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My Dad Gave Me A Migraine For My Birthday

April 13, 2010

First, he forgot my birthday.

Every year my dad calls me and sings me happy birthday. I do the same for him, my stepmom and both of my half-siblings. It’s our family tradition. This year, no call came. I put it out of my mind and enjoyed my ladies brunch, some day-drinking and then my whirlwind date night with Love Interest E. But it lurked there, the hurt of being forgotten.

The next morning I got a panicky call with an apology for forgetting and the thoughtful explanation, “it just didn’t even cross my mind.”

So I cried in Love Interest E’s kitchen and he had to offer to slow dance to K-Ci & Jo Jo to get me to stop.

Second, my dad spent my family birthday party lecturing me about love and marriage and “if you’re thinking about marriage at this age you’re going to end up making a huge mistake and being unhappy forever.” Thanks, Dad!

Man, parents can be so frustrating.

I spent that night feebly defending my ability to think for myself and make adult decisions. Then I had to defend Love Interest E because my dad observed, oh-so-keenly, having never met him, that he obviously wasn’t the one for me if I was feeling depressed.

(My dad’s a believer in the “You’ll just know” approach to marriage. Interesting, since he’s divorced…)

What a birthday party!

So this is to you Dad, everything I couldn’t figure out how to explain while underfire: This freak out is completely separate from my fledgling and very promising new romance. This freak out is 26 years coming. This freak out has way more to do with my own crumbling timeline and previously failed romances than the one on the horizon.

I don’t want what you think I want. I don’t want marriage and suburbs and kids and minivans. I want partnership and understanding and love and cooperation. I want a lifetime relationship. The rest we will decide on as a couple later.

Love Interest E may very well be my future. And that does not mean that I’m not allowed to feel angsty about the landfill that is my past romantic history.

So take your ideals and opinions and shove them. Because if you can’t even understand what I want, you certainly aren’t suited to be giving me advice on how to get it.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2010 12:55 pm

    Sigh. Parents. They can be very difficult sometimes.

  2. cyrae permalink
    April 13, 2010 1:30 pm

    It’s a little scary to leave a comment, but here goes … I hope you can let go of this “Dad-On-A-Roll” episode and chalk it up to a misguided attempt to somehow save you from your own life experiences … no two journeys are alike, so don’t put too much stock in another person’s “rules” – even if they’re family!

    Here’s a quote that just happened to be on my yoga teacher’s e-mail today: “Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks”
    —Gloria Anzaldua
    Try that for an antidote to a parental migraine!

    • April 13, 2010 1:41 pm

      Thanks Cyrae – They say the best medicine for migraines is blog posts and salient quotes don’t they? No? They don’t?

      Well anyway, it worked for me.

  3. BCubed permalink
    April 13, 2010 5:34 pm

    Okay, so after reading this, I’m feeling REALLY bad about that birthday card that I haven’t yet mailed. It’s sitting on my kitchen counter signed by all of us – honest! I WILL mail it tomorrow. Love you!

  4. JQ Brat permalink
    April 14, 2010 7:11 am

    Oh man. My Aunt is always the first to call me on my birthday, usually sometime in the middle of the night just so she can be first. On my 25th birthday I didn’t receive that call and I cried all day. I know it seems silly, but I’m a girl and I’m allowed! I seriously had a mental breakdown. Then I got home and she had left me a message 5 minutes after I walked out the door for work. Talk about making me feel stupid!

    That really sucks that your dad had to be such a blow-hard on your birthday. Some people just have really bad timing!

    • April 14, 2010 8:28 am

      i guess we’re all over-sensitive around the quarter life crisis. my dad is not always the most perceptive about these things. i need to print mood t-shirts to give him extra clues “Happy” “Sad” and “Do Not Mess With Me”

      … perhaps this is a marketable idea.

  5. Cousin Kitty-Cat permalink
    April 16, 2010 2:01 pm

    This is SO your dad! (This side of him drives my mom nuts, btw.) Did I tell you about the time I talked to your dad over the phone and my mom was on the extension (which I HATE) in Florida cleaning up the condo after Grandma died? They had both had a couple of cocktails at dinner and your dad was telling me not to get married because I was too young. My mom was talking over him saying, “It worked for me! Get married when you want! Don’t listen to him!” So awesome. Also, feeling depressed doesn’t mean you’re with the wrong person. If it was such a bad relationship, he wouldn’t be able to cheer you up. I’m going through something right now career-wise, but that doesn’t mean Andy’s not the guy for me! I love your dad, but he’s out of his element.

    • April 18, 2010 12:16 pm

      you are the best. thank you.

      also i can totally hear the chaos of the phone call. hilarious 🙂 its hard to believe they came from the same family.

    • April 18, 2010 12:16 pm

      you are the best. thank you.

      also i can totally hear the chaos of the phone call. hilarious 🙂 its hard to believe they came from the same family.

  6. April 20, 2010 12:36 pm

    “I don’t want what you think I want. I don’t want marriage and suburbs and kids and minivans. I want partnership and understanding and love and cooperation. I want a lifetime relationship. The rest we will decide on as a couple later.”

    I want a lifetime relationship WITH THAT PARAGRAPH.

Trackbacks

  1. Can you relate? « Maundering Me
  2. My Birthday: Golf, Vodka and Robot Stirrers. « The Engagement Project

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