And that one thing was that my kids were nice. To me! I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth (another saying I don’t get or care for, but couldn’t think of anythng better), but them being nice to me is just not, well, normal. So I eye it with a heathy dose of suspicion, and even nervousness. What are they up to, I wonder.
Yes, it was Father’s Day and they’re supposed to be nice to me. I’m sure their mother, my wife, threatened them harshly that if they weren’t nice to me this ONE DAY a year, then they would rot in hell. My daughter is agnostic so this probably didn’t faze her, but it’s hard to scare her with any threats. My son is still naive (i.e. dumb) enough to worry that there might actually be a hell and that we might have enough connection to get him in there. Parents can be such bastards.
Anyway, the day began with breakfast in bed. Not for me. My daughter came downstairs, grabbed one of the bagels that I went out and bought, gave me as unaffectionate a hug as was possible, then went back up to her room and ate her bagel alone. So far, except for the hug, not much different than any other day.
But then my wife, god love her, rallied the troops, made both kids come downstairs to watch me open my Father’s Day cards (personal note from my fearful son, a name from my daughter with “from” not “love”), and my gift, which was four black Gap T-Shirts. Before you laugh, know that this is my favorite thing on earth. I only wear black Gap T’s. Have for years. Though recently I nervously made a big change. I switched from pocket T’s to no-pocket T’s. I like them better, but it had my friends concerned for a while.
I won’t bore you with the whole day, but here’s a quick summary. We went to the beach (without incident), went to a friend’s house for a BBQ (no fistfights with friend or family member), then came home where I was allowed to watch MY show (the season finale of “The Killing,” which will be discussed at another time). My kids actually said “Good night, Dad,” my wife kissed me and went upstairs, and I was left downstairs by myself, which was the greatest gift of all.
But the whole day just felt weird. As if actors were hired to portray my family for the day. Now of course I prefer niceness to the harsh hatred or indifference I usually experience. But like that guy Gotye says in that really cool video where the naked backed girl comes out, “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness.” It’s true! I’m used to my family not being nice. I’m used to them treating me like an outsider who happens to live there. And after so many years, I prefer it. Is that weird? I think it might be, so when I blissfully got to work on Monday I kept my mouth shut when asked how my Father’s Day was. Maybe not answering at all told them more than I wanted to. Oh well, at least things are back to normal. I’m actually looking forward to the disdain my daughter will show me when I get home tonight.