About Me

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Philadelphia, PA, United States
I suck at bios. Am horrible at telling interesting things about myself without embarassing myself at the same time. So I stick to the basics: My mind is forever active; always thinking and asking questions. I enjoy reading. Love writing. But if it were up to me, I'd love for a lifetime because love, is an animal that as untamed as it is, it's perfect.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Father Dearest,

The sarcasm runs deeper than the dislike. But so does the pain when I look back on life and realize all the times when I really needed your presence to be known, not just imagined. As women, we learn how not to "need" men. But as girls, you're life's best kept secret. Lucky me, the secret was a joke that I learned to heckle. 

There's a lot about me you do know because according to you, you made sure that you kept tabs on me as a child. You knew I was a wiz in school. That I enjoyed reading chapter books versus playing with the neighborhood kids. You knew I was well-mannered and polite. But all of these things were a given considering who my mother is. As you already know, Doreen plays no games.

But there's a lot that you don't know. And a lot that you unfortunately will not be privy to. This isn't about holding grudges or harboring ill feelings. It's about learning who to trust and who not to. And in this life, we're taught early not to trust those who we do not know. Trust like respect is earned. The fact of the matter is that you and I, we don't know each other.

As I push into 25 and as my brothers have said to me, "knocking on 30's door", I've been taking a lot of time re-evaluating relationships, including what little of one we have.

You remind me of the childhood crush who comes around every so often to see if we're still good. You come around every few years, maybe months to check-in. And not to my surprise or dismay, you always disappear. When you are around, things begin nicely. Reasonable conversations that aren't forced, but then, we delve into you being a shitty example of a father and your sob ass stories of the decisions you made as a child that continued into your adult life. And of course, how grateful and blessed you that the mother's of your children raised well-rounded, no shit taking, intelligent children who can hold their own. The little angel on my shoulder listens coyly and nods in understanding on behalf of humanity. But then, the little red devil bitch on the other shoulder could give a rats ass how you've spent millions on insurmountable amounts of drugs and coochie. Or about all of the great cities you've visited. And especially doesn't give a fuck about you wanting to get all of your children together under one roof and spend a day together as a family because you know that you can't make up for past times. Who-fucking-cares is what she thinks as she taps her pitchfork.

I respectfully get it. I know shit happens. It's a part of life. It's how we learn how to handle situations and people. But when that shit happens repeatedly, you are officially at fault. Case closed. And pity no longer lives here anymore. I was sympathetic at 15 when I knocked on my grandmother's door because someone told me you were there, and you had no fucking clue whose eyes you were staring into. Your eyes. Your eyebrows. The texture of your hair - all mine. How could you not recognize a face that resembles yours to the tee - just that of a pretty girl versus a battered man? I was sympathetic at 18 when you made promises of diamond earrings that instead of gifting, you either smoked or snorted because your arms have no signs of tract marks. I was even sympathetic when you apologized and was invited to be present to see me off for my senior prom and a guaranteed ticket to my high school graduation. No call. No show.

You consciously stayed out of my life as a child because of your severity of fucked up. I get that. And I respect that. I appreciate that more than what you may believe. I sincerely thank you for not bringing that bullshit into my childhood to further scar me. But, I remember seeing you at 2 in Adidas track pants as you gave me your half eaten bag of sunflower seeds; you'd came to the house to speak with my mother. I remember seeing you at 8 as I was riding with my cousin, on our way to a fair. You stopped the car because you recognized my cousin and saw that I was in the back seat. Your head was shaved bald. We talked a bit, I was shy, we said bye, and parted ways. The next time I saw you, I was 10, it was the summer time, I was on the steps with my Grandma and her best friend. You were walking by with your girlfriend at the time, who would become my sister's mother. You looked at me, and never uttered a sound. Never even slowed your pace to take a longer glimpse at me. I sat, and watched your every step. I remember you had on jean shorts and a baby blue short sleeved polo shirt. If I knew then what I know now, I would've wished for the ground below you to open up and swallow your simple ass. The next time I saw you, I was 15, when I knocked on your mother's door, but you didn't even recognize me.

At 24 and weeks away from 25, my focus is no longer on building a relationship with a man that I as the product of you, have tried to build and create some sort of closeness with for the past 10 years off-and-on. I still need to finish my bachelors. Travel a bit. Find a new apartment. Be a better sister, daughter, granddaughter, friend. Be a better me so I can be an excellent wife and mother. There really isn't much room for your bullshit anymore.

How can I expect you to be a "father-in-law" when you don't know the daughter and wouldn't be able to educate him on me? How can I expect you to be a "grandfather" when even now, with two growing grandsons from your eldest son, you're not even a constant presence in their lives? I've spent my life asking these questions. And now as a grown, adult woman, these are serious ass questions that require equally serious ass responses. Not excuses. Not stories of what you dream to become reality. No, just hard core truth. I'd fair better if you could say "I don't know if I could ever be these things" versus feeding my precious ears with bullshit of what you want and hope to happen.

I'm a big girl who's grown up in an even bigger city. Raised to be feisty and to shoot from the hip from an equally feisty and driven mother, I've faired off better than a lot of women my age.

I can't say I don't need a father, because all children need a father. But that figure may not necessarily be whose DNA you're made of. 

You've missed out on a lot and are missing out on even more. 

As human beings, we don't stop growing once we learn to stand and walk, talk, count, and recite our ABCs. Yes, those are momentous events, but, they don't stop there. We grow and obtain jobs that lead to careers and success that deserve to be celebrated. We grow and lead lives that may not necessarily be ideal, but, to conquer struggles and downfalls too deserve to be celebrated. We become parents and wedded partners. Because you were never around, my father figures have been replaced several times in my life. At 6, my favorite uncle was locked up on the same day my great-grandfather died. My grandfather, who is my favorite man dead or alive, died when I was 9. And the man I grew up calling Daddy, I learned to love and despise. Women have primarily been my comfort in this life. And men, have come a dime a dozen. Including you.

I am grateful for your existence because otherwise I wouldn't be here. But that's where it begins and ends. I have no hatred in my heart, but if I did, you'd have the top slot. Whether or not we've reached our breaking point, I don't know. But if we have, I know that both as child and woman, I've done more than my share. And I pray, should God grant me another go around in lifetimes to come, that I have learned all of the lessons to learn from you and this experience so that I may not experience this ever again. Same prayer for you as well because I couldn't imagine being a parent and knowing that my presence in the lives of my children is not deemed a present.

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