Monday, September 29, 2008

Talked to dad

Yesterday, in the middle of a new episode of true blood, my dad called me. I was waiting for some food delivery so I eagerly grabbed the phone, only to feel a wave of anxiety as I saw who it was. So I hesitated, and by the time I picked up the phone it had gone to voicemail. My dad left a pretty awkward voicemail about having a good year.

I called back at around 10, but he didn't pick up. Then he called me back again at 10:30, at which point I was already half asleep.

We had an extremely awkward 4 minute conversation, in which he asked if I was doing anything for Rosh Hashana (at least he didn't assume I was doing something), and I said (truthfully) that I wasn't doing anything, because I have a dissertation chapter due a week from Monday (today). We then talked a bit more, mostly having to do with school and how I am applying for jobs this year. He managed in those 4 minutes to make me feel bad about my decision to only apply for a few jobs this year, and my plan to stay in grad school for an extra (6th) year in the likely event that I don't get a job-which I have full funding for. Somehow this translates into him thinking that I'm failing out of grad school or something. Wonderful.

He didn't ask for any forgiveness. I didn't offer any. B was not mentioned by either of us.


  1. "He didn't ask for any forgiveness."

    I'm guessing you didn't either. Ever think that the two of you might have something in common? (For starters, the unshakeable belief that you couldn't possibly be wrong.)
    By the way-- did he come through with the $500?

  2. of course it's something we have in common. Meanwhile, his religion says he should be asking people for forgiveness around now, while mine doesn't.

    It wasn't $500, but he said he is mailing it out.

  3. "Meanwhile, his religion says he should be asking people for forgiveness around now, while mine doesn't."

    True enough, and (believe me) I'm not pushing his religion on you. That said, it's a two way street. You can never make him apologize for the ways he's hurt you, but you might also recognize that, intentionally or otherwise, you've probably wreaked your fair share of havoc on him.

    Also, he's your father. He's entitled to a bit of deference from you. (As an aside, if you want to completely reject him, you probably owe it to yourself to reject his money, too, don't you?)

    Finally, in your latest post, you seem to show a modicum of understanding for your mother which you withhold from your father. Perhaps you could at least express regret for having hurt your father (again, accepting that it was not your intention) before expecting him to apologize for not having accepted the decision that hurt him. You did cause the first injury, didn't you?

    I'm pretty sure he wants what he believes is best for you. He may be wrong as to his assessment, but (having read your fiance's blog), I can tell you that, religion or no, I can certainly see your dad's perspective on the marriage issue.

  4. just curious- what about my fiances blog made you see my dad's perspective? That he was raised catholic? If it's something else, then my dad doesn't know about it- since my dad knows nothing about B in general.

  5. Nah, it wasn't the Catholicism (it was more the attempted suicide and a general question mark as to his level of stability). But, hey, that's just an impression, and, as you say, your dad doesn't know about any of this (presumably), so, no doubt, you are correct, and his objection is limited to religion.

    I don't mean to take your father's side. I just think it's a shame for the two of you to lose each other. Husbands come and go; you only get one father.

    Good luck with all this. And I really mean that.

  6. Hi AE,

    Shana Tova from Europe, were Rosh hashana is already finished.

    So I was glad to visit your blog and find new postings.

    Sometimes I think a bit about you, and I come to the conclusion:

    1) I do not agree that you have no "religious gene". It might be that Judaism and Halacha does not suit you. But from what you write, I get the impression, that you are very idealistic and honest, perhaps too honest and idealistic for the reality of religion as you encountered it in your youth. But you have to have a "religious gene" in the sense that you stand by your convictions no matter what and that you prefer honesty over hypocrisy.

    2) I sometimes think that you would stick up very strongly for your jewish identity in times of crisis or persecution.

    3) So perhaps you are really the "better Jew", but in times of peace and quiet, your very honest, very selfless energy is directed against your family and not against "the enemy", because there is no enemy at hand.

    I hope I did not offend you, since what I said was meant as praise. I wish you and all those you care for Shana tova u metuka.


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