Lets talk about our dads

Gavinmad

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Yup, go to see your sisters and any aunts/uncles/cousins you liked.
Or if you really want to burn bridges (since it seems like in Cutlery's case his mom is no better than his dad), make a big show of being happy at the funeral.
 
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Captain Suave

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Funerals are about the living, not the dead.
When my mother died fifteen years ago I was asked to speak at her memorial. I refused, on the ground that she's not in a position to care, the people important to me knew how I felt, and I was totally disinterested in everyone else. My grief is not for public consumption. I might be an asshole or something, but I have no guilt to this day.

My relationship with my father makes me a little sad. We were close when I was young. He read me bedtime stories until I asked him to stop (he tried to read Crime and Punishment when I was 9, lol) and taught me how to camp, fish, save money and do my taxes, and generally be self-reliant and not fuck up my life. He hit the perfect balance between warmth and discipline. He loved my mom, knew he had a good thing, and acted accordingly. As a young adult he was always there for me.

My mom got cancer in her early 50's and was direly sick for several years before she died. He's been a significantly different person since then. I don't know if mom's illness and death broke him, or if it's because he's in a new relationship now and it's emphasizing different aspects of his personality that were suppressed when he was with my mom. I like his wife just fine and I'm glad he's happy, but he is not his best self. (I've always thought the best judge of a relationship's quality is whether your friends and family like you better when you're with the other person.) Dad was always an incredibly rational person (PhD from MIT) but has become utterly credulous in the last 15 years and has fallen deep down conspiracy rabbit holes to the point I can barely recognize the man I grew up with. He's become fixated on superficial status symbols and very judgemental of people who aren't interested in that kind of signaling (me). Despite being extremely warm growing up, he only pays passing lip service to building and maintaining a relationship with my family and kids. He's just... there... and I don't get the feeling he's terribly interested in bridging the growing divide. Feelsbadman.
 

Borzak

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Dad was in the same house as I was all day. Didn't speak one word to each other. About normal. Was in business in some ways together for 25 years and exchanged nothing more "Check this" or "it's okay". for most of that time.
 

Cutlery

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Or if you really want to burn bridges (since it seems like in Cutlery's case his mom is no better than his dad), make a big show of being happy at the funeral.

Yeah, my mom is pretty garbage. She somehow managed to stop thinking for herself after she married my dad. She always chose my dad over her children, and that is something I cannot ever understand. There's a story there I didn't bother to get into, but maybe I'll tell it tomorrow if I've got time at work.

The moment my wife made me pick between her and the kids, we were done and I have absolutely no respect for anyone who wouldn't do the same.

As far as the funeral goes, the only person I care about left in my family is my youngest sister, and she and I are both of the opinion that we don't really do funerals. I guess I won't know until I'm put in that spot. Which, considering how young my parents are, I may not have to find out for a very long time.
 

Gankak

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Growing up, I thought everyone had at least a reasonably decent father like I did. After reading this thread and seeing the amount of fucked up people from my generation... holy fuck did I get lucky. My condolences to those that grew up with shitty parents and my respect for growing up decent despite not having good parents.
 

Cutlery

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So, my mother -

As kids, we weren't allowed to go anywhere or have friends over. This was my dad's policy. My mom would let us sneak out occasionally, but for the most part, the rules stood. My mom would literally have to hang up the phone on whoever she was talking to when my dad got home.

When my dad threw me out, my mom hopped in the car and cut me off down the road and gave me some bullshit about how she carried me for 9 months and I need to go back. Nope, not fucking happening, and that's about the worst rationalization for me going back to that household I've ever heard.

My ex wife brought my oldest daughter over there one day, and my mom showed her a picture of me with short hair and said "this is the (Cutlery) we choose to remember."

What the fuck, mom.

One day in my 20s, I was at a buddy's house playing Risk when my wife called me and said "uhh, your mom is here, she's divorcing your dad." Okay well, we have like 3 hours left in this game, so she can fucking wait until I'm done. I got home and she told me that Dad had been running around on her, going out with other women, and that they decided he was gonna move out and she needed help changing the locks and setting up internet and shit (this was back in the AOL days). I went over the next day, changed all the locks on the house, set everything up for her and thought "Thank god mom finally saw what we all see." She refused to tell anyone where my dad was living though.

2 days later she calls me and tells me that "dad figured out what was important to him, so we're getting back together." Yeah...his fucking house and his pension, you retard. He doesn't care about you, me, the girls, or anything else. He just cares about himself, and we are simply background characters. That was really the major turning point for me with my mom.

Other funny thing...I got divorced a couple years ago and my grandmother told my mom, since we weren't talking, and my grandmother and sister are both convinced that my mom never told my dad. My family is so fucking weird.

