~Monday, January 15, 2007

Who's your daddy?

It was Really Hot, Freshly Divorced, Straight Coworker's last day at work. We were splitting our fourth pitcher of margaritas and I was wearing his name tag.

"So what did you decide to get your daughter for Christmas?"

"I'm thinking about not getting her anything."

"RHFDSC! You can't just *not* get your daughter anything for Christmas and then give your son a bicycle! You'll give that poor girl a complex that Daddy doesn't love her!"

"Well my ex decided that since this is our first Christmas apart, that I should just come over to the house and we'll do it all together. Her mother got her a puppy anyway so there is no chance I could top that as a gift. I'm hoping she just won't notice."

"How old is she again?"


"She's young. She may not." I took a sip of my frozen marg, realizing that although I don't feel it, I should be quite drunk by now. All it would take is me standing up and walking across the restaurant towards the restroom for the drunkity-drunkness to kick in. "You know, my parents divorced when I was five."

RHFDSC began laughing, full body shaking, "Yeah I should have my ex meet you so she would take me back!"

My eyes stung and I didn't really have a response for him. Ouch. I can take a lot of joking, even the Bodily Function Sarah, but to be the poster child against divorce, to be a living example of the repercussions of dysfunctional families, hurt.

I thought about a vacation with my father and step-mother back when I was still in college and didn't know my father at all. We were talking lightly and tentatively about divorce. "We think everyone turned out okay," he said. I smiled. He took another drink from his Natural Light, "Except for you. We're still worried about you and how you're going to turn out."

Not the words a daughter would expect to hear from her father, We haven't figured out how crazy and damaged you are yet. So it's widely acknowledged that I'm the freak show of the family. The youngest of six, I am the only one who hasn't settled down by my age. My nieces and nephews are confused as to why I don't have a family of my own. Every time they see me, they ask where's my daddy. And then when their grandmother points to their grandfather and says, "That's her daddy," they get all befuddled.

I know RHFDSC's joke didn't mean any harm, but it hit a little too close to home.

Whatever that is.


Amber said...

Being unconventional and/or not fitting into the plastic version of what-everyone-else-thinks is not a BAD thing.

First of all, your parents divorce affected you in a big way. It still does - that makes you human. When you are a family, it's like you're all sitting around a pond. And if one person throws in something as little as a pebble, it's going to make ripple effects that come into YOUR area of the pond. Divorce is not a pebble, it's a friggin' boulder! Do not let anyone guilt trip you or make you feel bad for the simple fact that their marriage/divorce had an impact on you and your life.

And the impact hasn't meant all BAD things. It's made you cautious to turn over your heart and since when is that bad? Do you know how many horrible heartbreaks and bad relationships you've avoided, simply by being cautious?

You are a wonderful young woman that is figuring things out for yourself and making your OWN path, one step at a time.

Just because that doesn't match up with conventiality doesn't mean that you're a freak.

And fuck RD-whatever. That was a low blow. He's pissed and dealing with a tangle of emotions from his own divorce and he totally lashed out at you. Because it was easier than accepting responsibility for his part in the failure of his marriage.

Margaritas should never be wasted by sharing them with an asshole.

Keep your head held high, Miss Sarah. It takes guts, sheer determination, and confidence to step out into this world and make your own path. No matter how it turns out, good or bad. I think you're doing one helluva job!

Want me to come down and kick his ass for you? Then we can have a margarita! Cheers! :)

adventure boy said...

Re your comment on Courage: Very funny! Reading it, I felt like James Bond in the latest film when he names the Martini he invented Vesper after the girl he's in love with. Or maybe I feel like the girl. Or perhaps you feel like the girl, or wait, no, like James Bond and I just feel like someone who happened to pass the table when the name was invented and accidentally said courage out loud. :) Really funny nonetheless.

adventure boy said...

