I find cussing to be funny in certain (most) contexts. My father does not. Recently my father has joined Facebook. And because I am a relatively nice daughter, he and I are friends, according to Facebook.
Now, I love my dad. He loves me, he worries about my well being, and because I have not turned out at all to be the person that he had hoped I would turn into when I was born, we don't always get along. And sometimes, a lot of the time, he does embarrassing things.
(This is a picture of my dad from this past Christmas. He bleached his hair and beard to look more like Santa.)
For example, when I started writing for a certain Web site two years ago, and I was going to help out at their relaunch party, he emailed them and accused them of "exploiting" his then eighteen year old daughter because I was writing for them and helping out at this party without pay. I was at a National's game with a twenty-five year old when I got a call from one of the editors at the Web site. It went something like this (and please keep in mind I had not yet met these people, all of our communication had been via email):
Dude: So, we just got an email from your dad...
Dude: Are you sure you can help on Saturday?
Dude: We don't want to be responsible for you getting into trouble or anything...
Me: I'm really sorry, my dad is kind of um...crazy, um...sometimes. And I'm sorry that you had to experience it before i got a chance to warn you.
Dude: Um...right. So, Saturday is still going to work?
This was also at a point in my life when my dad went through the phone bill and put the numbers of the people I had called into his phone. So, that twenty-five year old I was with got a call from my dad while we were at that game. I can't relay that conversation to you as I was not part of it, but this guy was not very happy about it. Apparently my dad offered him steak and was not happy to hear that he was vegetarian. Real men eat meat, or something.
After that call, I got a call from my dad asking when I would be home. I had made plans to go to said dude's house and cut his hair after the game, and my dad wanted me to bring this guy by the house...I went to this guy's house, cut his hair. He cried. And then at some point we ended up making out.
This was probably the most absurd day of my life.
Until about six weeks later, after my graduation when a 37 year old friend came by my house for the open house. We thought that it might be a good idea for my parents to meet someone that I spent time with when I went to DC, we were wrong.
So, my dad and this guy had this conversation:
Dad: So, how old are you?
Dad: Do you have any kids?
Dad: Well, if you did, maybe they could hang out with Amanda.
Yeah, later that dude and I agreed that that was probably the stupidest idea either of us had ever had.
Two years prior to both of these events:
My friend, a guy-friend, who could drive, and I used to hang out quite a bit. I'm not really sure how we became friends, except that it was through a mutual friend. And before we met this group referred to me as "The Chunk" because when asked if I was skinny, my friend told them no. Which was true, and still is true, but I'm not chunky either. I have an upper and lower half that fit quite well together, in my opinion. Anyway, I embraced the nickname, and it became a joke thereafter.
This guy, he and I bonded over our atypically dysfunctional families and our nonconstructive ways of dealing with it. This was my sophomore year of high school and this was the year that I started having panic attacks regularly and seeing a "crazy doctor" for them.
One day he and I had made plans to get lunch and play pool at the local Hard Times Cafe. He picked me up, and my dad answered the door - with a knife. This wasn't the first time he had done this, he had pulled out a knife to scare one of my sisters' guy-friends (who is now gay) years before. My friend handled himself fairly well, and acted obliged to see the rest of my dad's collection. And when we finally left he went off about how crazy my dad is, and how the knives weren't even cool, all looked the same, and what kind of person does that? My dad, that's who.
This friend was also the person who, when in the middle of a panic attack gave me a cigarette to calm me down. It kind of worked. And we spent that afternoon smoking and sitting on an old sofa on some dead end in Manassas.
Well, this friend and I still have some undefinable relationship. He calls me a bitch and I tell him that I miss him. He points out something stupid that I said, and I tell him how happy I am to hear from him. It's just how we work.
Well, he commented on my Facebook profile picture a couple days ago and called me a "crazy bitch" to which I agreed. And left a comment saying so. My dad also saw this comment and was not happy about it, and left another comment about how he "would love to get his hands around (my friend's) throat." and how "please (his) family must be that he is so respectful of women." Then my friend retorted and mentioned the knife collection, and how "your daughter isn't ever going to bring anyone home..." Um...
Facebook notified me about these comments at the same time. So, like four hours too late. Luckily my dad did not see the retort. I can only imagine what sort of reply that would have induced.
I called my dad last night to attempt some level of understanding. It didn't work. He doesn't understand why or when it would be funny or appropriate to call someone a bitch, dick, prick, asshole, slut, whore, pussy, etc. My relating a story about me and my sister April and how we call each other those names all the time didn't help. Now he thinks that I don't have any self-respect.
So, umm...all those times growing when I've tried to explain to people about my dad, they always think that I'm exaggerating. I'm not.