Paterfamilias

I went to my dad’s last weekend for Father’s Day.

There’s a few things you need to know about my family. My parents divorced in 1982. I was 13. It was unpleasant, to say the least. I was the one to catch my dad with the woman he was screwing around with, the woman he is now married to. So. Yeah. Fun times.

Fast forward to current day. My dad and his wife bought this huge tract of land – 37 acres – in butt fuck nowhere and built this enormous house at the top of the hill.  They lord it up over there, she plays Lady Bountiful and he plays Lord of the Manor. And they drink. Boy, do they drink.

So, Father’s Day. At my dad’s. With his psychotic wife. My kids. My sister and her ex-girlfriend-who’s-now-just-a-roommate-and-also-my-good-friend. My aunt, who is over from Spain and would give Miss Manners a run for her money. And? My mother.

Psychobitch Wife was drinking when I got there. At noon. I think my dad was also drinking but not nearly at her pace. My aunt showed up. My sister and mother showed up. And for a little while, it was fine. Awkward and stilted, but fine.

But as the day wore on, as Psychobitch got progressively more lubricated, as my dad got progressively more lubricated, things got odd. Psychobitch started ranting about everything. Her work. Her son’s soon-to-be-ex-wife. I think she even ranted about the weather. My sister escaped with my kids, taking them for a walk. My sister’s roommate took herself off to lie in the field. And my aunt, my dad, Psychobitch and I were left sitting at the table on the deck as she raved and he raved back and jesus christ on a cracker, I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. My dad finally snapped at Psychobitch to shut up, she folded into sullen, fuming, frizzled mess and my aunt and I tried to pretend nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

And people wonder why I am the way I am.

Ten

Thursday was my tenth wedding anniversary. I spent much of the day crying.

I didn’t cry because I miss him or still love him, I cried about what could have been, what we did have once upon a time. At one time, it was good and we loved each other. And then, we didn’t. I miss that love. I miss that feeling that someone loves me, that someone is there for me. We didn’t have that the last few years and yes, there are lots of reasons that I’m not going to dredge up now, but at one time, we did.

I talked to him on the phone that night because the girls wanted to say hello and I didn’t say anything about it being our anniversary. I doubt he remembers – last year we both forgot it. But I remember and it makes me wistful and nostalgic, which is never good for me. I drag out Sarah McLachlan CDs and cry when I get like this.

I am not going to wallow but I feel like I need to acknowledge this, like lighting a candle in church or leaving a stone on a grave. It’s gone now, but once, there was love.

I Am Alone. Utterly Alone.*

In a few minutes, I’m going to be completely alone in the house. It will probably only be for an hour but it will be the first time I’ve not had at least one child home with me in…I can’t even remember. Years.

I have things I need to do, forms that need dropping off and books that need returning to the library but screw it, I’m not going to do any of that.

Instead, I’m going to sit here on my couch and read. I may eat some of the ice cream I’ve been hiding in the back of the fridge, since there won’t be anyone here to ask me if they can have some, please, mama, please, just one bite, pleasepleasepleaseplease you never let me have ANYTHING, you’re so MEAN, GIMME GIMME GIMME.

It’s exhausting. They are needy because they are almost 4 and 5-1/2 and 15. But the two youngest are even more needy because of this move and the upheaval and the fact that their dad isn’t really being very good about communicating with them. It’s all on me to absorb that. to try to help them process this part of our lives and it’s hard.

So I’m going to relish my time alone. Who knows when I’ll get it again?

*Name that movie….