Sunday Stealing: The Me Me Meme
When We're Human

Eyes Wide Open

Well, that was an interesting visit with my dad and wife #5, as always.

As for her, I am not impressed. I don't want to dog the poor woman out on here, but let's just say my shoe has more personality.

As for him, well. There have been a couple of occasions in the past where I was tempted to completely disown him and cut him out of my life, but something keeps holding me back. Is it that I just don't want to be parentless? Maybe. Is it that I still sense that somewhere in there, deep down, is some semblance of a decent human being? Maybe, but as he approaches 70, it's becoming less likely.

He better hope he's married to someone if and when he's too old to take care of himself anymore, because neither my sister nor I are likely to do it. In contrast, I'd cut off my left ear to have my grandfather come live with us!

There are some areas - most, actually - in which I would never model myself after my father:

#1: Relationships. I mean, c'mon, the man is on his fifth marriage, and he's not even rich or famous! (hee) Three of those (so far...) ended in divorce, and no doubt my mother would have left him, too, if she'd lived long enough.

#2: Parenting. After spending half a day with my kids, who were excited to see him and so therefore a little more wound-up than usual, his advice was to smack them around now and then. Really? This is your advice, all these years after your 16-year-old daughter became emancipated when you beat the shit out of her for the umpteenth time?

Sorry Dad, I told him, but spanking is just plain stupid. How do we teach our children not to hit each other if we're hitting them ourselves? Not to mention that it's pretty ineffective. No, hitting children is the realm of the unintelligent and unimaginitive parent.

He replied that yes, this is the current conventional wisdom. No, sir, it's MY own thinking. Yup, I do that now. Imagine that.

#3-through-infinity: everything else. He's just such... a dick!! He really is. He walks into our house, without knocking, like he owns the place, and begins making demands like a child. He expects everyone to drop everything and cater to his and his wife's needs, including sheltering his three possibly flea-ridden dogs for the duration of their visit. Three extremely spoiled and ill-mannered dogs, that is. My husband was floored when one of the dogs was found on top of the kitchen table, eating the leftovers we hadn't put away yet. Hey, dog, I was planning on eating that chicken later, y'know!

I asked him a question about movie stars, and it turned into this vitriolic political diatribe. Ugh!! I absolutely abhor talking about politics with anyone, but especially him, because he is so caustic and nasty about it. (Most of the people who ascribe to his particular beliefs on the subject seem to be, I've noticed, but not nearly so much as him.) He wasn't amused when I pointed out that most people in academia lean much more to the left. *ahem* But I was!

So, I could turn this into a huge, long mega-rant, and it might or might not be a very interesting read, but it's already 0200 and I have had a headache for most of the day. Do I really want to give myself a worse one when I need to go to sleep soon? No, I thought not.


Other than the stuff that drove me continually nuts (at least he knows better than to use the "n" word in my presence, since the last time when I stopped the car and threatened to kick him out), here are the highlights of his visit:

Dinner at Yukon Steakhouse Thursday night, which was abysmal. The company wasn't terrible, actually, but the service, the food, and the prices (!!!) were. I will never, EVER go back to that place, even if they offer us a free meal every month after I write to them.

Friday, the one full day Dad and Wife were here, we started off by driving down near Pungo to look at horse farms. Wife is a huge fan of horses. We were going to drive down to the beach and walk around, but the weather wasn't nice, so we just stopped at their hotel down there and had a potty break. Then Dad needed a kid break, so we went to LH Mall to let the kids run around in the play place while D&W did some window-shopping. (Before they left, and after they returned, he kept stopping at every other store window to ask Wife if she liked this much-too-young outfit or not. It was a little entertaining and a lot sad. I mean, she's got a 21yo grandchild, FPS!)  They took forever and a day to return, so the kids got hungry for lunch. I took them to Subway at the other end of the mall, and we came back to the play area, split the footlong four ways (with some left over), cleaned up, used the restroom, and still no sign of them. I was beginning to get irritated, but they finally showed.

We went home after that, and though it was not even 1600, I started dinner. Wife doesn't eat lunch and therefore requires a very early dinner, and apparently the whole world is supposed to bend to this crazy schedule. Whatever. I'd had the forethought to throw some chicken in the crockpot before we left in the morning, so between that and some quick pasta and sauce, dinner was a piece of cake. I'd baked cookies the afternoon before they arrived, so that was dessert. Everyone seemed satisfied, and no one cared that I hadn't prepared a fabulous gourmet meal, so that was a relief. I'm always nervous about feeding guests, thanks to my stepmother making me batshit crazy about cooking. Heh.

After dinner, we watched a western romance movie starring Katherine Heigl, which was the latest Netflix movie for my dad. They brought it up from home. The kids were bored to tears with it, but I was glued to the screen when I wasn't busy crocheting. (I'm thisclose to finishing that project and meant to do it today, but I couldn't do a thing with this migraine.) Anyway, it was called Love Comes Softly, and it was pretty good. I enjoyed it. Except for a scene near the beginning that proved it was clearly NOT the "kid-friendly movie" my father had proclaimed it to be. Argh, again!!

When the movie ended, they left with Jack for the night. He was terribly excited. I whispered all the "rules" of behavior to him, and he solemnly nodded his head in agreement before taking off, hand-in-hand, with his Grandpa. No way in hell I'd send one of my daughters for the night with him, but he - and they - don't know it yet. I felt Jack was safe enough for one night away with him, when it was only a 20-minute drive down the road. And I knew that on his own, Jack would behave well enough not to risk getting a spanking. Or worse.

And so they left. In Jack's absence, we gave Sophia an early birthday present (she turns five on Tuesday): the DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack of The Princess and The Frog. I'd gotten it for FREE on after cashing in for all those gift cards lately. Great movie; I really loved it both times that we've watched it so far, and I have several songs in my head from the movie. All at once. I can't wait to watch it again! The girls loved it, too.

I was going to finish my crocheting during that movie, but instead I had myself a little sobfest. It was the 26th anniversary of my mom's death, and though that might seem like a ridiculously long time to still be crying, the pain is fresh. I suspect it always will be. My sister cried too, she said, and I know her pain is the same as mine.

So on Saturday morning, we awoke early to the three dogs barking (bah!) and Rob leaving for work. I hate it when he works on the weekend... We were just getting out to take the dogs for a walk around the lake when Dad returned with Wife and Jack. Everyone but Wife went for the walk with the dogs, and then they packed up and left for home. I did not feel one pang of sadness or disappointment at their departure, which is quite the opposite feeling I get when, say, my sister leaves. Or I leave her. I remember crying my eyes out when we visited last August!

Well, I've probably said enough and then some. Hope y'all have a good week, and I'll be back again soon enough with tales of hijinks from my naughty kids in need of spanking. Wink, wink.