Friday, October 15, 2010

dads say the darnedest things

oh, for the love of all things sacred and holy [that i don't believe in].

i am a daddy's girl, even at age 29. i always have been, i always will be. but it's funny how the relationship changes as you move from child to teenager to adult. of late, i find myself the solid and responsible voice of reason in the daddy-daughter dynamic. and for my long-time readers, y'all should know just how crazy that really is. take tonight, for example. i'm here on the eve of a huge final exam, and as a study break, i decided to go with my folks to dinner and to a show here in the beautiful metro area. you'd think that a man twice my age would be acceptable company in a public, social situation. and you'd be wrong. perhaps the problem here wasn't so much my dad, who is a warm, funny and gracious man. it's a two-pronged issue.

first of all, daddy is a proud subscriber to esquire magazine. he has been for, like, 35 or 40 years at this point. (i am, too, actually. that's a damn smart magazine.) they had a list a few months back that described one thing a man should do in each year of his life. the list stopped at age 58 (the age my lovin' daddy is now), with this last piece of advice: "you've made it this long; you can do basically whatever the hell you want now." greeeeat. that's exactly the wrong thing to tell daddy, and he's taken it to heart. the filter is gone. any semblance of social graces is gone. it's daddy, uncensored.

oh, and the whole "daddy getting high before going out" thing does no one any favors.

sigh. i mean, i can't claim 100% innocence; i've been known to get ragingly drunk in public and do things like make out with the man in the driveway of a hotel, or roll an ankle and damn near faceplant in the middle of a major street. but when i need to behave, i can behave. it's reaching the point where that's not the case with my dear ol' dad. it's enervating. i find myself wanting to crawl under the dinner table, and WAY worse than i used to be embarrassed when i was a surly teenager. sigh.

i don't WANNA be the grown-up!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

middle relief

the man has two roommates. we went to a party last night; i came from my place to head over with them. when i got to their place, i knocked on the door and he answered. i heard the roommate's voice from his office; the man responded, "tell her yourself." o-kay... i walked in and the roommate said, "you know you don't have to knock anymore, right? that just means that one of us has to get up." i chuckled. "okay, hon. just thought it'd be weird to randomly barge into your house without notice." he looked up at me and said, "no, see, you're like a middle reliever now."

wait, what?

"before, you didn't even travel with the team; you just sorta popped up every few weeks, hung out for a few days and left. but now, you're here every weekend, you're in on all the meetings. you're not on the field every day, but it's close enough. so don't knock anymore - just come in."

in a weird, awkward sort of way, that's one of the sweetest things that's ever been said to me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


at long last, the dam broke.

i've been so together, so possessed of myself. i can handle anything. i laid in the man's bed, showered and ready to go to sleep, but something was wrong. he came in, watched some bad television, then turned out the lights and wrapped his arms around me. it felt so right, and yet the heaviness overtook me. the man noticed, and he slowly teased it out of me.

we talked for a long time about the things that weighed on me. well, i talked; he listened, he comforted. and finally, as i emptied the footlockers i carry around with me, the tears came. i cried, in front of him, for only the second time in our long history together. "i am so sick of losing people," i said to him. he kissed me, held me, soothed me. "i know."

and he does know. that's the secret. he knows so much about me, what i need, what i want, what i'm like (whether i'm owning up to it or not). he embraces it. he's so good to me and so good for me. and when i cry, it's not a problem or a disaster. it's just another wave to ride. he just handles it, the way he handles everything. and though you'd think it would be natural to be so comfortable with a man who's known me for half my life, it took me seeing him in this light to open up and let the walls down. it was a moment in our relationship that changed things. again.

a new beginning, consecrated in tears, a kiss, and a whispered, "i know."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

don draper

so yeah, i'm late to the mad men party. sue me; i was in law school and not watching television. but i've picked up the show, as the man loves it. it's vaguely fascinating, though far from my favorite show ever. but the one thing i've picked up from the show, besides SERIOUS clothing lust (oh, for the time when big-busted, curvy women ruled fashion - i had to be born into the skinny-jeans era), is that we seem to be living in the era of the double life.

i saw the ex this weekend. we had a mutual obligation at a social event that required us to play pretend like nothing was nothing. of course it did. he, quite frankly, sucks at this. and let me tell you, there is nothing harder to handle than watching your heartbroken ex watching people get married. tears and tragedy. so cocktail hour came around, and i found myself in the awkward position of being elegantly dressed and standing before a crying man.

so what did i do? i put on the ice-queen front. i modeled perfect behavior for how non-emotionally-wrecked people behave in public. and as we walked back to the party to face our friends (for the last time, in my case), i turned to him and said loudly, "hey, thanks for helping me look for that." yeah, that's right. a cover story. just like on the show, when the woman goes into the man's office (they all do it, so pick your favorite couple), shuts the door, has this deep, meaningful moment, then opens the door and says something like, "i'll get right on that. thank you for your attention."

the good news is that i don't have to do this very much longer. the strain is starting to show. it's hard to be natural in the old mask when the new life is so comfortable, so nice, so... me. don draper chafes in his identity because the lie is so large. i chafe in my old identity because the chains are so heavy. the time is so close, however, to when i can cast the old ways aside and be who i have always been meant to be. i can't wait.