Another little anecdote, my ex wife worked at the IRS for awhile, and having my last name, came across someone who worked with my dad a long time ago. One of the things he said was "I told him one day, 'you know, you're kinda fucked up, Bill' and got a 'yeah, I know' as a reply."

Thats the shit that keeps me from reaching out anymore. He knows he's fucked up and has known for his entire adult life, and he refuses to do anything but be stubborn about it. I can't expend anymore emotional energy never being good enough for my parents. My life has been nothing but improved ever since I cut them out of it.
 
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OU Ariakas

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I got incredibly lucky because I grew up with a Dad that cared. He told me he loved me in public, always told me and my brother that we were going to college, he was always at my sports games, and took my side over anyone else's (probably to a fault). My brother and I were his pride and joy. He is a great grandfather and would probably live with us if we could (and he wasn't taking care of his 93+ year old mother). However, I have thought back on growing up I realized that he was excellent at being around and teaching me how to become a man that he never gave advice on how to BE a successful adult man. In fact, his own distrust of 'the man' led him to limited professional success that led me very early on to just do the exact opposite of what my dad would have done in order to be successful. His stubbornness made life with my mom and her two daughters from her first marriage a nightmare; they made it almost a decade and that seems like an eternity. He never remarried or even had another girlfriend and on the few occasions I have asked why he just brushes it off and changes the subject. I often think he considers himself somewhat of a failure when his pride will allow him to think of those things at all. It's weird to me because the one thing I can always remember him drilling into me and my brother is that we were going to be better off (and better) than him. It was his goal in life and he succeeded in spades. We are both successful professionally, have wives and 6 kids between us. If that was his true goal than I think he succeeded beyond what he thought possible; to the point where my only goal in life is to make sure my 4 kids have better lives than me. I love both my parents dearly and I truly think that they did as good a job of raising us as they could have given that they both came from working class families with dads that worked to provide and left the moms to show love and support for the kids. We didn't, and still don't, talk much about feelings or the hard shit that happened in the past and that is ok. It was my parent's tireless effort to make sure that I ended up better than they did that allows me the gift of self reflection. I get to identify the shitty parts about me and try my damndest to control them so that my marriage doesn't end up like his and that my kids understand themselves (and their family) better than I did.
 

TJT

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My Dad is 70 years old this year. He's lived a pretty interesting life. My grandfather was an attorney and he was more or less the black sheep between him and his brother. He's a very handy dude and like Cutlery's dad is pretty good at a lot of hands-on shit. He went to the University of Oregon to play football from 1969-1973 but his experience with the NCAA of that time was so shitty he had absolutely no desire to pursue anything further. To the extent that he told the Dallas Cowboys recruiters to fuck off directly. From what I understood the team of that time only played those who kissed the most ass. Which he had no intention of ever doing. He put the defensive line coach in the hospital in 1972 by beating the shit out of him during practice one day. There's even a local newspaper article about it lol!

During the 70s he worked on a cattle ranch in Colorado which he liked a lot but found it didn't pay jack shit. He ended up living in his car until he somehow heard that commercial fishing was good money and he really liked hands-on kinds of jobs. Made his way to Alaska and worked Crab and Salmon boats for over the next several years before becoming a captain on a Tuna fishing boat in Northern California/Oregon in 1983 and owning his own boat by 1985. He runs that boat to this day and has told me that he would only part with the boat when he is dead. Met my mom around that time and I was born in 1987. My mom successfully owned her own business (taught SCUBA diving, owned a gear shop, and arranged dive trips for people and shit) for 35 years. They are still married to this day.

All in all, a very gregarious guy with an excellent sense of humor who is easy to get along with but also has a very hard reputation. As one of his major life hobbies has been getting drunk and fighting people for amusement. The extent of this was far-reaching. I am from a small coastal town in Oregon. I couldn't go anywhere on the entire South Coast without some old salt recognizing my last name and asking if I knew "Big John." Followed by some shit about how he mean he is or the time he did some outlandish thing however many years ago. He apparently rode a horse into several watering holes back in the 80s for example. My father and I went to the same high school and I even heard this from older teachers who had been there since he was a student. But I can see that he would be very jarring to a lot of people as he was absolutely the kind of person to go out to the pub with a few of his like-minded friends beat the shit out of someone "for fun" then come around the next week having completely spaced it as to him he was "just having a good time and don't be such a pussy." I can only assume that this is what spending your entire 20s in Alaska does to you lol. He spent more than a few months in what counted for the lockup on Kodiak Island and in Ketchikan. Which was quite bare back in the 70s.

