Saturday, August 1, 2015

On shaving and being raised by a single dad

My poor Dad raised me by himself, with help from my grandmother (3 hours away in Cleveland), my aunt (his sister who lives in OR), and my eldest sister (who lives on Cape Cod). I know with much certainty I was a pain in his ass and overwhelmed his poor soul. I don't think he expected who and what he got.

Today in the shower while shaving my legs, I recalled an incident from my past. I was in middle school, during that ripe, awful time of peer pressure and being an outcast or part of the in crowd, and I was made fun of in Mrs. Keyser's math class (or Keiser, who knows, I disliked her) because I did not shave my legs. I don't remember what my mean classmates said but I'm sure you, my readers, can think of a few things. I am sure I came home crying, feeling like shit, and told my Dad. I am sure he said some nice things that made me feel good, including something about not caring what others think, being who I want to be, and etc etc. My dad was good at making me feel good about myself, while at the same time training me to be independent, free-spirited, free thinker who ignored peer pressure,etc etc... something that would later backfire on him (independent, free-spirited girls have a hard time being told what to do, I am no exception). I recall that I eventually wound up shaving my legs, probably with his razors first then buying my own, and I used this AWFUL smelling pink crap like Skintimate or Pure Silk that was full of chemicals and scents I avoid now. I shaved my entire legs then I think, something I stopped doing in college. I now only shave when I feel like it, using a Clio razor, which I LOVE that doesn't require soap. I don't give a damn what other people think about my shaved or not shaved legs.

The point of this is that I remembered something great about my dad and I miss him ever so much. Today marks the 16th year without him. He was born in 1937 and died in 1999. He was a Sagittarius, a strong-willed, shrewd, stubborn man with a beautiful soul who loved kids, having a good time, drinking (unfortunately heavily), talking about anything and everything, having philosophical conversations, listening to Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams (THE Hank Williams), Crystal Gayle, Joan Biaz, and many many more, playing the guitar and singing, and lots and lots and LOTS of other things. He loved me, our dog, Teddy, my two sisters who lived away from us, my grandmother who died 2 years after him, my aunt (in OR), my cousin (also in OR), and his many good friends. He was an antique dealer and doll collector and we spent most of my childhood driving around the Eastern US, especially to MA, going from flea market to auction to yard sale.  I had a blast and most of the time i loved him without exception. Sure we fought, with me SCREAMING at him and stomping and flailing about (I have his temper of course!), but we also had a wonderful time and I would not change my childhood even if I could. Sure he he had faults, but he was awesome and he loved me.

Today, on this 16th death-iversary I am going to The Real Cape Concert with my friend Charlotte, whose birthday is today, and we are going to have a grand old time. Daddy, I carry you with me always. You are gone but never forgotten. I love you so much and I cannot express how much my soul aches for you. I'm gonna enjoy this day for you, no more mourning damn it.

love love love
Dad & I 1984

Dad 1999
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