Darn, i pressed publish instead of preview. What I wanted to say is that I agree with Amber. Difference is a good thing. Being ordinary is boring. I remember this Captain we had at the military academy. He was widely recognised as being an ass, tough as hell, and awful to serve under. He had many really weird ways and his thought patters weren't logical by any definition of that word. So it took roughly a year before we started liking him, and it was painful all the way until that point. Anyways, he said something once, perhaps to justify how he was (and btw he was actually married) or simply because it was really the truth: "being odd, peculiar or unusual is a quality which I cultivate". I found it very thoughtful and since then I've stopped questioning if I am weird. Maybe I am, but at least I'm not out of bounds of acceptable social behaviour. Well, not normally in any case lol.

Hang in there, babe.

M said...

I have taught a shit load of kids both from divorced families and not - let me tell you this - it doesn't take a divorce to fuck kids up. I know perfectly happy kids from divorced families and I know some real fucked up ones from families that are supposedly "happy". Yeah, divorced families have a lot more shit to sort through, but it's all in how the parents deal with the kids and with eachother. Though I know that the constant moving between one parent to the next can be really exhausting and confusing if parents have different rules, and one parent does the homework while the other lets it go (stuff like that really frustrates kids).

Unless non-present buyer explicitly said that the puppy was also from him then that kid WILL notice that he didn't buy her a present. ugh! She might not say, but I think she'd notice. Five year olds are just young, they're not retarded! They know exactly what's up.

Phil said...

Mez is smarter than me so I'll just agree with her.

And if his daughter turns out half as good as you, he should thank his lucky stars.

Sarah said...

Amber- Margaritas should never be wasted by sharing them with an asshole. I *heart* you.

Adventure Boy- I was hoping you would understand it!

I can behave perfectly normal in society. Um, just don't look at my drinking photos :)

M- That's a good point. I knew my step-mother always picked out my gifts and never my father. The writing on the wrapping paper always gave it away.

Phil- That is the perfect response! Why didn't I think of that in my margarita haze?

Jen said...

Everything I have to say has been said already. You are awesome and RHFDXYZ or whatever delivered a low blow that was uncalled for. You rock and don't let anyone tell you any different! :P

londongirl said...

Coworker sounds like a shit. Someone who's trying to make himself look better by making lame jokes at someone else's expense. And not bothering to get his daughter a Christmas present. Grrr. It makes me angry just reading about it.

It's normal that your parents' divorce affected you. What kind of zombie would you be if it didn't? I think you're doing well.

pinkjellybaby said...

sorry but who's the one who's getting divorced? HIM who's the one who clearly couldn't make his marriage work? HIM
who's the one who isn't buying his daughter a present becasue he thinks a five year old is that bothered about what they get? HIM
who things he can play a point scoring game with his kids? HIM

Sarah said...

Jen- No, you rock :)

LondonGirl- That's a good point! Who gets just one of their kids a gift? It's a little odd.

Pinky- If what he said was so wrong and he's an asshole, then how come no one at the table stuck up for me? Grr.

Scorpy said...

Being the Dad of two young girls and divorced...I would never play on their emotions other than to smother them with affection. Kids are not pawns in a divorced couples one upmanship. I get a lot of the third wheel thing now. People look at me and ask "How come you haven't remarried" like it is the 'right' thing to do. I am my daughter's Dad and that is enough for me (and hopefully them)

Sarah said...

Scorpy- I suspect that my parents divorce was very different than yours. I didn't even know my father until a year ago. It was a very ugly situation that my mother lied and lied (I think) about.

That's why I love reading your posts and about your little LLs. That's the family I never had. I think your love is more than enough for them :) *warm fuzzies*

Lil said...

What a retard he is. ;)

Girl, don't sweat it - everyone walks to their own beat, beats their own drum, and all that jazz, k?

I met and can attest to the fact that you're fine. lol

Sarah said...

Lil- I'm so glad we met so someone on this blog can attest to that!

Saskboy said...

I hope the child didn't go Christmas presantless. And an animal for a gift on a holiday just reeks of irresponsibility.

Sarah said...

Saskboy- I have no idea if he did or not, I haven't spoken to him since he left the company.


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