As a student, extra credit is one awesome pinnacle of achievement. It allows you sit high and mighty above your ‘Above Average’ cronies with your ‘Excellent’ moniker. While sitting up there, thinking about how excellent you are, you are cognizant of the room to slack. Who needs a 100% when I have those seven extra points?
Having a parent pass away is similar to this. You get a pass, acknowledged or not. Utilized or not. A friend of friend had to deal with the passing of her mother when she was a teenager. She depleted the extra credit and headed straight into the reserves rapidly. This young lady, whom I hear is very happily married now, had the drug addiction, the abusive boyfriend and the Dad-hatred. Dad-hatred is rampant in families where the father marries right away. This didn’t happen to me, so I’m not sure how I would have reacted, but I can say this: Statistically unmarried men are VERY bad for society. They are more prone to abuse alcohol, whore around and gamble.
While I used this extra credit in a little less Melrose Place kind of way in the first half of 2009, my father has not used any of his. Somehow he’s managed to amass more extra credit. I’m a big proponent of shedding this elusive societal gold star of pity because it is a pause button on your entire life. Yes, the loss is immense but it can’t be changed so moving on in imperative.
The depression and dealing with the loss of my mother are both very distant seconds to seeing my father broken hearted. The other day I read about a retired woman saying the best years of her marriage happened when her children went off to college. Instead of sharing this time, time I know my mother looked forward to, my dad has his children watching over him with a kind of “covert” stealth that can only be attributed to bad sitcoms like ‘I Love Lucy.’ We are worried. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, my father isn’t whoring around drinking from a paper bag so an intervention seems grossly inappropriate and about as appealing as a colonoscopy.
Now my mother was a wonderful mom, moreover she was a wonderful friend and mentor to me. I started mamaquest because of my feminist whiles really resent, on her behalf, all that she had to sacrifice to have a family. She wanted a career and she deserved the self-esteem that comes with having a respected career. I am admittedly going about this quest in a circumlocutory fashion, sure, but I know it’s burgeoning with fervor. Trust me.
Point being my quest wasn’t started to mend the actual heartbreak of losing a family member or address with any insight what it does to the dynamics of a family. It changed the molecular structure of my family undoubtedly. The structural change doesn’t particularly bother me because I know I can count on them as always. What does bother me is seeing my father unhappy. I want
to see him happy, whatever that means for me, I don’t care. OK, I may have an unbearable step mom with children who eat processed foods and watch ‘Two and a Half Men.’ They could be Republicans for Christ’s sake! But as long as my dad is happy again, I will be happy!
So I’m thinking about having him volunteer with me while surreptitiously keeping one eye open for a hot, single lady in her 50s. Or turning my life into a Diane Lane movie… He is a catch, but he does not dogs.