Posts Tagged ‘Lydia’

You may find this weird, but I only really stopped being resentful about Father’s Day in the past year or two.

Before that, all those holiday ads I would get – gift ideas from a slew of retailers – would send me into a flurry of anger at first, followed by melancholy.

You would think, I gather, that being a father myself would have alleviated the antipathy, but no. I continued to be sad that, unlike my sisters’ daughters, my daughter will never know my father.

I wonder what nickname he would have allowed. His three grandchildren, including the one he never met, were born about a dozen years apart. Would he suggest she call him “oom-pah”, as he did with one of the others, or would the two of them have develop a different moniker for him?

I think it’s easier now because, as a “senior citizen,” as my kind daughter was so helpful in pointing out, I recognize that I haven’t got time for the pain.

Did I ever mention that my parents-in-law, who are pretty swell folks, have birthdays almost exactly a decade apart, in the same respective years? This is mighty handy, I’ll tell you. Any cheat will do.

I have started to embrace the notion of hinting for gifts. It’s not that I really want, and certainly don’t need, stuff. But it’s nice to be remembered.

My sisters started sending me Father’s Day cards fairly early on after I first became a day. One of them sent me one this year, the one NOT in the hospital; she gets a pass. Frankly, it would have never occurred to me to send them Mother’s Day cards, but I think it’s sweet that I receive cards from them.

Meanwhile, my daughter is on her way to high school. People say, “I can’t believe how quickly the time pass.” I think, though I don’t always say, “I can.”

Is it just me, or maybe it’s parents who were already of a certain age, who feel that the time is passing at approximately the correct speed?

I learn a lot from her about the world, but don’t tell her. She might get a swelled head.

The Daughter had a school exercise in one of her classes to write a letter of complaint or protest. It did not have to be a real situation, but there was extra credit, with bonus points for mailing it.

As it turned out, she had a pretty good example. I have mentioned/complained in these pages about the shoddy work done by the roofer/contractor that our next door neighbor hired. As the Daughter noted, the Dumpster being used was halfway across our lawn. When the workers left, there was still much roofing on the shared walkway between our two properties.” And so on.

What made me grimace and laugh was when she noted that her “elderly” father used that sidewwalk often. In fact, I do, but she was really milking it.

In anticipation of writing the letter, she looked up in Google Maps reviews of the offending companies. There were five 5-star reviews! But one of them was a RESPONSE by the owner of the company to a 1-star review, one of nine. And no rankings in between.

One bad review wrote about lateness and not contacting the client, false promises about the work being completed quickly. “When I hadn’t heard from anyone within the time frame, I called the company to get an update… The woman I spoke with when I called initially told me she would have no way of knowing this…” Bottom line: she was strung around for months with a dearth of info.

Suddenly, one day, “two workers showed up at my door to do the deck work. This had not been scheduled at all with me…” They DID do good work that day. She had similar problems with her gutters, seven apointments, and evasive management, before the work was done

Another: “I was lied to from the start… They took their money, removed my siding and came back about 2 weeks to start the work, ordered wrong size windows, started working on the bathroom and from the start nothing went right…

Another: If I could give this company zero stars I would, but unfortunately it isn’t an option. The… real [reviews] are the ones that come with severe negative aspects first because it sounds pretty accurate to my experience.

Another: Worst contractors I’ve ever dealt with…. We asked them to let us know when the dumpster would be dropped off so we could move cars out of the way, they did not. It got dropped off and blocked one of our cars in the driveway…
Another: Owner talked rude and offensive to other races. Totally unprofessional. They maybe cheap, but you get what you paid.

Another: They ran the downspouts of the gutters right across our sidewalk (tripping hazard) and into the neighbors yard. During the first week, they used the neighbors yard as a prep area, and would leave garbage all over when they left for the day… They smoked marijuana right outside my back door while my 9 month old daughter was in the house. They screamed F-bombs at each other right outside her bedroom window. The owner… also lied to our faces numerous times during this ordeal, and refused to admit when he had been caught in his own web of lies. The job was quoted as a one week project, and after a month they had not finished cleaning up, so we had to hire someone else to do it.

We found out that our next-door neighbor is attempting to sue the contractor. The Daughter pointed out the online reviews to him, optimally to use to bolster his claim of the contractor’s incompetence.

The Daughter has started calling me “Roger” about half the time in the past few months. It doesn’t particular bother me.

