Funny, I didn’t dash off in an hour as I had initially expected; by the time I left his place, it was already 2pm. I had spent almost three hours chatting with my old man. What a wonderful surprise.
It’s rare that our visits extend beyond the two-hour mark, even with Colin around. My brother is a busy man and has to juggle his visits with dad (and me) around his business appointments. I, too, am usually stuck with work, but if I have to be honest, I would admit to feeling rather awkward during visits with dad. Often, I would not know what to talk about, preferring to let Colin take the lead.
I’m not sure how this awkwardness came about. We had always been close. Dad used to be the first person I turned to when I needed advice and when I was sad. We used to have long conversations on the phone when I was in university. Yes, dad was – and still is – a very wise and funny man. But, things happened along the way, resulting in a split family, lots of anger on all sides, and resentment on mine. That’s in the past, but I guess we all carry hurts from our past to our present lives.
Dad has a new family now, and I have a half brother and half sister. It’s hard for me to reconcile with this fact; I keep thinking in terms of the original family. Perhaps that is a contributing factor to the “strain” (for want of a better word) that I feel where my relationship with dad is concerned.
Colin seems to be more at ease around our dad. Then again, my brother is quite a remarkable guy. Put him with the King and he’d have no problems; they’d probably be best buds within the hour, given my brother’s brand of charm.
Looking back, I think I have allowed my own negative perceptions to get in the way of my relationship with my father. Yesterday’s visit was a confirmation of that: I had a pretty nice time and was reminded of all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things about him (which just proves that we are all human, and shows me that there is a lot of my father in me).
Dad usually comes across as a very intimidating man (tall, strong and assertive – you know the type), but get to know him a little more and you will find a wicked sense of humour lurking beneath the cynical exterior. He is intelligent and has a very sharp and analytical mind. He also has a very sharp tongue. I admire his sarcasm and hate it (when it is leveled at me) in equal measure. Don’t attempt an argument with dad unless you are damned sure of yourself. He is a perfectionist, and a downright expert in the guilt-trip department. He can be a tad touchy and cantankarous at times, but that, I guess, comes with age. Dad can be bossy: he is always right. He can also be very persuasive and you can get fooled by him if you don’t know your subject well enough. Case in point: he once convinced me that MJ had changed his name to Michael Ross because of his close relationship with Diana Ross. I only discovered that I had been duped when I found dad in the kitchen, totally convulsed in laughter. But, that’s dad with his practical jokes. He is very protective of his family, especially the women: all my boyfriends were afraid of meeting him and I was not allowed to go out for gatherings (especially if there were boys around) until I was much older. He still gets annoyed when I travel to late on my own.
Although my mother played a bigger role in bringing me up, I cannot deny my father the acknowledgement that he deserves in my upbringing.
I love him and I know I would not be half the woman I am today without him.
We all need our daddies.
P.S. Yes, he does have a firearm 🙂