I’ve never had much of a relationship with my dad — which is something I’ve talked very little about. My excuse over the years has been, if you don’t have anything good to say, you should say nothing. For most my life, that’s stuck. I’ve gotten use to giving him a blind eye, not giving him a word, or a moment of my attention. We are two people on very different paths who may never see eye-to-eye.
I’ve been disappointed by him countless times. Perhaps it’s his less than enthusiastic behavior to any good news I tell him or his inability to see it from my perspective. In a nutshell, it’s complicated, him and I. It’s funny. We look incredibly alike yet have worlds of differences holding us apart.
We were to get dinner at my uncle’s place tonight. My dad drove, just him and myself would be in the car. Normally, I’d dread this, but I had a long day and food was my main goal for the night. While we sat across from each other, I thought to myself — fuck it. Let’s chat to kill the awkward silence.
I was contacted by an old co-worker to work on a project for his boss and got approval based on my listed suggestions and given timeframe. It’s great news and extra income in my pocket considering it’s all done remotely and during the evenings. I got transferred the full agreed upon compensation just a few hours ago.
I told my dad as he was driving about what happened. He was impressed. And very. In those few short minutes, we had a real one-to-one conversation, free of conflict, awkwardness, and past resentment. We bonded.
When I was a kid, I use to think my dad was the coolest person on the planet. Next to my Grandpa and my Uncle, he was the epitome of laid back. He wore designer jeans, always had his characteristic Lacoste polo, and a pack of Marlboros stuffed in his shirt pocket. Everywhere we went, he knew someone or bumped into a friend. Everyone was always happy to see him and would try to quickly catch up, both men and women included. It’s one of the unique aspects of my dad. He’s popular and everyone knows it.
We both need to work on this — whatever is holding us back. Tonight, I’m a bit surprised, a bit speechless, and overall just impressed as much as he is.