This may seem like inappropriate timing, but my friend Lynn and I have determined a new drinking game that we will be playing, obviously after the arrival of Nugget. Don't drink and grow babies, people (public service announcement). I was texting her on the train ride home yesterday and my dad called. Yes yes, I will admit, texting is kind of convenient and shit. You guys win. I would like to officially apologize for all my bitching about texting.....I still think it is important to call people and there are times that I am like 'for f (bad word) sake I am just going to call'. But when you're just shooting the shit and you're surrounded by strangers, texting is the way to go. Don't text and drive though (public service announcement numero dos).
Anyway, my dad has, not surprisingly, been unresponsive for the past month. I called him right after our family reunion in Raton to check and see how his first treatments were going and he never called back (Shelly e-mailed me that he got my voicemail and would call me as soon as he had the chance....which really annoyed me). Then I called him a couple weeks ago again and he still didn't call. I was pretty pissed about it so when he called me on Saturday, I of course did the adult thing and ignored it. I know I know, I should be the bigger person. But I was pissed that he was still being a selfish ass hat even though he just had a major life changing experience. I know that I shouldn't have expected him to change, I was fooling myself really to think that something as major as super aggressive prostate cancer would make him realize how important his family is and want to be a more connected and available father. I realize now I am only going to hurt myself over this type of wishful thinking.
Anyway, I never returned his Saturday call....because I am a girl...and we are silly enough to think that a guy will get that we are mad if we ignore them. But let's face it, some men are so dense that even if you tell them outright 'you pissed me off' they would be like 'I don't understand'. That is my dad. He is kind of like a caveman in that way.
On Monday Bret called to ask me if my Dad and Shelly were coming to my shower. "Shower" is a lose term because I think traditional baby showers are ridunkulously cheesy (sorry for those who love the melted chocolate bars in baby diapers game, but yuck!). So for my "Shower" I asked Bret and Emmicakes if we could just have a party with beer and food and hanging out and that my guy friends could come to as well. When I was putting together the guest list, I can honestly say it wasn't that critical to me that my dad be there. But something weird and hormonal has happened to me since then apparently. Granted it probably had something to do with the cancer incident. I told Bret that I didn't know, so she e-mailed Shelly.
Then of course, Shelly e-mails me and says 'I just spoke with Bret, unfortunately we won't be able to come to your shower because we are going to Steamboat this weekend to go skiing.' Then she goes into this super sad sob story about how dad is just about to start radiation and they wanted to get away one last time. This was the only weekend that worked out with her teenage son's schedule...yada yada yada. Awesome! So Shelly tells me this, and Shelly tells Bret this, but you know who never told me this? Yeah, my dad. And before you think 'Oh Natalie, you're just acting like a spoiled brat and if you had answered your phone on Saturday he would have told you' let me just say that I told Shelly and my dad about my shower date as soon as we set it, which was in October. Because I know how spastic they can be and so I wanted to give them lots and LOTS of notice. Then I reminded them about it in December and again in January. Call me crazy, but when someone gives you that much heads up about an event, it usually is an indication that they would like you to attend. I don't usually tell people five months in advance about something if I am like 'if you're not doing anything in five months, you should try and stop by'.
But okay okay, I calmed myself down and thought about it. I can see where they are coming from. They could only go skiing this one weekend before my dad starts treatment and even though I did want my dad at my shower, it isn't like the end of the world or anything. But then my dad calls me yesterday. The first thing he says is 'oh I was worried when I didn't hear back from you'. Keep in mind, I was still waiting for a response from my first call over a month ago, and it had been a whole 4 days that my dad hadn't heard back from me. I tried to convey that I hadn't heard back from him from the last two calls I had placed. He seemed to get it because he said 'I guess I need to be better about keeping in touch with you'. Which is almost like an apology.....as close as I might get. We talked for a little bit and then he said:
- 'you might have heard that we aren't going to make it to your shower this weekend'.
-Oh you mean I might have heard from my best friend or my dad's new wife that my father would rather go skiing than come to my shower (Easy tiger). 'Yeah'.
-'Well we had scheduled this a while ago and I have been feeling really good so I want to go before I start feeling poorly'
-Well I bet you didn't schedule it before I told you about my shower in October, but you got me with the pity thing....ass hat. 'Yeah, I get that'.
-'Hopefully you are okay with that and you will have plenty of people there to help you celebrate...were there going to be a lot of other people coming'
-'Yeah there are supposed to be a lot of people coming, so that won't be a problem'. You know, like the people who actually care about my feelings and shit (Whoa Rampage Jackson! Reel it in)
So we change the subject and he asks me about how I am feeling and if I am getting ready. I start to calm down. But then this happens:
me- 'well I hope the snow is really good for you up in Steamboat'
-'yeah it was really good two weekends ago when we went, and then last weekend we were at Winter Park and it was really good there too'.
-Hold the fucking phones! You were at Steamboat two weekends ago? And your new wife just fed me this sob story about how this was the only weekend you guys could go before your treatment (And Rampage is back). 'Well that is good'.
