Thursday, September 30, 2004

Here we go again.

On my birthday, my father wrote me two emails, both pretty much saying the same thing: “Happy birthday, Andy. Hope things are going well for you. Good luck with your football teams. Oh, and I’m a really shitty father.”

I made that last line up.

But the rest is accurate.

See, my dad…he’s a strange guy. I know it’s a pretty expected thing in this day and age to have divorced parents, so that’s not what I’m bitching about. I guess I don’t really know what I’m bitching about. Do I want him to email me more? Well…yes, I do. But not like the email he just sent me. “’Happy Birthday! Good luck with your football teams.’” Give me a friggin’ break.

I guess there’s two camps to this. One camp says that I should be happy that he at least emailed me; there are thousands of kids around the county don’t even know their fathers, let alone get emails from them.

The other camp says that if you are going to do something, do it well; follow through with what you started and at least you can say you tried. As in, “I had a kid with my ex-wife, but I made an effort to stay around so I didn’t have a kid believing I’m some asshole who left; I’d rather him have a solid reason to hate me, you know, like grounding him.”

Well, guess which camp I’m in?

I know I should be happy that he emailed me, and to a certain extent, I am. But not really. The thing is, I knew he’d email me; he always does. It just happens to take a year for him to craft such wonderful poetry like birthdays and football teams—that must be it.

I normally reply right after I read my email, it’s just a common courtesy I like to extend to people if they take the time to write me. But now…I don’t know. I don’t really know what to write to him. I could write an equally canned message that could go something like this: “Hi Dad! It’s great to hear from you. Thanks for writing! It’s been a pretty good birthday so far, so that’s good. Saints are 2-1! What’s up with the Chiefs?”

Or I could send him a longer, in-depth essay on Absent Fathers and their correlation to angry, overweight kids with drug problems and inadequacy complexes, but I don’t think he’d get it. I’ve gotten over it. Well, the drug problems at least. Still overweight and angry, but at least I’m not getting high anymore, right?

I digress…


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