Sometimes my dad infuriates me. Sometimes his comfort is the only kind that will make me feel better. Case in point:
One week ago:
I’m sitting at the kitchen table eating a cookie and drinking coffee. My mom is seated beside. My dad walks in the house after doing some yard work.
Dad: (With a disapproving stare) “Natalie, I think you need to go outside and cut down some trees.”
Me: “Ex-cuse me?!? Can I give you the finger?* I think you need to jog a few miles!” (I had just jogged a few miles).
Mom: “Dear, I don’t think he means your fat. I think he would rather eat cookies and drink coffee than work.”
Me: “Oh right! Fine! So he thinks I’m lazy! Whatever…why don’t you make dinner tonight, dad? Why don’t you do the grocery shopping? How about you make the brownies for our guests tomorrow?”**
Dad: (Gives me a head pat, chuckles to himself, and walks away).
*Disclaimer: Job hunting is stressful for me and makes me say things like, “Can I give you the finger?” when I don’t really mean it. I don’t remember the last time I gave someone the finger or even asked them if I could.
**Stress (combined with insecurity – especially when I think people are judging me) makes me fly off the handle and take the tiniest remark and blow it into the biggest insult.
I should also add that in recent days I’ve learned that my dad gets jealous if he finds out my mom and I have had coffee/tea without him.
I’m browsing for jobs (yet again) online, in the newspaper…when a wave of hopelessness comes over me. Ah yes, despair. Thankfully it only comes in waves, and I can usually remedy it with a jog on the treadmill. Thank God for endorphins. I walk into the kitchen (where my parents are enjoying a coffee break), put my head on my dad’s shoulder, and sigh.
Dad: “What’s wrong Natalie?”
Mom: “She needs some encouragement.”
Dad: “Oh Natalie, you’ll get a job! Summers are slow. It’s August! Take the summer off. Rest! Have some fun. Go camping! Start looking again in September.”
Mom: (Shakes her head in disagreement) “Don’t let Richard* hear you say that.”
Me: (With gratitude) “Richard’s not my father.”
*Richard is my older brother. Career-driven, goal-oriented, family man. He’s very on top of things, like budgeting and planning for the future. Things that aren’t in my vocabulary.
So, since Father Knows Best, I’m going to take his advice and enjoy a week of campfires, canoeing, docks, and lakes. And when I come back on Saturday, then I’ll start looking for jobs again. Well…maybe Monday. Thanks dad!