Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Just Realized We Should Have Known My Dad Was A Dick All Along

Me and my mom in the mid-1990s. I know I was in college, because OH MY GOD I LOVED THAT SHIRT WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE!

Alright, I didn't just realize it. It's more like I realized it last Thursday. Here's what happened.

I started thinking about the one screenplay I've completed, which is mostly based on the things that actually happened when my dad walked out on PT (yes, that's my mom). I was going over some things and my mind landed on the fact that, in the screenplay, the dad character calls the mom character by a shortened version of her actual name. Which the mom happens to hate. This is directly taken from what really went on with my folks.

And then it hit me: No one who cares about someone would call that person by a name they dislike on purpose.

PT's name is Clementine. According to her, she's hated her name since birth. Because of that, no one ever calls her by it, she goes by Tina. But, the entire time I was growing up and right through their divorce, do you know what my dad called her? Clem.

I know what you're thinking, Well, that's not her full name. Here's the problem: PT HATED CLEM MUCH MORE THAN SHE HATED CLEMENTINE.

It was blatantly obvious. Every time my dad said her name, PT would cringe, grimace or roll her eyes a bit. There were even times when you could see her go from happy to disappointed when she heard his moniker for her.

What's even worse is that I can remember PT telling him, on many occasions when I was little, that she didn't want to be called Clem. But, what did he do? He kept right on calling her Clem.

What kind of person does this? Only an arrogant, selfish, uncaring DICK...That's who. How could I not have put this (as far as I'm concerned) critical bit of info together as evidence of his DICKness sooner?

Maybe it's one of those things where I was too young and too close to it. I knew PT hated what he called her and that it sucked that he did it anyway, but I had to get to 37 years old without having any contact with the man for 16 years to really piece together what his denial of her simple request meant: I DON'T THINK HE EVER CARED ABOUT HER. NOT REALLY.

And that makes me so sad for my mom, who spent 22 years in a marriage where she wasn't truly valued. I suppose the little things do matter a lot.

Dammit...now I'm crying.


Blanche aka Dianne Hartshorn said...

Damn, the more I read your posts the more we have in common. My dad was a dick too and I didn't realize to what extent until after he passed away this last July. I had no contact with him for 30 years. He reached out the week before he died, but I didn't respond and at first, after his death, just a week later, I was filled with guilt, but as stories revealed themselves about how he really was, what a blessing it was not to have in my or my kid's lives. You and your mom should consider it a blessing as well

Citygirl said...

What's still so odd to me about that time is that he walked out on her the day before my last day of freshman year at college. So, I wasn't at home and had no idea that things weren't going well.

You know, we do consider it a blessing that he left when he did instead of letting the increasingly crappy situation linger. And yet...if I think about the way he left it still makes me mad because he treated my mom with so much disrespect.


SoMuchSugar said...

What a dick. how disrepectful. I'm so sorry your mom had to go through that for so many years. I'm glad he is out of both of your lives now. xo


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