a not so valentine's-ish post

I'm not feeling very positive about Valentine's Day this year. I have a lot on my plate. I'm having to adjust quickly to my new 'management' position at the shop. I'm overwhelmed. My beloved arrives in 6 weeks .... and I think I have a total of maybe 8 or 9 days off from work to do any serious cleaning before he arrives. I know, I know - he's not coming to inspect the house, but it does need to be relatively free of dog hair for him. It's that time of year, too, the deep down in the blue funk of winter time of year ..... but now it's all mixed up with my old pal anxiety. I'm not sleeping well at night. I'm not eating well during the day. I should be folding clothes instead of blogging; washing dishes instead of blogging; sleeping instead of blogging ..... and, well , let's face it - I'm not REALLY blogging. I'm just stealing posts from other blogs and slapping them up here at the gate to make myself feel better about not really blogging.

And like a very unlucky penny, a BAD penny, he chooses this time AGAIN, valentine-ish time, to pop back into my life. He, being the biological dad I never knew from ages 6 to 26. Since that first REUNION, he's been dropping out of my life and back into it on a fairly regular cycle ... 4 to 6 years or so. I can always count on dad for two things: He'll be manic, and he will be using. If he's too high, he'll be drinking as well to buffer the edge of the downswing. (He always confesses these things to me after the fact - as if I can't read the signs myself.) He will tell me that he's cleaning up his act (check); he's in love with a wonderful woman (check); he'll be getting married in X number of days or weeks or months (check); and he just wants to be able to hold his little girl in his arms one more time (little, meaning that I'm the youngest of his three biological children) - check.

How do I explain ?? His emotional instability reacts and mixes with my emotional instability to create a madness that I cannot handle, emotionally.

I know I'm supposed to forgive, turn the other cheek .... It hurts to know that this is what my heart wants to do. But my head is saying, "Look, girlfriend. This man has let you down every single time you've taken him back. His track record speaks for itself. Read the signs, dammit: Landslide Ahead!"

While I ponder on exactly what to say to extricate myself from this dilemma, enjoy the poem I wrote to him ..... 6 years ago: which, doing the math, is simply 4 years plus 2.

Volume 4, No. 2

It's been 4 years since I last heard your voice,
and 2 minutes since you said good-bye.

I was 6 when you signed the adoption papers,
erased yourself from my life.

You reappeared suddenly - a secret code broken,
when I was twenty-six.
Which, doing the math, is simply six 4's plus 2.

You spent 4 years drifting away,
leaving me.
An anchor without its chain.

4 more and you dove back into my life.
I, on the other hand, served 4 years stuck in this endless ocean.
Its waters carving me into that universal symbol.
A sign for fuck-off.

It took me 2 years to feel contrite.

Which brings us back to today, Valentine's,
6 minutes after I hung up the phone and
4 minutes after I realized:

I had to say
was good-bye.

rev. 11/2006



gz said...

You don't need him in your life, unless he has cleaned up his act-agreed?
He is reversing the roles, being the child to your parent, seeking approval.

You obviously don't need this.

Carry on blogging, you're posting good things for us and yourself. Do a bit of what you should be doing in between !!

It isn't a good time of year for many of us. Wish I had someone to look forward to, but I'm glad for you both.

Adullamite said...

Set Soub on him....

SL said...

Such a shame that the good things, your new job and your upcoming visit from your someone special, is getting lost in the anxiety coming from your father. Listen to your head, give of yourself to the people who share love with you, instead of the ones who just take. Awesome poem!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Doesn't sound a health relationship.

red dirt girl said...

gz ~ Agreed. And agreed. Oh and agreed again.

Today I cut my hair; the kids surprised me by cleaning the kitchen including mopping the floor; and the Christmas tree finally got packed away. Oh and I vacuumed the downstairs and did a load of wash.

I know it isn't the best of times and sad anniversaries abound. My heart is with you. I thank you for your words of wisdom, but even more for your friendship.

hugs and xxx

red dirt girl said...

Adullamite ~ Soubry prefers to remain disengaged from my emotional entanglements. Paraphrasing his logic:

I am standing out in the rain and complaining about getting wet. I can either open an umbrella, put on a raincoat, go inside where it is dry, or remain standing out in the rain getting wet. The choice is mine to make.

Whilst I appreciate the oh so adult logic of his words, I must confess that the churlish child in me wants to bite his hand and break all his green crayons.

I am a woman.
Go figure.

red dirt girl said...

SL ~ Thank you. Sometimes when you are standing outside in the rain getting wet, you just need a friend to come over and give you a hug.


ps. so glad you liked the poem!

red dirt girl said...


Brave man indeed to comment on my rainy day parade. No it is not a health(y) relationship.


Anonymous said...

"My beloved arrives in 6 weeks"

This should be enough to get you in the Valentine's spirit. Don't sweat the other stuff. Maybe the dog hair.

Hi mule friend!

red dirt girl said...

Ok. Ok. I used to believe steadfastly that I was a romantic idealist ... truth is I'm more of an obsessing fatalist.

Thanks for reminding me my cup is half full.

Hi Dave!

bulletholes said...

"I heard a voice today I swore I knew
From somewhere down in the southern sticks
I turned around to see some ragged stranger
Bummin change on the uptown six
And I froze like a stone
Could I ever get that low?
Turned my face to the window
There but for the grace of God I go"

Yeah, there but for the grace of God I went.

soubriquet said...

What I was saying was not intended to put me in dire danger of being badly bitten, and having my good green crayons stomped into grit.

My analogy... well, when trouble seems to loom, I ask, is it really going to be trouble?
Can it be averted?

Yes, I know, women want to worry and wring their hands in dread.

Men think differently, and see angst as something counter-productive.
Hamlet agonised "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them."

I'm all for opposing a sea of troubles. I'm all for suggesting you write a letter, to the cause of those troubles, telling him that he threw away any rights where you are concerned when you were just six years old. That in all those years he chose to be elsewhere, and that he's not the person who decides if you see him or not, you are.
And if he is to see you, it will be on your terms, and at a time and place of your choosing.
In the meantime, he should stay away.
Don't just stand in the rain. Arm yourself with wellies and umbrella. And sing.


red dirt girl said...


I understand.

red dirt girl said...

Soubry ~ Ok so maybe I was feeling a bit disgruntled. Now I'm gruntled. Here are your crayons. I taped them back together... I think they still work.

How do I explain? Certain people are able to trigger certain emotions. Because he's my dad, he triggers the lonely hurt child in me. It is difficult to separate that kid from the adult me. The adult me values your good sense, I do. And yes, a written letter, sent or not, will probably do me wonders. What I'm struggling with is the guilt. I feel guilty for not being able to love him back.


red dirt girl said...

ps. why don't they make movies like that anymore ???