Tuesday, March 11

The Brave New World

I admired my new hardwood floor Monday morning as I getting dressed for school. It looks so wonderful--and gives me hope that eventually we will actually get all the things done to the house that we'd like.

I pulled open a dresser drawer for a shirt while asking JB the day's forecast. I stopped in mid-sentence and screamed after seeing a big fat brown spider climbing among my favorite

I think I startled JB more than the spider.

After realizing I was in no real danger, JB pointed out that I should be happy the spider was in the drawer and not in the clothes I was wearing.

Good point.

He's into all that weather stuff and is in the habit of letting me know what we can expect, as well as what the weather is like in the cities where my daughters live.

I think the girls have come to appreciate this--just yesterday Jeni called while driving from her college to the town where her sister lives. She had been driving in the rain for some time and wanted to know the radar pattern of the storm.

From our brief conversation, I ascertained she would be shopping for a wedding dress with her father today. She's also very upset by the fact that her father and sister haven't spoken to one another for over 2 months. What should be a joyous "family" occasion--planning her wedding--is overshadowed by this feud.

It wasn't long after that conversation, that her sister called. She's in the habit of sharing her work schedule so she and I can plan when we have an opportunity to visit by phone. She's a bartender and there are days she works until midnight or 2 am. With that kind of schedule, she hardly welcomes an early morning phone call.

I gently interjected the wedding dress shopping trip into the conversation. Miss Jessica was quick to let me know she wanted no part of a shopping trip with her father and sister. She anticipated their would be controversy before they were through.

"No thank you", she said.

She wants to spend time with her little sis, but not her father. What can I say? I feel the same way. I avoid their father and speak to him only when absolutely necessary--like maybe 3 or 4 times at best in the past 5 years.

But I divorced the man. I paid to have him removed from my life. After 18 years of marriage, I realized this man was not a father, but rather a sperm donor. And his donations didn't end at home.

His irresponsible behavior is what has created this feud with his oldest daughter. His inability to recognize his shortcomings is what has fueled it.

But I take great comfort in knowing we are dealing with adults here-- and they can work it out themselves.


Imperatrix said...

It's easy for Dear Abby to say, invite everyone, and they'll all behave. But humans have memories, and we can't always forget the hurtful things others have said or done.

Seems to me Jessica knows the limits of her patience, and would prefer not to create a fuss around Jeni.

I've been trying for years to get my mother to understand that full family get-togethers just create stress. Family in small doses works much better for me. I can hold it together at weddings (and have, three times), but I dread to envision the unhappiness at dress-shopping "en groupe".

So many people think their family is the only "unperfect family." Not true. We all just make do.

(un)relaxeddad said...

Families in large numbers are unbearable! Mind you, myself and my sister recognise that we have very, very little in common and get along quite well on annual visits and Christmas cards. But our family is more than a little dysfunctional.

Christine said...

it must be really hard to see your daughters have to deal with him. but i so admire you for letting them handle it all themselves like grownups. it would be very easy to be nasty about it.

Running on empty

Linda and her Surroundings said...

There is something very difficult about being a daughter or son and having to confront all the human frailties of your own parents. 18 years married to a sperm donor - you did well to make it last that long.

Gwen said...

I am impressed that you can stay out of the way as much as you do. It's lovely to see the faith you have in your daughters.