Two occasions I prefer to avoid Social Media: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Today would be the latter. The overabundance of heartfelt tributes to Daddy Dearest, pics of the family out to dinner, black and white photographs of Dearly Departed Dads, poetic verses, memes, funny photos, photo collages, wedding shots with Dad walking his lace-clad daughter down the aisle, etc., just makes me want to puke. And no, I am not jealous.
I sent my dad a Father’s Day card last week. It is always difficult to find a suitable one. You know… there was that awkward, 30-year gap where I didn’t know where the fuck he was. So all those cards that gush: “You Were Always There For Me” are bullshit. So are the ones that hail Dad as a person who shaped me into The Adult I Have Become. (Although I’m not sure he would want to take credit for that.) I managed to find a card in the Hallmark store that talked about how, although we are miles apart, I think of him often. That is true enough. Everytime I see that dreaded 617- area code pop up on my Caller ID, I think: “Oh, shit. Did he fall again? Is he dead? How the hell am I going to afford airfare to Boston?” The most recent call, just a couple days ago, was a courtesy call to let me know that Dad is okay, but he fell out of his wheelchair trying to stand up. It is an obligation of his nursing home to let me know about every incident like this. It gets tiresome.
Someday I will visit him again, if I ever save up the money. I’m not proud of myself. I never told him about my divorce. Dad has Alzheimer’s. Would he even remember I was married? Would he ask me again how my mother is, forgetting that she died almost ten years ago? The legacy my father left me was an unhealthy affinity for alcohol, and a family I know only through Facebook. Oh yeah, and a Hispanic lineage I am uncomfortable with. (I attended very White schools on eastern Long Island.) After Dad left, I had a stepfather I hated and a grandfather (Mom’s dad) who emotionally and sexually abused me. So, you can probably understand why Father’s Day is not my favorite holiday on the calendar.
Is it Halloween yet?