Jun 20

Having had a read around some of the blogs on my blogroll, I see that there has been much talk of Father’s Day. Hardly surprising, since Father’s Day passed this weekend (see, I told you I had the makings of a fine detective in me) and people’s thoughts have turned to the “old man” in their lives. Some bloggers have spoken of their fathers with great warmth. Some have been remarkably candid (not to mention incredibly courageous) talking about their troubled, and sometimes painful, relationships with their fathers. So it should come as no surprise that what passes for a mental process in this noggin of mine is turning towards thoughts of my dad.

I’m very, very different from my dad. He likes sports, I hate them. I love to read constantly, he reads occasionally. He’s more to the political right in his beliefs, and I lean left. He has no time for science fiction, and I can’t imagine a day going by that I don’t read/watch/talk about something to do with it. He hates computers, I work with them and enjoy them as a hobby. He loves to cook, and yet I swear I think I could burn cornflakes.

In short, we’re about as different as two men possibly could be. If we weren’t related, I don’t think we would ever have met. I don’t have the same interests, I don’t go to the same places, speak to the same people, or even enjoy the same things as my dad. If we were both just two random, unconnected guys going about our lives, I don’t think our two paths would ever cross. And yet, obviously, we’re connected in just about the most profound way possible. It amuses me that tiny little spirals of chemicals, or fate, or God, or the random mathematics of probability or even some quirky spin of the quantum dice (you can feel free to pick whatever one works for you) produced the genetic odd couple that is me and my dad.

Yet we’re similar in ways too. Physically I inherited his hairline (which is now in full retreat on all fronts, so much so I’m fast approaching the point where I’m going to have to grit my teeth and just get rid of my hair altogether), large hands and a slightly-too-large nose. I inherited his scowl, his frown and his laugh. I also got a large chunk of his sense of humour and a tendency to swear more than is probably good for me. When I react to some things I can’t help but think “Oh my god, I just heard my dad talking.” and I do see more and more of my dad looking back at me in the mirror every morning. You want to talk OMG moments, you come to me after you look in the mirror and see an appreciable percentage of your father staring back at you, looking none too happy at all about being there. Then we’ll talk.

Right now my dad and I are in a good place. I moved out of their home when I was 20, and my relationship with my mum and dad has only got better since then. When I lived at home we argued a lot. I think because we’re different in so many of our habits, but similar in our unfortunate temperaments and stubborn natures, we tended to grate against one another quite a bit. Since I moved out and we all have our own space again, we get along pretty well. I worry, though, that my dad and I aren’t as close as other father/son relationships. We don’t have the common link of an interest or point of view to allow for bonding. I don’t understand what he enjoys, and the same could be said of him. I worry that we get on, but that we might be missing something that other fathers and sons have. I also worry that he’s lonely, because his mum and dad (my gran and grandpa) died within a few years of one another (my gran died just last year), and I wish that I could do more to reach out to him about this. I know this wouldn’t work as he’s pretty old school and would only be embarrassed, but I’m still left with the urge to do something.

So here I am, writing this in a medium I know my dad will never be interested in exploring, perhaps precisely for that reason. Writing it for others to read, but meaning it for my dad (this would be, for those of you wondering about the title, the “this feels silly” part). Dad, I love you. Thanks for looking after me. Thanks for helping make me who I am today, because when all’s said and done I don’t think I’ve turned out too bad. Not brilliantly, but you’re only human. Thanks for my brothers (okay so mum, you deserve most of the credit there but you get your own day) and for once, when I was a child, threatening a fairground ride operator with the most bloodcurdling violence if he didn’t get me off the ride that was scaring me senseless right then and there. The fact that you were on the ride too and had to deliver your threats and promises of retribution in the 5 second window you had as you passed his operator’s station only speaks to your effectiveness as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for all the cooking, the tidying up after me and the generally sticking up for me. Thanks for putting me through Uni and not being too disappointed when you, a football mad, horse-racing lover saw your son sitting at the table building his first ever airfix model kit of the Starship Enterprise.

I still wish you had rethought the hairline, though.

7 Responses to “Fashionably late (or, this feels silly)”

  1. Wendy Says:

    That was a really good post Fawndoo. Thanks for the read.

  2. Lorna Says:

    stellar

  3. FawnDoo Says:

    Thank you both for the kind words. I did feel kind of silly writing some of that, but I hope it didn’t come off as too mawkish or sentimental.

  4. Wendy Says:

    It comes off completely sentimental, but that isn’t a bad thing is it?

  5. FawnDoo Says:

    Sentimental isn’t a bad thing, no, if it’s in small doses. Too sentimental, now that’s another matter! :-)

  6. Lorna Says:

    for too sentimental, see my post about my dad—couldn’t help myself though. And I’m sticking with stellar

  7. Meepers Says:

    I think that post was just wonderful. I love the part about his getting you off the carnival ride. Sentimental and sweet, but very truthful in a positive way. Sorry about the hairline, I hope you have a good head for a shaved look.

    Cheers!

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