He's pretty good at all kinds of handy skills and stuff which I was always impressed by. He wired our entire house and even did a lot of commercial SCUBA diving around the south coast area. He could do underwater welding and marine electronics. He was absent for months at a time for the Tuna seasons though so that was kind of shitty. He is excellent at understanding how to deal with money well but I realize now he is pretty bad at executing it. But we never wanted for anything and he paid for my sister's university without an issue and my siblings and I all ended up successful enough so 10/10 would recommend I guess.
 
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Vepil

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Happy Father’s Day gentlemen.

My dad is 70 and is a retired carpenter out of Chicago. He was drafted into Vietnam and was a airborne ranger. I never believed his war stories until I met some guys from his unit. Yup they were true.

My dad taught me to fish, start a fire, hit a nail straight, measure twice, swear words are helping verbs, hard work, fuck what other people think, how to change oil/tire and how to cut grass that doesn’t look like dog shit.

But growing up my father was a raging alcoholic. In the 80’s he had a mountain of DUI’s cause then it was just a traffic ticket. He managed to get cleaned up around when I started college.
LoL my dad taught that too. He also said this once:

A hot woman moved in across from us and I was watching her prance around their yard in a bikini. He walked up and put his arm around me, "Son, a woman that looks like that is only with a man like him (bald and dad fat) for two reasons, either rich or a big dick. We know it ain't rich since they live in the trailer park with us so..." lol I was about 13 at the time and now nearly 47 and still remember that crooked smile of his.
 

Kirun

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My dad was hit and miss. He has spent essentially his entire life in construction, starting at the age of 17. He worked for unions, various drywall companies, etc. He has his business license now and mostly just does remodels/renovation projects. I'm thankful he learned such valuable skills and thanks to him I know how to hang sheetrock, frame a house, basic plumbing, etc. I also appreciate him working his ass off to provide for us (mom had a solid job as well). We had a pretty awesome childhood and we had a solid, middle-class life thanks to my parents. I wish my dad had better financial sense, because he really wouldn't have to work anymore if he had invested his money better. My mom had the same spending problems as my dad and there's no way he'll be able to retire at 65 because of it. It truly is amazing how much money my parents threw away on stupid bullshit. Thankfully, his career choice keeps him in decent shape and you'd never know my dad is 60. He looks at least 10 years younger than he actually is and if he dyed his hair (he has tons of gray), he might even be able to pass for mid 40s.

My dad's big problem is that he's someone who enjoys solitude. And while I appreciate that as a male, especially as I grow older, it really isn't very conducive in showing your children you give a fuck (part of the reason I don't have kids nor think I ever will. I absolutely love solitude). He always seemed very "detached" - almost as if he was bothered by having my sisters and I around. As children, he did a pretty good job of saying "I love you", but never showed much affection and was never around for things like doctor's appointments, school functions, etc. And any affection he showed us as kids also waned more and more the older we got.

He was pretty present when I was heavily involved in baseball, but again...seemed kind of bothered by it. I mean, I guess it's a case of wanting what you can't have, but I just never felt like I was ever "close" with my dad. That still remains to this day. A lot of his politics I find myself aligning with now as I age (we used to fight a lot about politics in the Bush-Obama years) and we've talked about building houses on the property in Wyoming we bought together, but it really sucks feeling like you hardly know your dad. I never talked to him about "important" life moments/decisions, always either figuring it out on my own or talking to my mom/friends. He is also someone who is borderline narcissistic and always would tell stories about himself/relate things to himself. He also has a strong "victim" mentality, always thinking that any failing in his life is the result of somebody fucking him over, not doing right by him, etc. Not surprisingly, my dad never had any close, personal friends. I always thought that was weird growing up that he never had any "buddies" he hung out with, did things with, etc., but I started to understand why that was probably the case the older I got.

There were moments in childhood that frustrated me at the time, but I realized how much it benefitted me later in life (we used to play whiffle ball almost every night and my dad would never, ever "let" me win. I always had to earn it. Sure, he'd do some things like bat left-handed or whatever, but he never just gave it to me. It used to piss my mom off, but I realize how beneficial that sense of accomplish is as an adult. It really helped me to never feel "entitled" to things and fueled my insanely competitive nature - which is sometimes a detriment).

