard to my mother.

    My father more than picked up the slack.
  8. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    My dad sucks, if that makes you feel any better.
  9. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Same here. My sperm donor had no clue as to being a father. Lucky for me, my mom found a great guy 36 years ago. He's the one my kids call "Grandpa" and get weak when I see how much my boys love him.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member


    For years, my friends, classmates and anyone else who knew my father said he was the best, how I was lucky to call him "Dad." And I never really saw it. To be honest, I still don't.

    We didn't see eye-to-eye for much of the last eight years. We went through periods where we got along, and some where we were just OK. But for the most part -- until the last year, really -- we just stopped trying, altogether. It was easier than putting on a facade.

    He grew up a musician, and he's a very good one, too. He's known in my home town and across the state for his contributions to the classical music scene, in particular, his teaching and conducting. My sister always had the instrumental bug and had a real knack for it. I was different. He forced me into it. "We can't buy Sprite if you don't join the band," he said to me before ninth grade. "How does that even come close to making sense, Dad?" I said. That's kind of how it started.

    So I got a little more serious with the instruments, and did pretty well, which made him happy. But instead of practicing in the spring, I'd be out with my friends throwing the ball around, playing opposite-hand home run derby at the Little League field. I was good at that, too, but he didn't really care. He wanted me to focus on playing the instruments, so I'd get into a music school -- just like he did; "Ithaca'd be a great fit," he said. Just like it was for him 40 years ago. "They've got a good communication program, don't they," I said. He wasn't a big fan of that.

    I grew up talking baseball with my grandparents, along with my dad. For the longest time, all I could remember talking to my dad about was how great it must have been to see Roberto Clemente and Harmon Killebrew and Frank Howard. Eventually, the baseball talk got more distant. If it wasn't music-related -- who's making which band; who's better at what, etc. -- we sat in silence. The drives home seemed endless.

    It finally became time to choose a major and a school, and rather than look into Ithaca for a spot in the music department, I went to another school in hopes of a career in broadcasting. That was pretty much the end of our relationship -- at least for a while. He wasn't interested in the courses I was taking during my freshman year, and he wasn't interested in the new organizations I joined during my sophomore year, and he wasn't interested in my addition of a journalism concentration -- he didn't know until my last semester (two years overdue) -- and he wasn't interested when I became the president of those organizations. I didn't follow in his footsteps, and that's what mattered most to him at the time.

    He didn't start to take an interest in my life until I was living back at home, struggling to find a job. Every day, like clockwork, he'd come into my room and put the classified section down and tell me I'm wasting my life, further instilling the defeated feelings already going through my head at a rapid rate. "Thanks, Dad," I said. And he closed the door.

    Then even that stopped -- just like our conversations. It got to the point where my dad would have long conversations with my friends, but just walk past me in the hallways; it was like he was throwing it my face. It was a great time. My best friend and I counted the words he spoke to me in one week -- eight. "Shut the door, Mike" were four.

    He did break his silence in late July, though. He stormed into my room and said, "You've got until September to get a job and get out of this house." I said, "OK." That was it for the summer. We ended up communicating only through my brother, and rarely at that, until I got a job at the local paper. Four weeks later, without my parents knowing, I took an interview for a job out of state and accepted it the next day. I told my parents I would be out of there house at the beginning of September. He smiled.

    Two weeks later, he helped me move out of the house. We took everything I owned to Pennsylvania. We got to my new house at 10 a.m., and he spent the next hour unloading the truck, all the while ensuring me I'd never survive on my salary: "I hope you like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." When the truck was empty, he reached into his pocket, handed me a $20 and shook my hand. Then he left.

    We didn't speak again until Thanksgiving. And then until Christmas. And our birthdays in February. And Thanksgiving. And Christmas. ...

    It took a lot of time, a lot of angry thoughts, a lot of nights wondering what I've done or what I could have and should have done or said, and, eventually, something out of my control to get us to start talking again.

    He's since taken an interest in what I do -- always asks me questions about the famous people I've interviewed and the great places I've seen -- and I've grown up, too, which was probably more important to our relationship.

    He's still far from perfect. He's not a great dad. He does try, though. He's an excellent provider. He's got a tremendous work ethic, which, thankfully, he's passed onto me (I hope, at least). He's got his flaws, sure, like all of us do.

    My friends saw our relationship unravel, and they'll never tell me I'm "lucky to have a dad like him." They know better now. But I could have had it a lot worse, I'm sure.

    That phone call wasn't nearly as hard to make this year.
  11. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    Good stuff, Mike. These relationships are tough and ever-evolving.

    I mean, my dad is still a dick, but I have hope it might change one day.
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Wow, Mike.

    I've got my own doozy of a story about my mother. But it doesn't have the "happy" ending yours with your father seems to. I still haven't spoken to my mother in about five years. And I have no desire to.
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