American Father’s Day is today. Given my own dad is socially inept and awkward, he rarely calls me. I cannot even remember the last time he called me. I’ve stopped calling him directly since it’s always so awkward, and he doesn’t even say hello to me when he answers the phone and realizes it’s me. He’ll usually just say, “Yeah? What do you want?” Does that sound rude? Yes. But to him, that’s just a normal response (but I can only imagine how HE would react if I responded to HIM that way if he were to call). Instead, I’ll send a gift and if it’s running late, I’ll text or email him to let him know, plus a Happy Father’s Day wish.
So I did that today, and he responded right away by saying thanks, and, “Please wish Chris a happy Father’s Day, too.” Interesting. He never messaged to wish me a happy Mother’s Day last month, but he wishes indirectly a happy Father’s Day to his son-in-law? With my dad, everything is always a response, never something he initiates. It always has to be a quid pro quo thing with the other person initiating it, otherwise he will never be the first to do anything. And well, he can’t really wish me a happy mother’s day in response because no one is going to wish him a happy mother’s day.
People always say that you should spend time with your parents now while they’re here because once they’re gone, you’ll have regrets. So occasionally, I wonder if I will have regrets that I did not call to initiate conversation with my dad more often. But when I think about it, I honestly do not believe I will. Who wants to sit in an awkward conversation, especially one that starts as rudely as “What do you want?” The worst part about all this is that my dad never thinks he’s wrong, and my mom always fiercely defends him on the stupidest and most egregious things he’s said and done. I’m grateful that I always had a roof over my head and food on the table to eat, but when it comes to a real, loving, unconditional relationship, that was definitely never there with my dad, and even less so between my dad and his son. It’s partly why Father’s Day as a holiday to me is a pretty meh day.