I think it came about when we were in a crowded school setting, and she called “Daddy, daddy.” But there were lots of other dads and I guess I didn’t hear it. Finally, she said “Roger!” and of course I heard that.

One of my sisters is all distressed about it because she feels as though my daughter is showing disrespect. Well, maybe, but I think she’s just testing my limits.

Interesting that she almost never calls her mother by her first name, but “Mom”, or, very occasional, “mommy.” She says that all the kids in school her age are going through the same conundrum of what to call their parents that isn’t too juvenile (Mommy, Daddy), too formal (Mother, Father) or otherwise uncomfortable.

Her class had been reading To Kill A Mockingbird, and I was struck by the descriptions in Chapter 10:

“Atticus was feeble; he was nearly fifty… He was much older than my school contemporaries.” Like the attorney, I AM too old to do all the things the Daughter wants to do. And just as Scout an Jem called their father by his first name, so does the Daughter, unless she wants something or needs something, or is tired or hurting; then it’s “daddy.”

Of course, like Atticus Finch, I do have my skills, even if the Daughter is currently unappreciative. It’s true that I don’t remember the names of the members of her favorite K-Pop bands such as BTS or Astro.

But who is helping her with algebra homework, a subject he hasn’t studied in a half century? Who can name not just the first four Presidents, primarily from listening to Hamilton incessantly, but all of them?

The difference in our ages is, of course, something I can’t change. I consider it an asset rather than a liability. There are days when I can remember a piece of history first-hand; that is useful.

When I told someone that my daughter was sick in November, for the third month in a row, I was asked, “Am I worried about her?” The answer was, “No, not really.”

In that iteration, it was the same bug that her mother had, only my wife had it a couple days earlier. And other people in church and elsewhere in my circle experienced the same symptoms in the week or two before.

I DID worry that my wife had recovered enough. I was away in Syracuse and Binghamton so couldn’t tend to them.

Now, I WAS worried in October when the treatment of what turned out to be the Daughter’s slowly-developing asthma attack. I felt it was misdiagnosed early, and I felt helpless.

The Daughter wanted to go to the Donald Trump rally in April 2016 in Albany. I said no, not because of his politics – I was rather interested in seeing the phenomenon in person myself – but because I was worried that she (or I) might have been attacked, as some people had been in other venues.

I’m told that some white people see black young people as being older than they are. See, for example, 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, who was reported as a man with a gun and ended up dead by police. So I figured my daughter, who was 5’8″ at the time might have been seen, for some reason, as antagonistic to some Trump supporters, and I wasn’t willing to risk it.

Instead, we went to the Bernie Sanders rally that day, and though we didn’t get in, he came outside to give his 7-minute stump speech, one of the highlights of her past year.

Of course, I worry about teenage boys, just by virtue of their boyness. Teenage boys are annoying creatures. Having been one myself, I can testify that this is true.

A buddy of mine wrote about worrying, and I said that it is highly overrated. But worrying about the Daughter just comes with the territory.

One of the things the Daughter knows about me is that I’m far less likely to get irritated by something I see if I’ve been given fair warning. So one consecutive days in November, she called me at the office after she got home from school.

The first time was to tell me that there was yellow, crime-scene tape running from our neighbor’s porch to ours, blocking the walkway between the two residences. And why was this? Because contractors, in the process of fixing their roof, had thrown down the old roofing material from that roof to said walkway.

And did the absentee landlord bother to let us know that this was going to happening? He did not. The only warning was the load of materials sitting on their lawn for about a week earlier.

The second time the Daughter called me was to tell me that the tape was gone, as was some of the debris, but that there was a Dumpster parked, partially on the neighbor’s lawn but mostly on ours, blocking, yet again, the walkway.

This meant, again, walking my bike through the house to the shed in the back yard.

By the time I had gotten home, my wife explained to the contractors where the property line was. (But did they REALLY think the neighbor’s property line extended to the porch railing of OUR house?)

In any case, the Dumpster left the next day, only to return the following day. At least it was entirely off our property. And there it stayed for weeks, as a cold snap scuttled their plans to work on the roof. It looked atrocious out there, this orange behemoth, but what is there to do?

I suggested, jokingly – I THINK it as jokingly – that we should chuck our garbage in their Dumpster. Of course I didn’t.

Still, I’m glad The Daughter gave me the heads-up, twice, regarding our insensitive neighbor.

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