|Derailed. I could be a bicycle gear.
||[May. 10th, 2012|08:18 am]
I was waiting for someone to call me on that last post. After all, it was an Ode to Dad...and I never actually got there. I was bleeding off the incipient panic attack and when the pressure got low enough, all that was left was exhaustion. So, off to bed I toddled...whom am I kidding? I used my last shred of energy and dove for that bed, hoping I'd make it before I just compromised and fell asleep on the floor between my desk chair and the bed. |
But here's the thing: on the way home I got a voice mail message from my Dad that made me laugh, and laugh, and then cry because I loved him so damn much. In the nearly fifty years we've known each other...I'm not sure if my father has ever initiated a phone call...perhaps a handful of times, but if so, it's always been logistical in nature. So, that alone was a momentous occasion.
See, he's got a thing about his birthday. It's not to be mentioned, not to be celebrated. Childhood baggage that I'm getting nearer to prying out of him. But still. So, it's a card or a gift and he gets uncomfortable and tells you to knock it off, so it's a battle trying to do SOMETHING, but something small and stealthy enough to recognize...but not make it seem as if you're completely ignoring his wishes, which is to not have the word birthday uttered. So, I go with a small gift and a drive-by "Hey, happy birthday, Dad, not that we'll speak of this again."
So, this year I sent him a DVD of a series I thought he'd like, via Amazon. Naturally, when Amazon suggested gift wrap, I said, oh, heck no! And I actually, in the face of impending faire, managed to get it delivered in advance, on the Friday before the big day that no one is allowed to celebrate. My brother and his family were just meeting my parents for a regular dinner out, right? But when I call on Sunday, no package has arrived. And I think, oh, c'mon, I finally pull it together, am finally not late...but yet, I AM!
So, that's what the phone call was about. My Dad, sounding delightfully sheepish, explaining that the package arrived and my mother thought it was just some toner or other supplies that my Dad had ordered and tossed it in the office on his desk. Where it sat for a day or two until he opened it. And he looked at the DVD briefly, but my mother was in the middle of planning this big shower for the neighbor's daughter, so he thought hmm, must be for that, so he moved the box to HER desk...where it sat, because she was busy with the food and decor for the shower and way beyond settling down to do paperwork.
And that's so Dad-like - thinking that for a wedding shower my mother would have ordered a BBC police drama as a gift...
But anyway, after my call on Sunday, my mother went back to check her e-mail and...well.
The whole thing: me scrambling to get something done on time, managing it, but the brief in-control feeling dashed by circumstances, trying to be stealthy and not making a big deal over its birthdayness winding up camouflaging the gift into office supplies, the tossing from one desk to another, the utter lack of communication between two people sharing an office and house because they were both so busy with their own thing...
Tabula Rasa, my chalkwhite ass. Genes win.