Of Course He Doesn’t Know

I had lunch with my dad and his new fiance a couple of days ago. There wasn’t any big reason for the lunch, he just happened to be in the area.

We talked about a number of subjects before talk turned to the holidays. Y’see, Christmas has always been a huge deal for my parents growing up. Mom especially loved the house to be decorated top to bottom both inside and out.

This year, obviously, is different.

With mom gone and now a new woman in the house, things are different. Dad decorated, but not nearly as much as he normally would. He got rid of the two trees he had (a “decorative” one for the living room and a “casual” one for the TV room) and now just has a very simple tree, per his fiance’s request. 

Anyway…as I was saying, the discussion turned to the holidays. Dad seemed to light up a bit after I told him that I would bring Sunshine and the kids to stay over for New Year’s weekend (he was sad that we wouldn’t be there for Christmas). Then talk turned to gifts.

He said that everybody except Sunshine and my daughter were taken care of. Then his fiance excused herself to go to the washroom…and I immediately asked my father what I should get her for Christmas.

I mean, I don’t know her. At all. It’s not like I haven’t tried or anything, it’s just that she’s only been in my life for about six months now and is somebody I have to include on my Christmas gift list.  So I looked at dad and asked him, quite frankly, if he knew of any gifts I could get her for Christmas.

He looked like a deer in the headlights.

He said if he saw something, he’d let me know…otherwise, he really didn’t have an idea of what to get her.  His fiance then came back to the table, we finished our lunch, and I made my way back to work.

Then it hit me…of COURSE he doesn’t know what to get her for Christmas. For Chrissakes…they’ve only been together for a few months! Sure, they’re living together…but I can guarantee you that while they get along, they haven’t had any meaningful conversations where they end up knowing intimate things about the other person.

Dad learned about mom over the course of 40+ years. Now he’s engaged and living with another woman after 4+ months. Why in the world should I expect him to have an clue as to what she really likes and what she really wants.

Dad will buy her what he wants to buy her, as opposed to what she wants. That’s what this whole relationship is about anyway. He’s doing this for himself…not for them.

Sigh…

Sometimes I wish I could rant and rave and just go off and get things off my chest. Instead, I blog. Dad doesn’t need to know how I truly feel about the situation. I don’t feel as though I need to tell him, either. This is his life with his decisions and his own consequences.  I’m just trying to support him as best I can while also keeping the rest of the family together.

The holidays are going to be very interesting this year. I’m not sure how dad is going to be without mom for the first time. His fiance is nice and all, but I know how much he’s going to think about mom when giving his gifts to her.

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5 thoughts on “Of Course He Doesn’t Know

  1. All we do is our best to love him through this. It’s going to be tough for everyone. And while I know you want to make sure that you’re there for your dad…please remember to care for and nuture yourself as well. And not to worry…I’ll be there to help with that part, too. 😉

  2. Ugh. Of course he doesn’t, you’re right. It’ll be a new Christmas, very different, for many reasons, but at least you have Sunshine and the kids by your side, right? Hang in there.

  3. My heart goes out to you, CBG. I can’t even imagine all of the things swirling around in your head. And, it has to be exhausting having your feelings on the inside and masking them on the outside. You are one stand-up dude supporting your dad in such a situation that is so difficult for you. And, Sunshine is right, you have to take care of yourself and have the feelings you need to feel. It is part of the grieving process. I think it is best, in more ways than one that you will be spending Christmas at Sunshine’s. As it gets closer, all kinds of feelings are going to bubble up.

    Ideas for a person you don’t know well…art projects from the kids…photos of you, sunshine, the children, your brother & your dad in a scrap book (with the art work?)…photo album (with or without photos)…cookbook…scarf… These are all gifts I may give my son’s girlfriend that he may not be dating for very long when Christmas rolls around.

    Hugs all around while this new chapter of your life unfolds. Thank heavens you have Sunshine! 🙂

  4. :/
    This whole situation just sucks. I think you are doing a pretty great job of handling something really, really shitty.

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