Well, Fathers Day in the house of Sarah is coming to an end. I spent the entire day today with my dad, and...well, it went exactly like I thought it would. Holidays and birthdays with my dad are complicated, and to put it simply, I never look forward to them. I in fact didn't have a birthday that he didn't ruin until my 22 birthday. And he tried to ruin that one too. Every year on my birthday, either he would be depressed and not get out of bed, be manic and wanting to fight, or calmly and quietly tell me what a terrible disappointment I was, and how my birthday used to be something worth celebrating, but he just didn't feel that way anymore. Thanks pops. Love you too.
To be fair, he does shit like that on his birthday too. So at least nobody gets to happily celebrate the day they were born.
Holidays with him are always stressful and complicated and something I usually save my one Xanax refill for, mainly because he is NEVER HAPPY. By never I mean never ever ever in the history of ever, and by happy I mean easy to get a long with, cordial, polite, cooperative or even in a half decent mood.
The day starts out the same for his birthday and father's day:
Me: Happy birthday/father's day Dad!
Dad: *grumbles* thanks
Me: What do you wanna do today?
Dad: *LONG AWKWARD SILENCE WHERE HE LOOKS AWAY A LOT OF SEEMS MAD*
Me: We can do anything you want. Wanna go out to eat? Go see a movie?
Dad: *grumbles* Idunno. *long silence*
Me: Ok......*looks away and tries to make small talk to no avail*
And it goes on like this forever. Sometimes hours. Oh I so wish I was exaggerating when I say hours. No, I mean it. Hours. Once he finally decides what he wants to do/agrees to do something I suggest, and we set a time for me to pick him up, I can guarantee without a doubt he will absolutely positively with 100% certainty, be just getting out of the shower when I get to his house to pick him up. Not dressed. Not anywhere near ready to go. And the remainder of his getting ready process will take until. the. end. of. fucking. time. It once took him an hour and a half to get out the door when all he still needed to do was put his shoes on. You know how I say getting the kids out the door feels like herding turtles? Ya, I think they learned that shit from him.
Once we're on the road, and the day is underway, it becomes a long, seemingly endless day of pretending to have fun, faking being in a good mood, and hiding my frustration as he sits there quiet and pissed off looking, only smiling and conversing with the children, while acting like I'm not there. And God forbid I discipline the kids for something he doesn't agree with, or the house isn't as clean as he'd like (this coming from him, a bipolar hoarder) for all hell will break loose and he will spend the rest of the day telling me what a failure I am. Thanks again pops.
Assuming we can avoid that, and the day goes without a fight (which is so rare, I can probably count on one hand how many times it's happened) I spend the day catering to him, getting the food and the drinks he likes and enduring whatever he wants to spend ALL DAY doing, like today when we spent almost $100 on food, and 4 hours swimming and BBQing with the kids, and at the end of it, when I drop him off at home, he stonewalls me.
That's right. A BBQ in his honor for father's day. An entire day with his daughter (the only kid he has who still speaks to him) and grandkids (the only two out of the 8 he has that he actually gets to see) and we did everything he wanted to do, and at the end, no thank you, no "I had a good time" no "I love you" not even so much as a "Bye" or a mumble or anything. He kisses his grandkids, gets out of the car, and without looking at me, waving or acknowledging me at all, he goes inside.
Love you too Dad!
So, yet another holiday where the only family who still tries to have a relationship with him, spends the day doting on him and loving him, and at the end the person who put it all together and made it all happen AND didn't stab him with a fork in the process, gets stiffed. Not so much as a fucking goodbye.
And I ask myself: Why do I even fucking bother?
Happy Fucking Fathers Day!