Tuesday, January 16

Don't try this at home

I got drunk last night — what else was there to do after everyone went to bed (besides watch the Demitri Martin special, which I totally did and which made me sad that I can't have him for myself)? — and wrote my dad an apology note for calling him "bitter."

Here's what I want to trumpet to the universe and beyond — I love my father more than I can put into words. None of my strained metaphors could ever express the admiration and appreciation I have for him and the things he's done to make my life better, more structured, less stressful, more loved, without major cares, etc. My father is a good person, down to every undetectable molecule swimming around in his blood.

I do not doubt this. I cannot doubt this. During my entire life, I have watched him do The Right Thing countless times. I have watched him help people out regardless of their color, creed, attitude, location, language, whatever. He is selfless, thoughtful, generous, and righteous. If I was chilly, he would give me the shirt off his back to wear and the shoes on his feet to burn for additional coziness. He is a nice guy. He will cut up with you and try to make you laugh even if he has never laid eyes on you before and will likely never see you again.

So my brain does flips trying to figure out why a man who would go out on a limb for any breathing being can say certain things involving superiority and inferiority and Nature and The Way Things Are that seem to me to be obviously, blatantly wrong and just awful, beyond contempt.

It hurts. It delivers a swift and lasting punch to my gut to confront these realities time and time again.

My father seems annoyed-yet-bemused by my take on the world. To him, I am pitifully cute and naive. He accuses me as well as my mother of wearing "rose-colored glasses," and having an entirely too optimistic take on the world. Which, he tells me, will get me killed or worse.

What's odd is that my dad must not know me very well if he thinks I'm some kind of optimist. If anything, I'm indifferent. Where he sees an interracial couple and might think "Oh Lord, think of the CHILDREN!"(an actual argument I've failed to deflect adequately), I simply think, "Meh." I'm not sure what kind of internal works you have to possess to actually care about the pigmental makeup of a couple of breeders, but it escapes me why I should care.

Is it a generational thing? Is Gen Y really so self-absorbed that they've ceased caring about the practices of their brothers and sisters?

Good.

BUT, despite knowing in my heart that my father is a good person, I have to stand up to him on this particular issue. I have never been more sure in my entire life that I have Truth and Goodness on my side, and that they're rooting against his standpoint. It's just that basic to me, that straightforward. To him — and to countless others, no doubt — it's a little more grey, a little more debatable. Actually, it's not even debatable. There is Truth that he believes that I find comtemptible.

That blows my mind. And makes me sad.

There is no compromise in this situation. I've tried. I've said, "Okay, so let's agree to disagree" more times than I can count. But my dad holds the ultimate trump card: Years. To him, his fiftysomething years of observation make my twenty-five years look like chumps. Nothing I see or experience can possibly equal what he's seen by sheer virtue of my green-ness.

I disagree with this outlook, naturally.

But that's the point at which you have to stop arguing with your father and kiss his cheek, telling him that you love him despite his crazy opinions. And, if you really want to make sure he gets your point, you write a letter to him at 1 a.m. telling him you want him to be happy and accepting of the world's perfectly flawed beauty.

He'll think you're being insincere, or that you're trying to provoke another argument.

But you're not. You're just Daddy's Little Girl trying to understand, trying to love, no matter what.

6 Comments:

Blogger TVonthefritz said...

We have the same taste in men. Cillian Murphy, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mr. Martin. Borat. Even Dane Cook (blech!) Maybe we've been the same person all along. Maybe I'm living vivacariously my heterosexual fantasies through you. If you ever sleep with Mr. Martin, I want details.

Tue Jan 16, 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

I'm glad you reached an emotional compromise. I really didn't help much. Montel Williams, I'm not.

Tue Jan 16, 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger sarah saint said...

I can sympathize here. My father is similar. He's totally my hero and I look up to him in so many ways, and it makes me feel hurt and uneasy to hear him voice opinions that, to me, are so obviously backwards. He's one of the kindest people I know, but some of the political and social ideas he holds are as wrong to me as kicking old ladies in the face, and no amount of debating will make him budge. I guess you can take the boy out of California but you can't take the Californian priveleged republican raisin' out of the boy.

Tue Jan 16, 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger sarah saint said...

Haha. California raisin. Wish I'd caught that before I clicked the publish button.

Tue Jan 16, 02:31:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Fritz, maybe I'm living my gay man fantasies through you!

Sarah, your dad should be a laid-back dude whose surfboard converts into a bong! What's the point of being Californian if you can't be a liberal mess?

Also, California raisin — nice!

Wed Jan 17, 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger Palm Tree said...

I kept seeing the Martin ads on TV and wanted to watch him sooooo baaaaadly. But, of course, I was off channel surfing and missed the damn thing. He's adorable AND hilarious! My kinda guy. And everyone else's, too.

Sat Jan 20, 11:46:00 AM  

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