You have never met anyone like my father. He is an entrepreneur who is into construction, real estate and other ventures. He has more companies than I have pairs of underwear. He has a guy working for him who is there just to smooth over employees and to rehire the guys my father didn’t mean to fire.
My mom was a college basketball player and track star. Right after graduation she finds out she is pregnant with me. Dad was 26 and already had a kid. His perfectionist ways were just too much for her, and they divorced when I was four and my sister was two.
Any talk about girl stuff just got a blank stare from my father. Most women can understand why their mother fell in love with their dad. I can’t.
I wrote him a Father’s Day essay and it had to be corrected. My father and I had weekly meetings that had a boardroom feel to them, and I had to discuss my objectives for the week.
I have a half-brother, five years older, from the woman my dad never married. He says my brother can’t find his ass with both hands. He calls my sister an idiot and is surprised she can drive herself to school and find the building. According to him I am his only kid who is “worth a damn.”
My dad would not let me participate in school sports when I lived with him. He said I was a mediocre talent at best, and he was not going to waste time watching kids play sports. For him it’s pro sports or nothing.
My dad gives me a gas card and has rental income from a property hitting my account. But nothing for college tuition. He said to earn scholarships, which I have.
Recently I suffered a hairline ankle fracture. I called my dad. He asked if I had my insurance card and then told me he had to go. He had a meeting. He just hung up!
I was like damn! What’s up with my dad? Is there any way to make a connection with him?
Annette, children don’t control how their parents will parent them. Parents will parent based on who they are. Why isn’t this cornstalk full of cantaloupe? It just isn’t.
The difference between your mom and your dad is this. If you’ve been hurt, your dad will ask if you have a box of Kleenex and then hang up. Your mom will bring a box of Kleenex and cry with you. The roles won’t reverse.
If he didn’t think you were smart, you would be in the same boat as your siblings. If he really, really wanted to change, he might be able to change a little. If he had a really, really good therapist, he might make some small improvement in his personality.
But he doesn’t want that. He likes who he is, it works for him. There is one quality about your father which is praiseworthy. He shows you time and again who he is. Your father is brutally honest, but not necessarily brutally honest about actual facts. He is brutally honest about his opinions. There is a positive in that. You know where he stands.
To answer your question (“What’s up with my Dad?”) he’s just who he is. That is not a reflection on you or anything you are doing. It is just who he is.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of May 30, 2016
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