Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I don't want to start any blasphemous rumors...

So, apparently this weekend is Father's Day, a fact I had nicely been managing to repress overlook until today, when I was bluntly reminded twice. Probably helped that I have had neither the time to the inclination to watch television much and be bombarded with ads reminding me how much Dads love a gift from Best Buy.

I saw one of my friends in the UofM parking lot and stopped to chat. (I was in no rush to get to my class.) I asked her if she was doing anything on Saturday, and she said she didn't know, since it was Father's Day this weekend she'd need to spend sometime with her stepdad. I apologized and mentioned that I did my best to pay no attention to Father's Day.

One of the supervisors stopped in at work just now and asked me if I had my schedule for the weekend figured out and if I was going home. I said that I did, I'm only taking Saturday off and will be in to work on Sunday, and I wasn't planning to go home. (I had yet again successfully pushed it into the back of my corner of my cranial cavity that Sunday is Father's Day.) He commented something along the line of "oh, you're not going home for Father's Day." And, unlike my friend, my supervisor doesn't know the back story. So hear we are again. I paused a moment and resorted to my blunt cynicism, "My dad died five years ago, so there's not much of a point." (Actually, we're less than two months away from six, but I'm not so good with dates.) Whereupon I promptly get the awkward pause and the genuine but still awkward, "sorry, I didn't know."

Yeah. Six years. And I'm still not good at handling that with new people. Since I'm young, people assume that my father's still alive. After all, most Americans are still kicking at age 51. It made the first semester of Russian fun. We hadn't learned how to conjugate past tense forms yet, and language textbooks are obsessed with having students talk about their families. The main two Russian professors now know the story and don't ask me direct questions about my father. And I know past tense now, so I don't have to stare blankly and try to decide how to answer. But since we've been getting TAs, at some point it comes up. Or with A. multiple times, cause he kept forgetting.

And of course, Father's Day is a week away from his birthday and falls at roughly the same time he started the chemo treatments that killed him. (Correctly administered chemo is bad enough -- overdoses do funny things to human body.) It's why I hate summers because my brain learned to associate heat and humidity with the plethora of shit of that happened in summer 2001. With all the lies from people who aren't supposed to lie to you, and all the fuck ups from people who are supposedly among the best in their field, and all the idiots who thought I gave a damn if god just wanted him home.

And, frankly, because you knew this would have to take a theological bent, this is why I fly off the handle with persons who try to say that the problem of evil doesn't actually exist. Cause it does: there is pain, there is suffering, and I'll be damned if I can tell you the reason why. This is why nutters who say women don't need to speak in church because they can just ask their husbands or fathers at home get a particularly catty response from me. And this is why I have no patience with people who freak out because of mass tragedies that do not directly affect them. Cause if your sense of immortality is only interrupted by the 24 hour news channel, my god, you are one lucky bastard!

And then there are the people who innocently bumble into reopening old wounds. And I just don't know what to say to them.


Rebecca Therese Johnson said...

Please pounce on the socially ignorant people who ask, "How did he die?" (in our case-suicide), and inevitably, "How did he do it?"

ratbert said...

case in point with mass tragedy: 9/11. it was a perfect political gift for the president and his coterie -- shockingly televised, so anyone he named "enemy" became instantly hated.