~Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tit for Tat

The more emotional distance I put between myself and the situation with my father, the more the answer came clearly. This is the fight worth having.

My father had an affair. He proposed to my step-mother while he was still married. He wanted to wake me from my bed in the middle of the night to tell me he was leaving and my mother screamed at him to at least wait until morning. "Let the children have one more night of good sleep," she said. "Because it will be the last good sleep they'll have." And then he picked up and left.

But what I'm doing is morally reprehensible.

I feel like he is saying it's okay to cheat and divorce, as long as you don't move in with your new family before heading to the court house. And I will never accept that. I will never be okay with that.

This isn't about the apartment; this is about my father forgoing his chance at righteousness when I was 5 years old. He forfeited ever passing judgment on me. Luckily for me, he was so busy with his 4 new children that he didn't have time to tell me what to do. I'm not sure he ever showed enough interest in what I was doing, good or bad.

And now I'm on the eve of my 27th birthday. I am full-time employed with my name on a lease and car title. I feel like the raising has been done and it's a little too late to begin parenting.

I will never accept his hypocrisy in this situation. I feel very strongly about this. If I went out to dinner with him and pretended things were okay, I would not be true to myself or my ideals. I feel the same about even maintaining a relationship with him. Yesterday I asked him to stop hurting me and the man said no. This is the fight worth having.

So I went home and sat down with Scott and I told him my decision.

"I have never seen you so upset as you have been in the past couple of days," he said. "I'm going through my family stuff too, but this has affected you differently. You've just been so hurt and anguished." Scott took a deep breath, "So I called him."

"You talked to my father?" I blinked.

"Yes."

"You went into the lion's den without any armor?"

"Yes. I didn't want to be the wedge between you two. I told him that I meant no disrespect to him by moving in with you. I told him that my intentions were honorable. He liked hearing that. And I told him the real reason I signed your lease."

"YOU DID WHAT?" I gasped.

"Relax, I said that my lease ended in February and that's when I moved in because my name has been on this lease all along. Anyway, your father did most of the talking and he didn't say it outright, but he alluded that he just needs more time to get used to this, and that eventually he will be okay with all of this," he gestured. "He said you hurt him, he hurt you, and now it's time to move on."

"What the hell is this, the Bible? He's just doing this for his 'eye for an eye'?" I crossed my arms and slouched against the back of the couch.

"I'm not defending him, I'm just telling you what he said," Scott explained.

"If he's so hurt and upset, why does he want to have dinner so much?" I grumbled.

"He doesn't want to do it at the expense of missing your birthday. I told him I would talk to you when you got home and you would call him with your decision about dinner tomorrow," Scott finished.

I rolled my eyes. I was prepared for war. My battle ax was sharpened and aimed at the enemy. But if Scott can man up and call my father, and my father can make concessions, then I guess I can too. A lot of people are invested my relationship and I would be disrupting the family balance.

I picked up the phone. "You can go to my step-sister's apartment when she's cohabitating, and you can not care if my brother did this, but you sure as hell aren't coming to my apartment. I think that makes you cruel." I sighed, "but I will come to dinner."

At 9 a.m. this morning my phone rang. "Fine. We'll be at your place at 7," my father said.

"But I didn't clean."

16 comments:

Lpeg said...

Haha, "But I didn't clean."

Nice. Good job on Scott too!

Happy Birthday!!!!

Textie said...

Ah-Ha! I knew you didn't clean! :-)

Glad you won the war.

Peach said...

blimey, it didn't even occur to me that Scott could wade in and save the day, good for him... and Happy Birthday. I hope you have a lovely day even if dinner's a litte, er.. well, let's hope that its great.

And tell Scott he's fab, from me


X

Single Girl said...

Go Scott!! Way to man up!!

Happy Birthday!!

Paige Jennifer said...

Oh. My. God. You just pulled off being RIGHT and HAPPY at the same time. I'm officially crowning you my hero.

And though I'm a day early....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

LizSara said...

Good on you, you will always have the moral high ground over him

Well done to Scott for seeing how affected you were and doing all he could to help.

Miss C said...

Happy Birthday!

Hope you have a lovely day!!!

Just a quick comment (as in work) - Wow. A man prepared to face a father head on..and is able to win. A keeper! I'm glad things are looking up.

Miss C x

Enny said...

Awww - Scott's the man!!!
Hooray for you :o)

kristin b said...

"but i didn't clean."

that's perfect!

HAPPY 27th!! :)

>*;* said...

happy birthday! LOL I love that you didn't clean! I'm really glad you both came to a space where there is room for both of your opinions.

I'm glad he's coming over.

good luck

SuvvyGirl said...

Cleaning is overrated. :) Brave move on Scotts part. That really is a man who cares to do that. Happy Birthday!!

AmyD said...

Ha! One thing is for sure: you've got a lot of fight and compassion in your family; whether you realize it or not, your dad loves you and just wants you to be happy. Him saying he would be at your place proved all that and more. Now accept him in (clean, or not)! :o)

AmyD said...

Oh, and Scott? That man has got some BALLS. Props to him!!!!!!

Amber said...

Your closing sentence made me laugh. Soooo typical Sarah, in a good way of course! :)

I'm so incredibly proud of Scott for calling your father! That took a lot of guts and it really shows how serious he is about you. It must be pretty wonderful to have someone love you enough that he's willing to "slay dragons" so to speak, even when it's not asked of him.

You are a wonderful human being and a woman that others respect and admire, Miss Sarah. I've yet to read an incident in your life where you didn't handle your own with grace and class and dignity. Slaying your own dragons, as hard as it may be sometimes, has never been something you shy away from.

You didn't back down from your father even though it put you in agony because, despite everything else, you love him. And Scott stood up and right next to you, united and solidified.

I've wondered, at times, about whether or not this was going to work out because of the "stuff" the two of you have already gone through. But, I think after reading this entry, it has become very much apparent that the two of you are going to make it.

And I think you both are growing and are stronger than you can see in the middle of life's hardships.

Congratulations, sweetie -- on taking a stand with your father AND picking a "good one" flaws and all.

Happy Birthday! I wish peace, prosperity, and healing for the open wounds that you're slowly dealing with in every step between 27 and 28.

Give me a call soon so we can catch up! I miss our talks, damnit! :)

Carrie said...

Good for you (and Scott) for facing the situation head-on rather than just ignoring the problem. I really hope your father can get over himself...self-righteousness is a very unattractive quality. And Happy Birthday!!

Diane Mandy said...

Yey! Good for you and Scott!

 

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