I took tonight off from everything. It wasn’t for anything more than I realized that I sometimes need the isolation especially in my situation. I instead was watching Designing Women. A few things came to mind as I did. One thing was that it was one of the few things that I watched on tv when I was younger. I had always wanted to be like Julia but I never seemed to be able to do it. I find now after time has passed I have managed to take some things from the characters from that show. A little Mary Jo, a little Charlene, and even some Julia when I need it. It’s strange that I look at it now and understand it far more than I did then. While I was forced to grow up fast, I had understood much of it then. I understood far more than I was given credit for. I knew how to run a household bills and all by the time I was 13. I could shop for myself. By 15 I had learned to get everything I could on a few dollars in my hand. I called it creative math. Even now I have that ability. In some ways, I was jealous of those around me. I had to be the adult for my mother while everyone around me was being teenagers. Those that knew my mother and myself then understood why I fought so hard and rebelled so much. Yet it was never my mother that I worried over.
I found myself thinking once more about my father. When my parents divorced, I lost contact with my father because of my mother. My father also admitted it was his own selfishness that had caused that. When my mother and I lived with my grandparents, my mother would sneak into my room to get the phone that was in my grandfather’s office where I slept. It wasn’t enough that I had spent much of their married years hearing them fight when I was supposed to be sleeping. They of course would wake me up. While living there I would be awakened by my mother with the hall light on thinking that she wouldn’t wake me, which she did every single time. I lay there and listened to them fight in the hall over the phone. Always fighting. I don’t think I have many memories of them not fighting to be honest. Reading my mother’s diary, I knew that they didn’t fight all the time, but that’s not what I heard. This was about the time that my mother began telling me that I was the reason for their divorce. That it was all my fault that my father left her. If it hadn’t been for me, they would still be together. This was a lie of course. All of it, but it would be years before I understood that. This was also the time that my grandmother’s health began failing. I had lost or was losing the two strongest influences in my life. My grandmother had been the one to shield me from my parents especially my mother. My grandmother was the one that taught me to be a human being. She was the one that taught me to cook and how to do it well. She taught me how to balance the books for a home. She taught me how to live a good life on a little. My father would be out of my life until my 13th birthday. He would show up and that was the first time I had seen him since I was 8. My mother burst into my room and told me to stay there that my father was there. I wanted nothing more than to run from my room to see my father. It’s sad that I realize that the last thing I told my father before he died was “I love you daddy”. It was the first time that he ever heard that from me. I knew that I was losing the greatest person in my life and the one man that had always been there for me when I needed him. The one man that I always relied on. Allowing me my independence while trying to do the dad things. He bought me a dryer once. I tried to pay him back by mailing him the money that he had paid. Instead he sent it back with a little note. “Nice try kid. I love you. Dad.” Another time he used his AAA to tow my car to the shop. They had screwed up and I intended to have them fix it. While the car was being loaded on the tow truck the driver pointed out that my tires would need to be replaced soon. I had known this and was going to piece meal them as I got paid. The next day when we went to pick up my car, my dad told me to follow him. He put four brand new tires on my car that day. He wouldn’t hear a word of me paying him back. He had been sneaky about it because he knew that I would fight him on it. He did it because he cared and he was being ‘dad’. It was always the small things. He had a prescription for a medicine that I used at the time. I had no insurance. I had allergies twice a year. He never used his script so when he would come down to visit, he would bring them down for me and give them to me so I didn’t have to pay for them. At $120 a bottle for Flonase then, there was no way that I could ever afford it. Through my life he had always been one phone call away when I needed him. It wasn’t often that it was monetary, but it was always just simply to talk. It became the most important thing to me. If I missed calling for a week or two from being busy or just keeping up with life, he would email me some stupid joke as a reminder to call him. We could sit there and debate just about anything. Even him and his stern republican views accepting his independent daughter and her views. He even took me being a bisexual in stride. He didn’t like it, but he accepted it and most importantly me.
There was an episode that I had forgotten and it had put some things in perspective for me. Mary Jo was talking to her ex-husband when her then boyfriend had called. He had told her not to come pick him up from the airport because her front tires were low and he was taking her car in in the morning to get them checked. Just as she had realized in that moment, so had I. The Lion had always griped about things like my teeth swearing that it was because he cared. That he didn’t want me to end up with dentures. His humble brag about having all his teeth and so forth. He would gripe about things that really didn’t matter. All in the name that he “cared” about me. Honestly that wasn’t true. Oh, it might be true to a degree, but the truth? He didn’t care about the things that mattered. When I was finally in so much pain that I wasn’t able to sleep. All he would say is to see a doctor and nothing more. He’d complain about the things wrong with himself but wouldn’t bother to see a doctor either, but he was all about me seeing one. I did and he hadn’t cared a lick about it once I had gone. Yet, if there was a problem with one of the cars he couldn’t be bothered with it. All in his own good time. This is why when the radiator blew in his truck it sat for nearly six months. Tell him there was a leak in the jeep and it wasn’t until the day I had to have it towed home that he bothered with it. He’d cook a large pan of lasagna and expect me to eat it all by myself. I want someone that cares enough about me to worry over things like that. Not about how I look, not about how they will be embarrassed of me, now about sex, just me. Mary Jo had realized that JD cared enough about her that he didn’t want her to drive her car until it was looked at. Things like my dad did. Someone that thinks of me as a person. Someone that I don’t have to prove every little thing I do, say, think, or have going on to them. That they can actually take me at my word. Someone that doesn’t always expect something in return for doing something for me.
On a side note, Ohio wanted to give me his number so we could “text”. I sent a message back saying that I wanted some time to chat on the site before going that far. We’ll see if he can respect that. Highly unlikely. Though most times when they want to jump that quick it means usually they want something. That something being money. I shouldn’t be so skeptical but it’s become a thing. It’s also a respect test in a way. If they can’t respect that simple request, then I know they won’t really respect anything else. Not fair you say? It is. Someone like pushy, creepy guy can’t respect simple things then you know later on that nothing you say or do will be respected. Litmus test in a way.
Well now you’ve seen a little more of me. As I said, these things have shaped who I am and why I think the way I do. Boring? Probably. Do I give a damn? No. It’s my world and no one has to live in it but me really. Just how I view it really. Some would say that I have “daddy issues” and that’s not true either. I respected my father and he earned that. Not just because of how he treated me. The man spent 32 years in the Army. He supported 5 children through the years. He had five wives. He lost 3 wives to death in six months. He survived Vietnam through 2 tours. He fought for the rights of Vets. He had the respect of anyone that knew him. He was logical, but he had a side that I knew as daddy. And while it’s been nearly 7 years since I lost him, I would trade anything to have those sometimes-multiple hours long conversations that we had. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or miss him. Truth be told, I need him more now than I ever did in the past. It’s why I have realized in losing him, the Lion, and everyone else that’s chosen to walk out of my life that I’ve lost everything that I held dear to me. It’s also why I just have no drive for anything in the future. I don’t see one. The parts that I held dear are in the past. Now I have this loneliness and solitude. Some would tell me it will all change and that “the one” is going to appear blah blah blah. Again, useless words that we are trained to tell people that sound good. The truth? It doesn’t always work out like that. Real life aren’t fairy tales. It’s redundant to think so.