It’s Father’s Day and to a lot of people that means it is a special day to celebrate how much they love and appreciate their Dad.
To me, this day has always been just another day.
The person that my Mom married and had me with, which by default was supposed to be my “father”, has never matched any sort of definition of that word or any other variant of it.
I’ll just refer to him as “BE” from here on out.
BE never wanted a girl and he most certainly never wanted a girl like me. I am a bit of a tomboy and I’m very much a nerd. I’m not pretty and I am overweight. I don’t wear dresses or put on makeup. I don’t collect shoes or spend three hours in the bathroom brushing my hair. I was never into Barbie dolls or fashion or any number of things that people assumed I should be into just because of my gender. I was not into those things growing up and I still am not interested in them. I have no particular reasons for not being fascinated with those things and I really don’t feel I need a reason to explain why. I am wired to be who I am.
I am just me, it’s that simple.
I have very few memories of BE, but those I do have are all on the negative side. Most of these memories are from early teen years.
I remember BE constantly badgering me because I was not skinny (even though he himself was pudgy). He lectured me on how to be on a lady, how I should sip a soda properly, how I should sit and eat and behave. He was never nice about this.
My Mom really did want me to have a father, but it’s not her fault he could never be one. I remember some very specific times when my Mother insisted he take his kids out to eat. BE never wanted to take me out, but he did want to spend time with his son. So he’d insist I sit in the backseat always, his son up front so they could talk. I remember things being said like “we’ll have to talk about this another time, it’s man talk” with an annoyed glance in my direction.
He was cheap, so he always took us to McDonald’s. Always. Upon arriving and preparing to order, any food choice I made was not the correct one. He’d call me fat constantly and make me choose whatever he felt was best. During the meal, BE would ignore me completely, except to tell me how to eat or to criticize me.
His son hated me (and the feeling is mutual) so it was always them against me in everything. I call him “his son” because to me I don’t have a brother and that is definitely a story for another day.
There was one or two times my Mother wanted him to take me out, even when his son was not around. These were just awful experiences. He’d take me to McDonald’s and focus entirely on lecturing me about dieting and eating healthy. It was always ironic, considering McDonald’s is far from healthy.
I only remember actually having to go out with him a handful of times. I remember how much I dreaded spending time with him, not that my home life was much happier. It was all par for the course.
Other than those times, I remember only seeing BE whenever he had a child support check to drop off and as far as my memory can recall, I haven’t seen him since I graduated and he got to drop off that 18th check. That was his last check, so finally he was done with me.
As a side note… while he did always want a son, apparently the one he got was not good enough either because he abandoned that one eventually too.
After that, I never heard from BE or saw him. At one point, some 15 years ago, his son gave him my phone number but he never called.
BE eventually married the woman he cheated on my mother with and moved to the east coast. The women he married was also a cheater, cheating with BE when she was married to someone else. Two peas in a pod. She has kids from her previous marriage, and I guess they were ones he approved of, so he was happy just to merge into her family and not bother with anyone in the past.
I haven’t seen him in almost 20 years now and I don’t think I’ll ever see him again.
Some people in my family refer to BE as “sperm donor” because that sums up his contribution to my life pretty well.
I can’t remember a single time BE actually hugged me or said something nice to me.
I can’t remember him ever saying he loved me. That’s okay, because I’m certain I never loved him either. I never even knew him, he was just some stranger that randomly dropped a check off for my Mom once a month.
Today is not a special day to me. I don’t have anyone to call up and tell them I am proud that they are my Dad. So instead I’d like to say Happy Father’s Day to any Dad’s that are reading this who are good to their children, good to their partner and have really been the true definition of what a Father is supposed to be. Your participation in your child’s life is so important and I hope you get one of those wonderful phone calls today.
Before I end this, on a related note I’d like to say that I grew up listening to the radio. Music is so important to my life, I can’t live without music, it is a passion for me. I always listened to the Weekly Top 40 with radio legend Casey Kasem. Casey Kasem passed away today at the age 82. I am saddened to read about this.. his voice always brightened my days and made me smile regardless of the home life I had. He, in his own way, made a direct impact on my childhood. I’ll always remember him fondly. I am sorry for the family that they lost their Dad.. and of all days, they lost him today. My heart goes out to them.