-'Yeah we went to Strawberry Park Hot Springs while we were there too, we will probably go again this weekend'.
-I hope you drowned. 'That sounds like fun'.
-'Well I need to come down and see you soon....let's see...I am not sure when I can do that....we are leaving tomorrow morning for Steamboat and we won't be back until Monday night, but maybe next weekend'
-It might be healthier for me if I never saw you again. 'Well I have my maternity pictures next Sunday so I will be busy all day'.
-'Oh well we'll come watch those'
- Um no you fuckin won't 'You aren't going to want to sit around for 4 hours while I get pictures taken'.
So the conversation wound down. Meanwhile Lynn had texted 'um you still there?'. And I wrote her back how I was just talking to my reclusive and uninvolved father for a couple of minutes. I told her that he was just passing on the news how he'd rather go skiing than come to my shower and that he was definitely gunning for the parent of the year award. She texted back 'if it makes you feel better my dad didn't come to my graduation'. And a drinking game was born. We decided that once Nugget is all done residing at this address we will get together for a game of 'who's dad has done the shittiest thing'. It will be an epic battle the world has never seen. We still have to hammer out the rules (hahah drinking pun) and figure out how it will work. But it is going to be our way of turning our shitty parent stories into something funny.
Ugh, I am so tired of dealing with this stuff from my dad. I am just having the hardest time believing that there isn't a caring and understanding person somewhere in that thick dumb-ass head of his. Can a person really be that selfish? I know the answer, but I hate to believe it. I have always been that 'glass half full' kind of girl. The 'sees the best in everyone'. Why do I keep letting him blindside me like this? And how long can I possibly survive it?
Two more things before I wrap this sob story up and move on to my awesome weekend with the best friends a girl could ever ask for. In the e-mail Shelly sent me she wrote:
Yesterday Tom (AKA my dad) said, “I have a new vision…I want to teach Jack to ski and climb…I need to be a part of that and someday he can say, “my grandpa taught me that”.
So you can see why I have fooled myself into believing that he possesses some of the qualities I am so longing for in a dad. How can he say heart-warming things like that and then have a total disregard for his own daughter? Granted if you break that "vision" down, there are those tell-tale signs of a little selfishness in there. He wants to teach Jack how to climb and ski. He wants Nugget to learn to do the things that he likes to do. What if Nugget is afraid of heights and wants to be a snowboarder? What if he wants to play the flute instead of learning to play the guitar (my dad is a guitarist in case that felt a little left field-like)? In my experience, if you don't do the things my dad does, then he loses some interest in you. He is not a 'take an interest in the things you like' kind of person. You have to go to him. And I, as the ultimate passive aggressive, have of course always done this. I longed for more dad-time, so I asked him to teach me to telemark (granted I love telemarking now). He started getting into doing triathlons, so I started conditioning myself to do a triathlon (granted that never happened, but I am still going to try). Basically it all translates to a little girl in a frilly dress (have to be wearing a frilly dress) jumping up and down trying to get her dad's attention. I hope I can protect Nugget from that a little bit. I hope I can tell him 'if you like skiing and rock climbing then there is no one better than you grandpa to teach you, but if you don't like either, you don't need to worry about pleasing him'.
And the very last sad thing, before I really move on (Promise!). I was talking to Emmicakes after all this transpired. She called to ask me if I was okay with the fact that another one of her sister's come to the shower. For the record, her awesome sister M.B. is helping plan and then her mom asked if she could come as well, so Emmicakes has two sisters, plus their significant others, and her mom, and her father and mother-in-law (which for the record, is basically like my second mother. I have know her since I was in elementary school....this is Pickle's mom for those who have followed this crazy rambling blog for a long period of time). But if you look at that list of just Emmicake's immediate family and then you look at the list of my immediate family who will be present....it is really freakin' sad. The only person from my side of the family who will be there is Big Butter. Does anyone else realize how sad this looks?
Okay before I throw myself too big of a pity party, I am so thankful for all the wonderful and amazing people in my life. There are going to be 35 people at this party tomorrow.....35! And I know that each and every one of those people love me and are excited for me and Andy. They are excited to help celebrate this step in our lives. And I know I am going to sound like a hippie here, but this is my village. You know that whole 'it takes a village to raise a baby'. These wonderful, loving people, are my village. And of those 35 people only one of them is my blood relative. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but that makes me feel like I have some qualities that people like. That I am the type of person that a total stranger could endear themselves to. So I know I shouldn't focus on this one person who seems to tear me down every time he does something that hurts me. And I have acknowledged that this is who he is. I shouldn't let it surprise me. But I have a feeling that this is going to be a really hard-learned lesson.
Now to wrap this crap-o-rama up, I just want to end on a happy note. I want you all to get out there this weekend and spread the love to your own villages. Embrace those people who are really there for you and support you in the ways you need to be supported.
No go out there and get your Super Bowl on! Eat hot dogs, or whatever it is people are supposed to eat during the Super Bowl. Be an American......and thanks for listening/reading. I am glad I have you guys here to vent to. Okay now I am off to be a happy person!