Him and my mom divorced after 25 years, but with the benefits of adulthood and hindsight, I realize they were never really meant for each other. My mom had some major depression issues that as I kid I obviously never really noticed/understood, but definitely saw it as I aged. My sisters and I watched some of our home movies together recently and you can definitely see my mom struggling even then. She never really seems happy in any of them and the only time you catch her smiling at all is during Christmas (she was a Christmas fanatic - one of the rare times I always recall my mom being super happy and probably the reason I'm such a fan of Christmas also). She got a really bad ear infection back in 2002, doctor prescribed her Vicodin, and she has been an on again/off again opiate addict ever since. Initially it was just opiates, then it became whatever she could get her hands on. Now, she just doesn't take care of her health well at all. Smokes like a broken stove, doesn't regulate her medication well, has type 2 yet still eats like shit, etc. It's sad to see her slowly killing herself and the drug stuff is why my dad finally left. I don't blame him at all for leaving, but I lost a LOT of respect for my dad on HOW he left. He never discussed anything with any of us, I just woke up one day to some banging/shuffling around downstairs, looked out my bedroom window, and saw my dad unloading the garage into a U-Haul. He got extremely distant (to the point where I barely knew he was alive) for a while (this happened right at the end of 2008) and it has only been in the last 5 or so years that we've occasionally started talking again - but, it's always awkward talking to him, just like it always has been.

TLDR - Dad instilled a great sense of work ethic and competition in me, taught me some valuable construction skills, but was almost entirely unavailable when it came to a "personal" relationship. It many ways, I feel like I'm a lot more of my grandfather than my actual father, since he always seemed a lot less closed off and taught me more about "being a man".
 
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Hoss

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I was lucky that I saved a bunch of money over the last 5 years predicting an industry lag may happen.

I just want to say, that's not luck. Apparently using words correctly is not important in your industry.
 
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Hoss

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Or if you really want to burn bridges (since it seems like in Cutlery's case his mom is no better than his dad), make a big show of being happy at the funeral.

Or don't show up at all.

I was going to say: Split the difference. Go to the funeral and be nice. But hire a couple of strippers to sit in the back and wail and carry on as if they were fucking him. But after reading cutlery's next post it may hit too close to home.

Be sure to offer them a bonus if anyone attacks them.
 

Gavinmad

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My ex wife brought my oldest daughter over there one day, and my mom showed her a picture of me with short hair and said "this is the (Cutlery) we choose to remember."

What the fuck, mom.
Yeah it's kinda weird to have a mother who refers to you by your forum name.
 
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Sterling

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Interesting to see so many neutral or even negative stories about people's fathers in this thread. Makes me think about my dad breaking out the fungo bat and doing infield drills with me and my friends or taking me and my brother out fishing and hunting all the time. Always appreciated it, but now it just comes to mind again.
 
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Hoss

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Interesting to see so many neutral or even negative stories about people's fathers in this thread. Makes me think about my dad breaking out the fungo bat and doing infield drills with me and my friends or taking me and my brother out fishing and hunting all the time. Always appreciated it, but now it just comes to mind again.

Some of that is a case of people choosing to remember the bad. I could dwell on bad shit too but then I'd be a miserable person. Being a parent is hard. It's not something that can be learned from a manual.
 
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Cutlery

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Some of that is a case of people choosing to remember the bad. I could dwell on bad shit too but then I'd be a miserable person. Being a parent is hard. It's not something that can be learned from a manual.

I can remember a few good times with my dad, but it's not "choosing" to remember the bad. It's that the bad far outweighs the good. Nothing is black and white, it's all shades of gray, but if you make shitty decisions more often that not, no one is going to remember you for the time you took that baby bird that fell out of a nest into the animal rescue.
 

moonarchia

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I can remember a few good times with my dad, but it's not "choosing" to remember the bad. It's that the bad far outweighs the good. Nothing is black and white, it's all shades of gray, but if you make shitty decisions more often that not, no one is going to remember you for the time you took that baby bird that fell out of a nest into the animal rescue.
You fuck one pig and...

Time, distance, and growth can give you new perspectives to view what happened in the past. What happened will always remain the same, but knowing why it happened can give you peace about it. The fact that your dad is still alive means there is always hope for reconciliation and better times in the future. You might want to do the frank talk thing once just in case? "Dad, I love you, but you are a raging asshole, which is why you have not been allowed to meet your grandkids. Is that something you could change?"
 
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Cutlery

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You fuck one pig and...

Time, distance, and growth can give you new perspectives to view what happened in the past. What happened will always remain the same, but knowing why it happened can give you peace about it. The fact that your dad is still alive means there is always hope for reconciliation and better times in the future. You might want to do the frank talk thing once just in case? "Dad, I love you, but you are a raging asshole, which is why you have not been allowed to meet your grandkids. Is that something you could change?"

My parents have 3 kids. 2 don't talk to them, and one lives on the other side of the country.

If they don't have the self reflection to realize the problem is not us, it's them, then I guess I don't care enough to try to fix their problem.