Wednesday, December 22, 2004

"How Are You Doing?"

Before I gear myself up into full rant mode, I want to make this disclaimer: I love my friends. I love that they're concerned for me. This isn't really a personal attack.

The simple phrase, "Amy, how are you doing?" is driving me mad. Mad because it's said, with love, in a tone of pity, a tone of sympathy, a tone of caring. I realize that but it pisses me off nonetheless.

What answer am I supposed to give you? "No, my fucking heart has been ripped out of my chest, my Father is gone and never coming back, and it's Christmas too?" Is that what you want to hear?
Sorry. I can't say that. I can't even type it without getting all teary eyed.

Yes, my Father is gone. I miss him terribly. Yes it's Christmas. Being sad isn't going to change either one of those things.

Here's some information. My Father was sent to Viet Nam when I was three. He was hit and returned to the States when I was five. He went to school after he healed and lived on campus. I have very few Christmas type memories of my Father. The 'rents got divorced when I was 12. The paternal Christmas memories those years was of going to the Greyhound station to pick up a big box of gifts he sent to us. No huggy kissy family dinners. None of the usual family stuff. I have no rancor towards him for that. I learned to put all the toys together, a skill that makes me in great demand to this day. And it was pretty damn cool to be the only kids on the block who had TWO Christmases. Not a big deal.

High school came around. By that time, Dad remarried, and he was having Christmas with his new wife. Sometime in January, he and the new wife would come and pick up my brother and I, and we'd come back to Harrisburg, where we'd do Christmas again. He was plagued by divorced Dad guilt, so we'd make out in the present department.

After I moved out, Christmas was still spent with Mom and my brother. I lived a half hour away from Dad, but since I was deeply into being an asshole, I didn't have too much to do with him. He had his life, and I had mine. He'd invite me to dinner, give me some money and I'd give him something I thought was cool, and that was it. Again, no big deal.

That was pretty much how Christmas was forever. I'd visit him after the holiday, or sometimes before, he'd give me money and something he made from his shop, and I'd give him a gift card to Home Depot, and something I baked. He was pleased, I was pleased, life went on. A couple years ago, he started hosting a great Christmas Eve party. He invited EVERYONE. Whether they were hangers on or not. Everybody came. Everyone ate, drank, laughed, and made general merry. It was a blast. Always he made big pot of oyster stew. "He Orster Stew" he called it. I started pitching in a cooking too, and that tickled him to death.

Last year fucked me up. The Eve Party was a blast, I cooked these crazy tempura shrimp that we had as an appetizer at Red Slobster once. Everyone raved about it. (Even though I was very leery of drunks with skewers, nobody lost an eye) After Christmas we did the usual thing. He was all smirky because he got me something really big and heavy. A KitchenAid Mixer. I shit a brick. He surprised the hell out of me. I squealed. I jumped up and down. I cried. He beamed. It was very very cool. When I hugged him, I got a terrible premonition that this was going to be the last Christmas we'd spend together. I was horrified. But I pushed it back, thinking "Ha. Never gonna happen. He'll be around forever."


My point is. "How are you doing" makes me feel worse than actually going thru with all of the Ho Ho Ho shit for the holidays. I never really had a Christmas Day with my Dad.

I miss him. And probably will always miss him. But, early in on in my life, I was taught to be a survivor. Prince Charming isn't coming along on in a white Porsche to save you. Suck it up. Deal with it. Life goes on. Don't panic til you get thru the kitchen door. And I live by those rules. So patronizing me, and pitying me makes me nuts. I'm fine. I will be fine. I'm not arming myself and visiting a McDonalds. I'm not a big puddle of goo in the corner. I'm not going to therapy three times a week.

I'm just fine. Sad. But fine. Reality and I are running partners. I choose to ignore it when I can, but I always know its there.

Peas out.

  • Blogroll Me!
  • My Photo
    Location: Pennsylvania, Fiji
    My Wish List

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    I Took The Handmade Pledge!

    Powered by Blogger

    Blogwise - blog directory

    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by