My father’s daughter: Exhibit 2

Dad and me c 1967. The bad.
Dad and me c 1967. The bad.

My stepmother once mentioned you are your father’s daughter when less than pleased with both of us. This is not news to me. I’ve been my father’s daughter my whole life. You have to take the bad with the good… but my futile efforts to arrange a Fathers Day get-together went from bad to worse.

The noisy environs of our apartment mean we often don’t hear our mobile phones ring if it coincides with a passing train. In conferring with the G.O. re his 4WD quest Dad’s taken to calling him directly on his mobile but if the G.O. doesn’t answer then Dad calls my mobile, and leaves messages on both.

I missed Dad’s call on my phone but heard the message beep, and caught the G.O.’s ringing so answered Dad’s call. To the point as usual, he explained it wasn’t necessary for us to give him a lift back to collect his ute, he was catching the train but would like to see us anyway on Saturday night. I countered yes, we hoped so too but the G.O. had yet to make arrangements, and it was still likely to be Sunday as he’d been working long hours each day including Saturday and over the course of several weeks, so driving up on the Saturday night wasn’t preferable. Dad barely waited for me to finish before suggesting it didn’t matter if we arrived very late. The G.O. could have a lovely sleep sequestered in the spare room at the end of the hall. I reiterated my explanation.

Now concerned for the G.O.’s welfare, Dad suggested he stay on there for the week to catch up on much-needed rest. By this time my patience had run out and my volume had increased, as I announced fine, I haven’t been able to organize anything like that but I’ll put you onto him, and you see if you can do better than me. There’s no dignity in this, I thought, here we are shouting at each other like it’s 30 years ago and I’m 17. As I thrust the phone at the G.O. Dad’s final parry was well that’s whose phone I called.

Dad went quiet for a few seconds as the G.O. said hello, hello… into the ethers, but re-grouped and clarified to the G.O. look, I understand she’s just trying to look after you, just do what you can… and moved onto the safe topic of the newly purchased 4WD, completely ignoring the reality that I have no say in the matter at all.

A day later I received a civilised phone call from Dad assuring me all was in its right place, including him. He’d had a reasonable train trip, sleeping and reading; collected the old ute; been successfully guided out of the city by my uncle; and driven home. Upon arriving home a little worse for wear after a few busy days, he was perplexed to see the 4WD wasn’t where he’d parked it on the street in front of the house. He assumed Someone Else, impatient to connect it up to the caravan, had located the key and moved it to the backyard. Except upon seeking to make visual confirmation of this, it wasn’t there. Only then did he realise he’d driven the 4WD to the train station in the first part of his journey back to the city to retrieve the old ute.

Dad assured me he was calmer now, and if we could manage a visit it would be appreciated, if not, that was ok too. Calmer myself, I reiterated the decision was not mine. The G.O. would be in touch.

Did we go up to visit Dad last weekend, or this? Unfortunately, no. Not because we didn’t want to but because reality is reality. The G.O. called Dad on Friday evening and explained. Nothing had changed; he was working the next day. Sunday was his only day off before doing it all again. This is our life at the moment. When things quiet down we will visit. Because we want to.

We all meant well.

20 thoughts on “My father’s daughter: Exhibit 2

  1. Recently I was admonishing myself for not being able to get along better with my Dad when he was alive. And then I remembered, he was bloody difficult. It all seems like it should work, but somehow, sometimes, it just doesn’t. It has little to do with how much you love one another. XX


    1. Admonish is something I do now, and know I will do then… And, those words are perfect – it has nothing to do with love at all. “Bloody difficult”… if I didn’t know better, I’d say we were sisters 😉


  2. Oh God, these things get so convoluted don’t they!? And they will continue to do so. As you say reality is reality. I hope when you finally get to visit, there are a few minutes of connection. Sometimes that is enough. c


  3. I understand now that families don’t choose each other, as we choose the friends and partners throughout our life. We love them but don’t necessarily like them. It’s the love that is important to hang onto when the liking seems far away. SD


    1. I’m not even sure about the degree to which we choose friends and partners 😉 I love and like Dad but his ability to drive me, but not only me, crazy, is legendary…


  4. Mercy, I can see there’d be a lot of catching up to do here! One thing I identified with right away was the hereditary accusation: as a teen, I got accused of being like my black sheep uncle when I was wayward. I’m amazed and impressed with your blogging perseverance stretching back to pour commencer (of course I would be, slacker that I am!)


    1. It’s always handy to have a rogue family member to blame or aspire 🙂
      Thank you 🙂 but I can’t take all the credit for still being here. Circumstances have conspired a holding pattern at this point in life, and blogging has kept me teetering on the edges of the cliffs of insanity but not actually falling off…


  5. Answering machines and cell phone threw my dad for a loop – he always seemed to feel they were like something from outer space…of course it didn’t help he had trouble hearing….and cell phone just were the wrong shape for a phone – just didn’t feel like a phone.
    They are certainly hard to keep up with…fathers that is!


    1. That made me laugh… Dad’s stock response to the message service is “It’s your father”. Beyond that, like your Dad, he struggles.
      Dad’s ok with his mobile phone, he even texts, but it took a while. Now he just battles with the GPS.
      Oh, no, I’d never try to keep up with Dad… duck and weave is the best strategy 😉


  6. LOL. Life has a way of frustrating the dickens out of us. Glad the G.O. got his one day off to do what he needed to do. Visits are fun but not in compressed timeframes and when you need to recharge. 🙂


    1. The year has gotten away from us. I can see Christmas looming. The lead up to the festive season only makes it busier.
      The G.O., and me, now have 5 days off and we’ll spend 2 of them driving but 3 days to relax (hopefully) seems like heaven 🙂
      I checked out Dad’s schedule, and he’s busy for the next few weekends but after that it might come together.


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