Tuesday, 25 January 2011

You can pick your friends...

    I had a row with my dad on Sunday. A good old-fashioned stand-up shouty row. Why? I had a pile of car body assemblies from a younger and much rustier cousin of the Rusty Old Wreck, and he scrapped them without telling me. They were destined for the scrap, but there were one or two parts on them that I wanted to salvage. He knew that, but chose to ignore it. Very annoying, and sadly not the first time it's happened.
    All rather unfortunate, but not the reason for this post. Afterwards as I drove back into town I was thinking about my relationship with my dad.
    I have few complaints about either of my parents. They can be a little old-fashioned at times, but in the ways that matter they have always been good to me and my sisters. Compared to the parents of some of my contemporaries they were very tolerant of our teenaged excesses too, I had none of the rafts of rules my friends had to put up with. But thinking as I trundled through the weekend rat-race I realised I've never been what I'd call close to my dad. At least not in the way other people seem to be. We do things like fettling machinery or dealing with random bits of agriculture together, but I can't think of a leisure pursuit I've followed with my dad. We don't go fishing, or watch football for instance. Hardly surprising I suppose, given the curve ball of gender variance my brain has thrown at me.
    His reason for scrapping the panels was that they've been in a pile for a couple of years and I hadn't done anything with them. Which is true, I've been alternating between not sleeping and struggling at times to retain my sanity and my marriage. Which returns to my relationship with my parents, I've talked a lot about all my gender issues with my mother but not with my dad. I'm simply too embarrassed to do so and he's going deaf so it would involve quite a lot of explaining. I've relied on my mother to tell him and perhaps that was a mistake.
    My annoyance will pass in time. Part of me is tempted to express further displeasure overtly but I think I'd regret it if I did so. Cutting off contact with my parents for a couple of months would only upset my mother and I have apple trees and the Rusty Old Wreck to see to at their place anyway. The more mischievous part of me toyed with introducing them to Jenny because I know it would embarrass the hell out of my dad, but yet again I know that wouldn't be a good idea in the long run.
    So I'll just simmer for a while. My equilibrium has been upset this week, hardly what I need in what has been a difficult and annoying month. Unfortunate, but life goes on.


  1. Sounds like you dad was getting back at you for what your mom told him. It must be hard for elderly parents getting to know their son isn't exactly as they thought. Maybe it has been a lifetime thing with you and your dad, I mean you admit to not having done many things together in the past. Some parents and children just never gell I suppose. There could be many reasons for that. Best try to keep the peace as much as you can I would suggest.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. Tricky for us to relate to fathers. They can't see immediately by looking at us what aliens we really are. With mine were tolerated each other in a quite civilised manner that sense I clearly was never going to be one of going to the pub with him and his pal's a really was disappointed in me.

    He died in his mid-60s and even though I spent the last week with him as he was supposedly recovering from a heart-attack and I drove him around to what I later realised was a series of goodbyes to his friends we never once had a deep and meaningful conversation in our lives.

    I had to deal with all the junk that he had collected in his garage and never done anything with!

    Caroline xxx

  3. Who knows...that apple orchard could be yours someday. Regardless of that last sentence, however, you're doing the right thing, Jenny.

    Calie xxx

  4. My Rusty Wreck has been in my parents small garden for longer than I like to admit to. Thankfully my dad is going to be doing the restoring - but I know just how much it drives my mum insanse having a scrapyard where she wishes she had a little garden to enjoy the sunny weather (when it reaches that far north ;p)

    I'll go with Calie and say you're doing the right thing in your attitude.

    Good luck,

  5. Thanks everyone. Spleen vented, still rather upset though.

    My dad's a very quiet bloke. I don't think he's in any way getting back at me, he's done this before long before he knew about me. No, I just think he has moments of extreme inconsideration which coupled with the belief of all parents that their offspring are forever five-year-olds means that he considered his action to be justified.

    I still wish I could appear for Sunday lunch at the folks in girl mode though. Ain't gonna happen, but thinking of the looks on faces is enough to raise a smile.